Raging Bull

8.22 h 9 min2019X-RayR
The life of boxer Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro), as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside of it. Directed by Martin Scorsese.
Martin Scorsese
Robert De NiroCathy MoriartyJoe Pesci
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Frank Vicent
Robert ChartoffIrwin Winkler
MGM Domestic Television Distri
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usenudityfoul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.6 out of 5 stars

1814 global ratings

  1. 77% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

chrissmokeReviewed in the United States on December 5, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Watching this movie was a wasted 2 hrs I should have realized I was wasting within the first 15 min
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How depressing? This movie has no character build up. The only interaction is between the guy and his brother, with a small bit of interaction with his wife. Slow from the start. No happy ending. No ending at all really. The only redeeming part is the dates the guy fought on. He lasted a lot of years. A tragic and common story for boxers and many other athletes. Not sure why this movie was on several best hundred movies ever made list. I feel like I wasted two hours and should have seen that I was wasting my time within the first fifteen minutes.
12 people found this helpful
SixnStonesReviewed in the United States on December 29, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Boring Movie for me
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This was just plain boring.I don't know why its so highly acclaimed?And DeNiro as best actor?...I didn't see it.The weight and make-up was great for its time but Robert Deniro is much like Clint Eastwood to me....The same personality no matter what movie he's in.But as I think there are very few who can adopt a completely different personality for a role.The Great Al Pacino and Tom Hanks.But that's just off the top of my head as Im sure there are more.Im not a film guru so maybe you need to be schooled to get why this was so great to so many.I could give you reasons why certain modern jazz music is so great but that wouldn't make you want to listen to it just because of that.Same applies to this I guess.Just my opinion.
5 people found this helpful
BrendanCReviewed in the United States on August 27, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Top Movie of the 80's
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Sequence during and after which Jake confronts Joey about Copa incident is an all-time great; the post-argument camera pan, Jake assuredly climbing stairs for bout vs paranoid delusions and frustration via Vickie - witness the spectacle. Jake then entering Joey's home and confronting him is hysterical - like watching home movies for This Bronx Irish Catholic.

Anyone who says this isn't a great movie doesn't know what they're watching. The cast know each other's body language cues, and being native New Yorkers, speak with authentic South Bronx dialect and accent of that era. This film couldn't be made today. There are no young actors who knew that culture and speak that language. New York shown here is long gone. I like how Jake's alcoholism is minimized - the way society largely ignored it then.

DVD extras: Cathy Moriarty was nice to me when I was very young. She took me by hand and put me in her brother's red pedal fire truck (he freaked). I think our Dads were cousins. Another cousin of theirs is an extra Jake walks past as he enters for Cerdon fight.
Cathy screeches with what Bronx girls sounded like when they screamed. My sister did that. I could not stand it. Or Her.
I was close with an Irish-American gentleman who grew up with LaMotta Bros. Said Joey was tougher than Jake. Donald said it was a right of passage for young guys to get tossed down stairs when first trying to enter a local club, and laughed when I told him film shows that. You could stay if you muscled your way in, though. The Hub was a tough neighborhood.
2 people found this helpful
AwesomeKReviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
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Can't believe people actually rave about this movie.
14 people found this helpful
Christina ReynoldsReviewed in the United States on May 31, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Scorsese's Last Shot (Not Really, But...)
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"𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝑫𝒊𝒅𝒏'𝒕 𝑮𝒆𝒕 𝑴𝒆 𝑫𝒐𝒘𝒏, 𝑹𝒂𝒚."
Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin from Jake LaMotta's 1970 memoir Raging Bull: My Story. The film, distributed by United Artists, stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, an Italian-American middleweight boxer whose self-destructive and obsessive rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite destroyed his relationship with his wife and family. Also featured in the film are Joe Pesci as Joey, LaMotta's well-intentioned brother and manager who tries to help Jake battle his inner demons, and Cathy Moriarty as his wife.

As a means of contending with Rocky (1976), the decision was made to make ‘Raging Bull’ a black and white feature; subsequently, a secondary effect of this creative choice is the period authenticity - making this a simply timeless classic. To further separate itself from other biographical sports dramas, cinematographer Michael Chapman decided to film inside of the boxing ring (as opposed to outside of it) and designed these scenes after seeing LaMotta's moves and techniques in person. This allowed every fight - which totals up to approximately 10 minutes of run time - to be choreographed down to the tiniest detail. The same dedication to accuracy is reflected in the only moments where color (Albeit highly desaturated) are present - which are imitations of LaMotta's own videos that he provided to the crew.

