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Set on the west side of the Los Angeles fight world, a scene inhabited by bouncers, cagefighters, cops and special forces types Redbelt is the story of Mike Terry(Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Jiu-jitsu master who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, choosing to instead pursue a life of honor and education by operating a self-defense studio with a samurai's code. Terry and his wife Sondra (Sonia Braga) struggle to keep the business running to make ends meet. An accident on a dark, rainy night, between an off duty officer (Max Martini) and a distraught lawyer (Emily Mortimer) puts in motion a series of events that will change Terry's life dramatically introducing him to a world of promoters (Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna) and movie star Chet Frank (Tim Allen). In order to pay off his debts and regain his honor, Terry must step into the ring for the first time in his life.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 140
- Fresh: 94
- Rotten: 46
- Average Rating: 6.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Mamet's love for the sport comes through in every frame.
Fresh: What is memorable is the film's portrait of a man of honor in a sleazy world, possibly a metaphor for the struggle of the artist to stay honorable in a world of backbiting, betrayal and hunger for easy money.
Rotten: It's neither uninteresting nor unentertaining, but the plot is as threadbare as an old carpet and Mamet's narrative contortions will leave many viewers scratching their heads.
Fresh: Ejiofor, a marvelously focused actor whose range and intensity are given a faintly inscrutable edge here, holds the center of the screen.
Buy this movie if you are a true martial artist, or want to understand to what it means to be a martial artist. There are so many movies out that make the martial arts look like a violent means to an end. This is one of the first movies that I've seen that focuses on the real martial arts all the way through the movie instead of always resorting to the enraged street brawler taking out all of his enemies. The main character stays true to the warrior path and only fights to maintain peace without the movie getting boring. I loved the end scene that brings it all back together of what the martial arts is really about. Just my opinion.
Beautiful and heartfelt a karate kid for the next millenium except with real martial arts
I am a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, a Kenpoist, and have studied other arts such as Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, and Kickboxing, people in BJJ and MMA that I have trained with have scoffed at this movie, but I believe them not to be martial artists, but brutes trained to fight. This movie has gone back to the roots of BJJ which is japan and talks about honor again and doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do. I applaud the film makers and actors for taking the courage to say whats right. Mr. Machado played an excellent bad guy even though he was on film for only a short time. Too many black belts are even handed out in Jiu-Jitsu today, or any art for that matter, as it was said in the movie, you are a representative of the school, the system, and the instructor and the lineage. Respect it and honor it.
I Liked It
Complex story line, excellent acting and some true-to-life martial arts. Ending was not what I expected and it left me rethinking the film as I realized how poignant its message is. I'm a big martial arts movie fan, especially of those made in Asia during the 50's-60's. I really think this represents that genre in a modern way.