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Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie, Evangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand ... see more see more... , Hope Davis , James Rebhorn , Karl Yune , Olga Fonda , John Gatins , Sophie Levy , Tess Levy , Gregory Sims , Torey Adkins

A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future where the sport of boxing has gone high-tech, Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a ... read more read more...title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback. -- (C) Dreamworks

Flixster Users

73% liked it

209,142 ratings


60% liked it

210 critics

DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012

Stats: 9,892 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (9,892)

  • July 7, 2014
    I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I thought it would be a decent, cute, family film but it was one that actually had a decent plot and a spine. Thinking it would be quite predictable, there were levels to the story that kept me wanting to know the story of the main char... read moreacters and was really rooting for their success. Reminiscent of a modern take on "Rocky", this one was a lot better than I had predicted.
  • January 16, 2014
    Forgettable. Okay for kids.
  • November 5, 2012
    Although it employs (read wallows) in just about every film cliché EVER, this film, set in the near future has enough cool CGI and an underdog mentality to make it passing entertainment; but oh those clichés! From sappy strings in the Danny Elfman score, swelling whenever someth... read moreing heartfelt is perceived; to the entire Dad gets forced to interact with abandoned son, and how they go through rough patches to eventually bond - this one has it all.

    There's the faithful female role - you know, where there's a hint that there once was a relationship in the sack, but god forbid you let the kiddies in on that secret! So now she's just the faithful sidekick, supporting her man for no good reason and sweetly sighing at his latest failed attempt at being a man (or whatever).

    There's the obligatory bit of action/drama that takes place in the rain, providing proof that the wethead is NOT dead.

    There's the slimy woman villain, who of course has a thick Russian accent (nevermind that if it wasn't for her and her money the whole boxing enterprise that everyone is so enamored with wouldn't exist - just sayin'), plus a serious bit of stereotyping in which all the cool tech stuff and those who use em are Japanese.

    And yet.... The film is somehow worth watching - kind of like Rocky IV - you know what's coming and yet want to root for the knuckleheads just the same. Of course there's the acting, especially that of lead knucklehead Hugh Jackman. He's competent in a stumbling, bumbling kind of way, but I couldn't help feeling that the script covered for him - letting him slide away from any serious acting, the same as in all those 80's Arnold films.

    Stealing the film is the cherub cheeked Dakota Goyo who plays Jackman's son - a smart ass 11 year old who feels equally comfy spouting lines too wise for his age or giving those big doe eyed looks when he feels vulnerable.

    The film also has some horrendously obvious bits of product placement by HP, but heck, ya gotta pay the bills somehow, otherwise how are you going to pay the cinematographer? And speaking of which, the film starts out with a nice bit of cinema, seeing the lights of a county fair through the windshield of Jackman's truck - but then, in the most distasteful bit of filming, the script introduces the whole fight bot concept by having Jackman's worn bot take on a fer real bull - not funny and almost made me want to turn the film off... in spite of the fact that the bot's movements were fun to watch.

