5.0 1
Director: David Mamet

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Emily Mortimer, Alice Braga


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Tim Allen and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star in writer/director David Mamet's martial arts drama Redbelt. Ejiofor plays Mike Terry, a jujitsu master who co-runs a very modest martial arts studio in Los Angeles with his bossy wife, Sondra (Alice Braga). Mike demonstrates an unwavering commitment to his craft…  See more details below


Tim Allen and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star in writer/director David Mamet's martial arts drama Redbelt. Ejiofor plays Mike Terry, a jujitsu master who co-runs a very modest martial arts studio in Los Angeles with his bossy wife, Sondra (Alice Braga). Mike demonstrates an unwavering commitment to his craft and draws a cadre of defiantly loyal pupils including Joe (Max Martini), an LAPD cop. All told, it appears that he has chosen a peaceful and conflict-free path in life. The dedicated martial artist's fate takes an unanticipated turn, however, one evening when a young woman named Laura (Emily Mortimer) bursts into the academy in a state of near hysteria, and reaches for a policeman's gun when he tries to restrain her. One thing leads to another, and before long, Laura is regularly receiving martial arts lessons from Mike. As master begins to teach pupil and his martial arts philosophies emerge, his path also crisscrosses with that of a Hollywood movie star, Chet Frank (Tim Allen), when he saves the fellow from a beating at a local club and gets invited (along with Sondra) to Chet's house for dinner. Chet extends gestures of friendship, and Mike's guard breaks down; he speaks openly and candidly of a special martial arts method he employs that requires one of the participants to "assume a handicap." In time, the association with Chet leads to involvement in the motion-picture industry, and relations with a bevy of characters who aren't exactly what they seem -- including a pay-per-view fight mogul (Ricky Jay) and Chet's slimy and manipulative manager (Joe Mantegna).

