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It's a wonderful, career-reviving performance, and you can't imagine the movie without him. Welcome back, Mickey. Rene Rodriguez. Predictable as it is, this sad, strong beast of a film keeps us pinned to the mat with the strength of its compassion and the overpowering force of its central performance. Amy Biancolli. Aronofsky directs with unfussy candour, alternating between the intensity of the wrestling and the drabness of Randy's 'real' life.

Tom Huddlestone. The weakness of Aronofsky's film is that these various sentimental crises are framed with as much subtlety as Randy's wildly overdue heart attack. The film lurches into a predictable panic about dying alone. James Christopher. The Wrestler runs on what are admittedly pretty traditional lines for a sports film, yet runs on them with exhilarating speed and attack.

I was waiting for a cop-out ending, but it never arrived. Peter Bradshaw.

Rourke has risen again and delivered a performance for the ages. Matthew Lucas. It's unfathomable to imagine The Wrestler without Rourke It's one of those rare cinematic experiences where an actor and a role come together in perfect harmony. Micheal Compton. Sarah Boslaugh. Rourke doesn't just make good on the promise of his early work; he makes a miracle. Scott Raab. A story of personal ruin and while it certainly does echo Mickey's own life, it wouldn't be fair to say he is playing himself. Sure, Rourke's performance must have been informed by his own past, but that is different, as well as peculiarly powerful.

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Please click the link below to receive your verification email. Cancel Resend Email. The Wrestler Add Article. The Wrestler Critics Consensus Mickey Rourke gives a performance for the ages in The Wrestler , a richly affecting, heart-wrenching yet ultimately rewarding drama. Want to see. Super Reviewer. View All Photos Movie Info.

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  • Back in the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, 20 years later, he ekes out a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community centers around New Jersey. Estranged from his daughter and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans.

    However, a heart attack forces him into retirement.

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    As his sense of identity starts to slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of his life--trying to reconnect with his daughter, and striking up a blossoming romance with an exotic dancer who is ready to start a new life. Yet, all this cannot compare to the allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull Randy "The Ram" back into his world of wrestling. Darren Aronofsky. Robert D. Siegel , Darren Aronofsky. Apr 21, Fox Searchlight Pictures. Mickey Rourke as Randy Robinson.

    Marisa Tomei as Cassidy. Evan Rachel Wood as Stephanie. Ernest Miller as The Ayatollah. Todd Barry as Wayne. Mark Margolis as Lenny. Ernest "The Cat" Miller. Wass Stevens as Nick Volpe. Donnetta Lavinia Grays as Jen. Judah Friedlander as Scott Brumberg. Tommy Farra as Tommy Rotten. Randy intensifies his training, which includes steroid injections. After wrestling in a hardcore match , Randy suffers a heart attack backstage and undergoes coronary artery bypass surgery. His doctor tells him that he has to stop the steroids. Feeling he can't wrestle in his present condition, Randy decides to retire and begins working a full-time shift at the supermarket's deli counter.

    At Cassidy's suggestion, Randy visits his estranged daughter Stephanie, whom he had abandoned when she was a child, but she rebuffs him. While helping Randy buy a gift for Stephanie, Cassidy reveals that she has a son.

    The Wrestlers

    Randy makes romantic advances toward her, which she rejects on the grounds of her job. Later, Randy gives the gift to his daughter and apologizes for abandoning her. The two bond over a visit to a beachfront boardwalk where he took her as a child and agree to meet for dinner on the coming Saturday.

    Randy goes to Cassidy's strip club to thank her, but she once more rejects him, resulting in a heated exchange. Upset, Randy goes to see a wrestling match and finds solace in his wrestling friends. While at a bar with them, he gets drunk, snorts cocaine, has sex with a woman in the women's restroom then wakes up in her bedroom the next morning. Exhausted, he sleeps the entire next day and misses his dinner with Stephanie. He goes to her house to apologize, but she angrily tells him she never wants to see him again.