May 9th, 2008



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Still of Chiwetel Ejiofor in RedbeltStill of Chiwetel Ejiofor in RedbeltStill of Chiwetel Ejiofor in RedbeltRedbeltStill of Alice Braga and Chiwetel Ejiofor in RedbeltStill of Alice Braga and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Redbelt

A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.8/10 (13,711 voted)

Critic's Score: 69/100

Director: David Mamet

Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Emily Mortimer

Is there room for principle in Los Angeles? Mike Terry teaches jujitsu and barely makes ends meet. His Brazilian wife, whose family promotes fights, wants to see Mike in the ring making money, but to him competition is degrading. A woman sideswipes Mike's car and then, after an odd sequence of events, shoots out the studio's window. Later that evening, Mike rescues an action movie star in a fistfight at a bar. In return, the actor befriends Mike, gives him a gift, offers him work on his newest film, and introduces Mike's wife to his own - the women initiate business dealings. Then, things go sour all at once, Mike's debts mount, and going into the ring may be his only option.

Max Martini - Joe Collins
Matt Cable - Academy Fighter
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Mike Terry
Alice Braga - Sondra Terry
Jose Pablo Cantillo - Snowflake
Emily Mortimer - Laura Black
Cathy Cahlin Ryan - Gini Collins
Luciana Souza - Singer in Bar
Cyril Takayama - The Magician (as Cyril Takata)
Scott Barry - Billy the Bartender
Ricky Jay - Marty Brown
Randy Couture - Dylan Flynn
John Machado - Ricardo Silva
Rodrigo Santoro - Bruno Silva
Ricardo Wilke - Eduardo

Taglines: There's always a way out. You just have to find it.


Official Website: Sony Classics [United States] |

Release Date: 9 May 2008

Filming Locations: Long Beach, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $63,361 (USA) (4 May 2008) (6 Screens)

Gross: $2,344,847 (USA) (13 July 2008)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Dan Inosanto, who played The Professor, is the foremost student and leading protégé of Bruce Lee.

Continuity: When Ricardo comes out from behind the curtain the red band on his belt is on the right side. Then when the camera changes it's on the left side.

[first lines]
Mike Terry: Tie him up.
[to class]
Mike Terry: The hands are not the issue. The fight is the issue. The battle is the issue. Who imposes the terms of the battle will impose the terms of the peace. Think he has a handicap? No. The other guy has a handicap if he cannot control himself. You control yourself, you control him.
[to student]
Mike Terry: Take him to court.

User Review

Another searing masterpiece from Mamet!!

Rating: 10/10

I just saw this movie yesterday at the Tribeca Film Festival, NYC. I have never posted a review at IMDb before, in spite of being a loyal visitor to this website for 10 years now. However, after watching Redbelt, I have been forced to say something.

In short the film is about a martial arts instructor who is too idealistic for the real world around him. Thats why he stays safely behind the confines of his teaching academy. One night though, a series of events changes everything and he is forced to come out into the open and confront the consequences of the ripple effect.

This confrontation, in the hands of David Mamet becomes white hot and you can feel the tension of the film in your pulse. The audience applauded many scenes and in the end I think the standing ovation must have lasted five minutes or more. Many people also felt that this film should have been considered for the Cadillac Award, and were disappointed that Redbelt was ineligible for the top competition honor.

As always taut screenplay and cracking dialogues were the hallmark of the film, like any other Mamet movie or play. During the course of the film I couldn't help but wonder at the raw intensity that Mamet manages to bring to his films. I have not been able to pin point so far, but I do see parallels between the protagonists of his earlier film Spartan (played by Val Kilmer) and Redbelt (played to greatness by the ever brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor).

Overall an amazing film and Mamet fans won't be disappointed.


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