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
David Mamet's Redbelt is a kind of Karate Kid for the intellectual, philosophical set -- a sober, action-peppered drama that asks what value there is in honor when one's opponents, and even adversaries, are willing to deceive and destroy lives in order to make a quick buck. It's a cynical meditation on the themes of nobility, integrity, and truth that successfully sidesteps the clichés of the typical action-drama, while still managing to deliver everything that audiences love about those films -- the struggling underdog, the serpentine villain, and the knockout final brawl -- all in ways that are sure to pleasantly surprise. The story revolves around Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor), an honor-bound Jiu-jitsu instructor who, along with his business-savvy wife, Sondra (Alice Braga), is struggling to keep his financially strapped self-defense studio in business. Mike believes that competition is weakening, but in fact, he's about to be drawn into the ring by circumstances beyond his control. Those circumstances -- involving a hard-drinking Hollywood action star, his shrewd producer, a disturbed lawyer, a troubled cop, and a crooked fight promoter -- might threaten to become unwieldy if assembled by a lesser talent, but writer/director Mamet ties them all together with a finesse that makes it look nearly effortless. The story moves along at a brisk and satisfying pace, the twists often arise out of what initially appear to be insignificant details, and the way Mamet subverts the concept of the final confrontation is truly inspired. Mamet may not be very adept at shooting a coherent action scene (they're mostly shot in a super-tight frame that was likely meant to portray the intimacy of the struggle but ends up dissolving the suspense by failing to give the viewer any true sense of perspective), but it's the emotional confrontations that prove to be the heart of Redbelt anyway. Performances are solid all around, with Ejiofor and Emily Mortimer standing out respectively as the warrior who shuns the spotlight to maintain his integrity, and the lawyer who fights on despite being traumatized. While Tim Allen's name may indeed draw some marquee value to the impressively cast film, he operates mainly on the periphery -- occasionally stepping in for brief scenes that primarily serve to propel Mike Terry's story. For those in search of an action-driven drama, Redbelt may disappoint as it frequently favors verbal sparring over full-blown fisticuffs. For those who know that words can hit as hard as fists, Redbelt is an absorbing, masterfully constructed story of a principled fighter who refuses to believe that true honor is dead.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Chiwetel Ejiofor Mike Terry
Emily Mortimer Laura Black
Alice Braga Sondra Terry
Tim Allen Chet Frank
Joe Mantegna Jerry Weiss
Rodrigo Santoro Bruno Silva
Ricky Jay Marty Brown
Max Martini Joe Collins
Matt Cable Academy Fighter
Jose Pablo Cantillo Snowflake
Rebecca Pidgeon Zena Frank
Randy Couture Dylan Flynn
Luciana Souza Singer in Bar
Cathy Cahlin Ryan Gini Collins
Cyril Takayama The Magician
Scott Barry Billy the Bartender
Matt Malloy Lawyer
Ray Mancini George
John Machado Ricardo Silva
Richard Wilke Eduardo
Carole De Souza Correa Monica
Jack Wallace Bar Patron
Jake Johnson Guayabera Shirt Man
Dennis Keefer Knife Fighter In Bar
Robert Reinis Officer
Dominic Hoffman Detective
Michael Kenner Chauffer
Mike Genovese Desk Sergeant
Bob Jennings Sammy
David Paymer Richard
Kimko Richard's Bodyguard
Jennifer Grey Lucy Weiss
Linda Kimbrough Murphy
Steve DeCastro Knife Fighter On Set
Ed O'Neill Hollywood Producer
Enson Inoue Taketa Morisaki
Allison Karman Paralegal
Damon Herriman Official at Arena
Renato Magno Romero
Rico Chiapparelli Sanchez
Martin Desideriom Sanchez's Handler
Frank Trigg Sanchez's Cornerman
Gilbert Gomez Romero's Handler
Kei Hirayama Japanese Interviewer
Vincent Guastaferro Eddie Bialy
Mike Goldberg Mike Goldberg
Jean Jacques Machado Jean Jacques Machado
Josh Rafferty Josh Rafferty
J.J. Johnston Ring Announcer
Christina Grance Ring Girl
Galen Tong Referee
Tony Mamet Fight Commissioner
Justin David Fair Non-Smoking Attendant
Chris Kaldor Official Security Guard in Blazer
Scott Ferrall Scott Ferrall
Simon Rhee Bruno's Henchmen
Troy M. Gilbert Bruno's Henchmen
Danny Inosanto The Professor
Gene Lebell Old Stuntman
Lee Cohen Undercard Fighters
Mordechai Finley Undercard Fighters
Arvan Morgan Undercard Fighter
Peter Smith Undercard Fighter
Scott Voss Undercard Fighter
Chris Lisciandro Southside Jiu-Jitsu Academy Fighter
Tino Struckmann Southside Jiu-Jitsu Academy Fighter
Adam Treanor Southside Jiu-Jitsu Academy Fighter
Clay Woods Southside Jiu-Jitsu Academy Fighter
Masato Baba Taiko Drummer
Darren Endo Taiko Drummer
Kene Kubo Taiko Drummer
Jason Osajima Taiko Drummer
Byron Yamada Taiko Drummer
Bryan Yamami Taiko Drummer

Technical Credits
David Mamet Director,Screenwriter
Sharon Bialy Casting
Joe Cigliano Costumes/Costume Designer
Tad Driscoll Producer
Timothy M. Earls Set Decoration/Design
Robert Elswit Cinematographer
Stephen Endelman Score Composer
Cara Giallanza Asst. Director
Hody Jae Huh Cinematographer
Nancy Jarzynko Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Lewis Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Lutz Costumes/Costume Designer
Debra McGuire Costumes/Costume Designer
Robin E. McMullan Costumes/Costume Designer
Sherry Thomas Casting
Barbara Tulliver Editor
Chrisann Verges Producer
David Wasco Production Designer
Ray Yamagata Art Director

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Scene Index

Commentary with David Mamet and Randy Couture; Behind-the-scenes of Redbelt; Inside mixed martial arts; Q&A with David Mamet; An interview with Dana White; Fighter profiles; The Magic of Cyril Takayama


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Redbelt 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must admit--I had no idea what to expect from this latest David Mamet installation, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a nuanced, exciting and deliciously dark film. This is an epic film with the intimacy of of an art-house flick. Ejiofor deftly handles Mamet's staccato while also adding rich layers of subtext and intricacies to the time-worn concept of the &quot honorable warrior.&quot