7.9/10
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557 user 394 critic

The Wrestler (2008)

A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle.

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(as Robert Siegel)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 57 wins & 86 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dylan Keith Summers ...
Necro Butcher (as Dylan Summers)
Tommy Farra ...
Mike Miller ...
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Admissions Desk Woman
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Storyline

This is a drama about an aging professional wrestler, decades past his prime, who now barely gets by working small wrestling shows in VFW halls and as a part-time grocery store employee. As he faces health problems that may end his wrestling career for good he attempts to come to terms with his life outside the ring: by working full time at the grocery store, trying to reconcile with the daughter he abandoned in childhood and forming a closer bond with a stripper he has romantic feelings for. He struggles with his new life and an offer of a high-profile rematch with his 1980s arch-nemesis, The Ayatollah, which may be his ticket back to stardom. Written by Matlock-6

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love. Pain. Glory.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El luchador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$202,714 (USA) (19 December 2008)

Gross:

$26,236,603 (USA) (8 May 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the strip club scene in which Ram (Mickey Rourke) is showing Cassidy (Marisa Tomei) some of the scars he has accumulated throughout his career and she tells him, "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed" - this is a direct and word for word reference to the Old Testament biblical verse of Isaiah 53:5. Chapter 53 of the book of Isaiah is the last of four songs about "The Suffering Servant" and it tells the story of a "Man of Sorrows". See more »

Goofs

Upon being discharged from the hospital, Randy receives a note from the promoter. In the note, the word "your" is used incorrectly in the sentence "Your a warrior". The correct usage would have been the contraction for "you are" which is "you're". See more »

Quotes

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: When you live hard and you play hard and burn the candle at both ends... in this life, you can lose everything you love, everything that loves you. Alot of people told me that I'd never wrestle again, they said "he's washed up", "he's finished" , "he's a loser", "he's all through". You know what? The only ones gonna tell me when I'm through doing my thing, is you people here. You people here... you people here. You're my family.
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Connections

Referenced in Conan: The Double-Fudging of Vanessa Del Rio (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Aloha Oa (Queen Lilluokalani)
Written and Performed by Robert Neary
Courtesy of Audiosparx
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brutal, Honest, Touching film
20 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Wrestler is a drama centered around an aging professional wrestler past his prime. It's so much more than that. You don't have to be a fan of wrestling to enjoy this film. The wrestling part of it can be put aside as a back story. Randy "The Ram" could be in any other profession, doing any other thing and could be in the same situation. That's what's so great about it. He's just a lonely guy, whose life seems to have passed him by. A middle aged man who doesn't have much going for him. Sure, he's a wrestler, but he needs wrestling more than wrestling needs him. He needs it to feel important, to feel like a somebody. He really has nothing to show for himself, no wife, just a daughter he hasn't been there for his whole life. Missed opportunities. He's sad and alone and we really do feel for him.

A closer bond seems to be forming between him and his stripper friend, played by Marisa Tomei, who seems to be in a similar situation as he is. The middle aged stripper who seems to have a real connection with "The Ram" is shown in another misunderstood profession. We all may not be as different as we may think. Health problems compromise his wrestling career as he tries to deal with the real world and rebuild his relationship with his abandoned daughter. The scenes with Evan Rachel Wood (his daughter) are touching. Beautifully done. Rourke's character portrayal of the Ram is one of the best in a long time. He's not just acting, he transforms into the character on screen. It's amazing to watch. All the credit he's getting is truly deserved.

The film is Directed by Darren Aronofsky, who also directed Requiem for a Dream. He does a beautiful job showing the sport with realism. The film respects the wrestlers and their world, and expects the same from the audience. This film is done in a style that's so real, so honest, so amazing, in easily one of the best films of the year. All around great performances and great direction. Definitely worth checking out sometime.


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