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Real Steel Review Critics


Dave White Profile

More dope than rope. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Real great. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Staff [Not Credited]

    It's an odd blend - a sentimental story in a futuristic world of brutal machine-maneuvered fights. There are some ringside thrills, but it's not a seamless mesh.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    This punishingly predictable tale will test whether sci-fi action fanboys can stomach having their cherished genre infiltrated by sentimental hokum about a down-on-his-luck dad and his spunky long-lost son.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Real Steel is a real movie. It has characters, it matters who they are, it makes sense of its action, it has a compelling plot. This is the sort of movie, I suspect, young viewers went to the "Transformers" movies looking for.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Real Steel is directed by "Night at the Museum's" Shawn Levy, who makes good use of his specialized skill in blending people and computer-made imaginary things into one lively, emotionally satisfying story.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Real Steel reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Predictable but fun fight movie has lots of robot action.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this futuristic action drama with a heart is equal parts Rocky and RoboCop. There are tons of brutal (if gripping) scenes of robot combat, some of which gets pretty intense. And it's not just the robots who get into brawls; a beating leaves a key character bloodied. One of the main characters (played by Hugh Jackman) is pretty abhorrent when the movie begins; he's introduced as an irresponsible mess who can't be bothered to care for his own son. He drinks and swears in front of the boy (words include "s--t" and "damn") and even goes so far as to "sell" him (or at least his parental rights) -- though he does change over the course of the movie, which ultimately has a message about redemption and forgiveness.

  • Families can talk about Charlie and Max's relationship. How do they compare to other fathers and sons you've seen in the media? Are they relatable characters? Role models?
  • How do you feel about boxing, especially when it's all-out like the fights choreographed here? Does the violence have less impact since the robots are the ones primarily involved?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie has a lot to say about redemption and forgiveness between a father and his son. It also makes you think about how we cast aside older models (computers, cell phones, people) for flashier, newer varieties, often forgetting that there's value in what came before. It also suggests that people should be confident in their gifts and use them judiciously.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Charlie won't win Father of the Year anytime soon (at least not for most of the movie), but he does redeem himself. And Max is kind, forgiving, resilient, determined, and self-motivated; he's quite a kid.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Tons of scenes, some fairly intense, show robots beating other robots up. While the robots are the primary pugilists here, the machines' bouts take place in front of audiences drunk with bloodlust, and there's one nasty human beatdown that happens in front of a child and leaves a main character bloodied and immobilized.

  • sex false1

    Sex: One kiss and a few scantily clad women at a boxing match.

  • language false3

    Language: Language use (some of which is by the kid) includes "s--t," "ass," "damn," "crap," "bitch," "hell," "oh my God," and "suck."

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Plenty of noticeable product placement from brands including Coca-Cola, ESPN, HP computers, Nokia, Capitol One, Cadillac, bing, Xbox, and Sprint.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: An adult swigs beer in front of children; at one point, he's drinking soon after waking up.