    And really, this film is really about the action - just like Rocky IV - forget the lame sub plot and, even though the story is a bit predictable, the CGI generated fighting bots are uber cool. For this aspect alone I give the film a marginal passing grade - it ain't Shakespeare, heck, it isn't even original other than the idea of robots prize fighting, but for those cool fighting scenes and some pretty snazzy looking bots, you could do worse.
  • October 10, 2012
    In a near future where human boxing has been replaced by bouts fought by giant mechanical robots, an ex-fighter and deadbeat dad bonds with his estranged son while taking a scrapyard reject to the championship. Rocky gets robotic in this borderline sci fi that takes the familiar ... read moresporting underdog formula and adds some excellent merchandising opportunities. It's no doubt a very cynical exercise with some blatant product placement to be seen and plenty of colourful robots to line the shelves in Toys R Us but the fact is that the film is extremely accomplished in its execution. Making the fighters robotic rather than human means that the excitement of the bouts is not coloured with the ugly violence of watching two men beat each other to bloody unconsciousness making for a family friendly sports movie much in the vein of The Karate Kid. The kid in question actually shares some decent chemistry with Jackman's likeable jerk and the flashy action scenes are perfectly pitched to get the kids cheering for the heroic "no-hoper". It's corny, contrived and very manipulative (the junkyard rescue scene in particular comes very close to crossing the line into puke inducing) but it works. Extremely predictable but successfully crowd pleasing nonsense that parents should get some enjoyment from too.
  • October 3, 2012
    A different and fun look on the action genre which is both involving and cheerful.
  • fb1563632850
    August 6, 2012
    want to see it
  • July 29, 2012
    I almost can't believe how low the score that critics gave to this movie.. Well perhaps they're hoping for a movie with a lot of action packs but instead they got a drama movie packed with some action about robot boxing.. The only weak point of this movie is they didn't have the ... read moreexact set time, which is the audience didn't know in what year this movie took place but they know that this is the future.. But instead of that, I think 'Real Steel' won my heart.. The story that written by John Gatins, Shawn Levy, and Richard Mathis is a pretty great story.. Even though it is an underdog story, but the story was quite different.. And for the performance, I must say that Dakota Goyo steal all the attention in this movie.. Not only he's brilliant for portraying Max Kenton, but his chemistry with Hugh Jackman is amazing.. I can't imagine Levy use another actor beside Dakota Goyo to play Max Kenton, I think he's irreplaceable.. Overall, it is a strong drama movie packed with some action of robot boxing and it is a great one..
  • May 22, 2012
    Directed by Shawn Levy, Dreamworks Studios, 2011. Starring Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie and Hope Davis.

    Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi.

    Question: Do you ever go to the movies with the intention of seeing one movie but get talked into seeing anot... read moreher? Also, have you agreed reluctantly to see that movie and believe you aren't going to like but you end up being wrong? Well, that was my Sunday afternoon. I thought I was taking my kids to see A Dophin's Tale but got suckered into seeing Real Steel with my son saying, "Please, mom, please!" How could I say no?

    This is probably where I should tell you the story was based on the short story "Steel" from the 1950's by Richard Matheson (look him up - he has a lot of stories that became TV shows or movies). During the opening credits I saw the following names attached to this film: Robert Zemekis, Stephen Speilberg, Danny Elfman and Shawn Levy. That list surprised me but still was a little doubtful at that point.

    However, I actually ended up liking Real Steel. Believe it or not. I really wasn't expecting to but once the movie started with a great song by Alexi Murdock - "All My Days" I was intrigued. They just had me with this song because I honestly didn't think it would start that way so I relaxed and let the story take me away...

    However, I started having some doubts right after the song with having my 9 and 11 year-old at this movie with the first "fight" scene. Let's just say it reminded of a sport in Spain I would never want to witness. Protective mama instincts kicked in and I was ready to bolt, but the story took another turn that I wasn't expecting so I stayed in my seat. No, I won't tell you what.

    So, I am not going to tell you about the story - that isn't my normal thing anyway. Okay, I will give you one detail: It's about robots who box because people were no longer allowed to box. There, happy? The story was a bit on the predictable side but that really didn't matter. There was a great balance of the action with the robots and fight scenes with a sweet story about a boy and his father with a little romance kicked in. In fact, it had one of the best lines about kissing I've seen in ages. Sorry, back to the fighting robots.

    The special effects were unbelievable. I did not see any hint of computer animation or that the actors were talking to a ball on a stick. I honestly want to know if those robots actually exist - that's is how great the effects were in Real Steel. So for you special effect junkies this one will make you very happy. In fact, I would glance over at my son and I am not sure I am have seen him smile more intensely. Even my overly girly daughter was shadow boxing during some of the fight scenes. That cracked me up!

    My one complaint though has to be the rest of the music because it was a lot of hip-hop and rap - not my favorite genres. However, it fit well with the story, but for me it was just a bit much. I suppose I should say I probably wasn't the target demographic for this movie but my 11 year-old son LOVED every single thing including the music in Real Steel. There you have it.

    So, with that being said - grab your son, your brother or nephew and head to the movie theatre before this one is gone. We saw it in IMAX which for this type of movie is always better.

    My favorite thing: The special effects.

