Redbelt Gets a No-Decision

Reviews mixed for Mamet fight flick
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 5:44 PM CDT

(Newser) Redbelt can’t quite score a knockout with critics. While many find much to admire in David Mamet’s fight movie, most also concede it’s a flawed affair, and some outright disliked it. In the New York Times, Manohla Dargis described it as “a satisfying, unexpectedly involving B-movie,” that sadly “never marshals its estimable parts, its exciting fight sequences and juicy side characters into a transcendent whole.”

The movie follows a guru-like Ju-Jitsu instructor (Chiwetel Ejiofor, in a universally acclaimed performance) as he struggles against con men and would-be fight fixers. “You've seen teen breakdancing flicks with better plots,” complains Rafer Guzman in Newsday. But Lisa Schwarzbaum disagrees in Entertainment Weekly, quipping in Mamet-like prose: “That thing Mamet does he does again with feverish effing commitment.”