Redbelt Reviews

  • That thing Mamet does he does again with feverish effing commitment in Redbelt, his effing Rocky.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • Redbelt, is a satisfying, unexpectedly involving B-movie that owes as much to old Hollywood as to Greek tragedy.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • Ejiofor remains a supremely assured, charismatic presence, though he has his work cut out here. He is pitted against a film with a black belt in pomposity and a gold medal in preening self-regard.

    Xan Brooks — Guardian [UK]

  • Anchored by a powerful and nuanced performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mamet's latest writing and directing effort is a compelling drama about the world of martial arts fighting.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • 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.

    Stephen Hunter — Washington Post

  • While Redbelt may be a character study in search of a movie, that character feels fresh and real.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • With his 10th feature -- an entertaining tale of high-stakes martial arts -- Mamet has infused the sleight of hand with a measure of two-fisted action.

    J. Hoberman — Village Voice

  • This does seem to be a world Mamet knows well, and every so often we see flashes of the great movie he might have made.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • Mr. Ejiofor gives a commanding performance, perfectly calibrated in what's withheld just as much as what's revealed.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • So how's the Mamet Rocky? Fast. Lively. In your face. Very watchable. And, like its predecessors, so bizarrely convoluted it barely holds together on a narrative level.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • So gifted is Mamet as a writer and director that he can fascinate us even when he's pulling rabbits out of an empty hat.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • Like everything Mamet touches, whether predominantly comic or dramatic, this stern cautionary tale concerns whom we can trust (ourselves, if we live by a few simple, honorable rules of conduct) and whom we cannot (others, especially if they're in the film

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • A sour little 70s-style David Mamet play about the lies, calculations, and ice-cold politics of Hollywood.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • Redbelt's ultimate Ultimate Fight moment feels sorely lacking.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Redbelt ranks as one of Mamet's lesser efforts as writer and director.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Incompetently made and covered in corn, this is a martial arts movie that makes you yearn for The Karate Kid. Yes, that movie was corny, as well, but at least it was fun. Redbelt isn't fun, just laughable.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Before it sort of punches itself out in the final few minutes, it's a surprisingly compelling story about honor and betrayal.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • In the story of a purist-minded jiu-jitsu instructor trying to keep his distance from the vulgar commercialism of arena-style martial arts competition, David Mamet may have found the ideal metaphor for his own relationship with mainstream Hollywood.

    Todd McCarthy — Variety

  • This isn't Mamet at his finest, though, which leaves us with a script that is merely three times as smart as the average feature.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • Ejiofor, a marvelously focused actor whose range and intensity are given a faintly inscrutable edge here, holds the center of the screen.

    Roger Moore — Orlando Sentinel

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