    My least favorite thing: As I said, some of the music wasn't my taste.

    Rating: PG-13
    Length: 127 minutes

    Review: 7 out of 10
  • April 26, 2012
    i really had a good time with this one. i watched it on a day when my brain was fried, so to soak in simple entertainment was needed and watching these robots beat the tar out of each other was awesome. not usually my kind of film, but reminded me of the types of films i grew u... read morep with and loved as a kid, and watching it with my kids i can see it will be one of those films for them.
  • April 16, 2012
    I feel sorry for the clever computer special effects people, their brilliant work is ultimately ruined thanks to an awful story, awful acting and awful direction. The general idea is sound but a near distant future where Robot boxing has taken over from Human boxing ultimately du... read moree to peoples blood-lust doesn't really work for obvious reasons. A post-apocalyptic future, where people build and fight robots would have been a much better film in my opinion. At least then the father/son setting could have been helped along with a 'fighting for survival' undercurrent. Alas, what we are left with is an unimaginative, unlikely and boring father/son story/mess, cue annoying kid in need of haircut, cue a lot of people shouting 'Yeeeaahh' and punching the air, cue crowds of overacting background stereotypes, etc etc. This is bad film making. It's not My Iron Giant, although the robot looks too much like it, it's not Rocky - boxing is violent but whether you like it or not, it is very passionate - this film has no passion and Rocky was a passionate film, all of what should have been the good bits - the more important bits, were all part of a lazy montage. Utter crap. One star for the brilliant computer effects, nothing for the rest. What do you expect though, this is a Shawn Levy film.

Critic Reviews

Bruce Diones
October 17, 2011
Bruce Diones, New Yorker

Its remote-controlled emotional responses leave little room for genuine uplift. Full Review

Tom Huddleston
October 11, 2011
Tom Huddleston, Time Out

Satisfyingly sturdy and no-nonsense, a multiplex monster smartly constructed from tried-and-trusted parts. Full Review

Richard Roeper
October 7, 2011
Richard Roeper, Richard

Thanks to an admittedly corny script, some amazing fight scenes, and a terrific cast, "Real Steel's" actually a winner by split decision. Full Review

Eric D. Snider
October 7, 2011
Eric D. Snider,

Surely a story as elementary and essentially derivative as this one could be told in less than 127 minutes. Full Review

Peter Rainer
October 7, 2011
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

They should call this overloud, underwhelming movie Real Steal. Full Review

Forrest Wickman
October 7, 2011
Forrest Wickman, Slate

Real Steel, a heartwarming sci-fi sports movie about a father and son who reunite through robot boxing, testifies to the formidable power of ridiculousness. Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
October 7, 2011
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Aas the plot proceeds from boy-meets-dad verbal sparring to an uneasy peace to the underdog-vs.- champion title bout, it becomes increasingly easy to forgive its many nicks. Full Review

Tom Long
October 7, 2011
Tom Long, Detroit News

Real Steel is a blast, an unabashed crowd-pleaser that mixes Rocky, Transformers, video games and father-son bonding to great, if corny, effect. Full Review

Mary F. Pols
October 7, 2011
Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine

The story remains sadly mired in botdom, which leads to some boredom. Full Review

Colin Covert
October 7, 2011
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

It's 10 percent lovable underdog hokum, 23 percent sentimental family drama and 67 percent rivet-popping punch-ups. Full Review

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    • Charlie: Fight smart, be patient and pray.
    • Charlie: How old are you? Nine? Ten?
    • Max: I'm eleven.
    • Charlie: Okay... are you sure?
    • Max: Yes. I'm sure I'm eleven.
    • Max: I want you to fight for me!
    • Max: Now you're concerned for Aunt Debrah? You sold me for 50 grand!
    • Max: People's Champion?.... Sounds good to me.
    • Little Sister: 15 dollars, seriously?
    • Ricky: No, I need 15 dollars IMMEDIATELY.

Real Steel : Watch Free on TV

Real Steel Trivia

  • Peter Weller played the cop whose brain was used to create the androidpeace officer, Robocop. What was his character's name before becominga real cop of steel?  Answer »
  • Who stars in Real Steel?  Answer »

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