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The Wrestler

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Niko Tavernise

After years of abuse, Mickey Rourke’s face looks like an old catcher’s mitt. But it turns out to be his secret weapon in this devastating portrait of Randy ”The Ram” Robinson — a washed-up grappler looking for redemption both inside and outside the ring. Director Darren Aronofsky nails the tiny details (the dumb-fun hair-metal music, the sad small-time arenas, the desperate interactions with Tomei’s stripper). By the end of The Wrestler, you’ve forgotten whether you’re rooting for The Ram’s comeback or Rourke’s. EXTRAS include an unusually revealing making-of doc and a video for Bruce Springsteen’s title track. A

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