For his portrayal of LaMotta, Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for Best Actor. The preparation alone was grueling and tedious - he studied and trained under LaMotta for approximately a year and then entered in 3 genuine Brooklyn boxing matches (and, #fanfact, he won 2). Influenced and inspired by LaMotta’s own fixation with his weight ( a theme repeated throughout ‘Raging Bull’) De Niro then went on to gain approximately 60 pounds despite having artificial measures ( prosthetics, etcetera) made easily and readily accessible to him. Juxtaposed with De Niro’s season aggression and multifaceted performance are Pesci and Shoemaker - unappreciated and inexperienced at the time - who make for interactions intended to illustrate how difficult LaMotta was to mollify painfully relatable.

Outside of the ring LaMotta is arguably not much of a role model; he could have very easily been sanitized as a way of censoring details about his life, but he admitted openly to being physically aggressive with his wives on multiple occasions. Scorsese doesn't make any excuse for this behavior, but instead focuses on the mitigating circumstances and pressures that LaMotta constantly found himself at odds with as a means of making something of himself. As LaMotta's insecurities nullify his yearn for glory there is a sympathy for his journey - and while undeserved in some respects, this results in an exceptionally immersive and endlessly profound character study.

A quick word on the context in which ‘Raging Bull’ was made because I think it's relevant. In 1978, Martin Scorsese nearly died; After having developed a serious addiction to cocaine to combat a lack of confidence in himself he was hospitalized with severe internal bleeding and nearly suffered a brain hemorrhage following an overdose. While in the hospital he was visited by De Niro and told quite simply: if you want to live, make this movie [Raging Bull]. Scorsese obliged tenfold and threw every resource possible at production, because he thought this would be his last American film. Almost 30 years later Scorsese has proved his audience - and, more importantly, himself - wrong in this respect, and he has shown time and again that he knows how to make and break the rules so as to avoid a cookie-cutter like cinematic experience. Through LaMotte and Scorsese himself it's clear that the way in which one rises to the top takes a back seat to the tenacity in which it is coordinated. Sometimes we crawl. Sometimes we climb. And sometimes we float.
Whatever the manner - there's always a fight. A lingering and painstaking desire to get back up. A risk of getting knocked out. A Risk of getting knocked down. But there’s always a fight.
Fight with everything you have. Fight like you have something to lose. Fight like the depth of your longevity depends on it.
One person found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on March 8, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Man full of insecurities and unfulfilled dreams
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Raging Bull is one of Martin Scorsese’s classic films featuring Robert De Niro as real life boxer Jake LaMotta and Joe Pesci as his brother Joey. This was an adaptation of LaMotta’s autobiography. It's the story a man full of insecurity and unfulfilled dreams.

The movie is all about how LaMotta seemed like he had everything but he really didn’t. For instance, he married the woman of his dreams Vicky (Cathy Moriarty). His jealously however destroyed his marriage and it turned into an abusive relationship. His boxing career was no different. He had a bunch of big fights like three with Sugar Ray Robinson but the game was controlled by mobsters and he had to fight in fixed matches. That just adds to his anger.

Ultimately I felt this story fell a little short. I appreciate the acting of De Niro especially his transformation at the end of the movie as LaMotta got older. In the end however you could tell where the story was going by LaMotta’s personality right from the start.
3 people found this helpful
Matthew D'SouzaReviewed in the United States on November 23, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Martin Scorsese Tempers Jake LaMotta's Fire with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci!
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A tour de force from Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci.

Director Martin Scorsese’s sports biographical drama Raging Bull (1980) is a fearsome picture from Scorsese about an unlikable man named Jake LaMotta, who went from legit boxing legend to pathetic comedy stand-up doing cringe-inducing jokes in little nightclubs. Scorsese gives you the man’s home life flux and boxing career highlights with a visceral, dreamy directorial style all his own. No one directs like Scorsese and Raging Bull is some of his finest and sharpest filmmaking.

Writers Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin allow you into the troubled mind of a hopeful boxer with a cruel punching method of wearing down his opponents with vicious hits, while he himself gets clobbered mercilessly. Raging Bull is not about the boxing matches, but about how long they went on and with what brutality this bloodsport contains, much like Jake LaMotta’s own life of bullying and violence. Raging Bull is all about Jake LaMotta’s fiercely combative personality that ruins his life rather than his cruel boxing style. Meanwhile, composer Pietro Mascagni delivers only beauty with his entrancing symphonic score that is romantic, epic, and sincere. Mascagni’s melodies soar above all the blood and bruises, adding an elegance to Scorsese’s Raging Bull.

Scorsese’s direction is impeccable with a stellar creativity in filming each boxing sequence like it’s a magic show or something. Unique angles, panning shots, and long held close-ups ensures Raging Bull stays with you with a gorgeous black and white aesthetic that still shows all the sweat and blood. Michael Chapman’s cinematography has all these wonderful shots from the zoom out on Sugar Ray Chapman surrounded by smoke in an ethereal first person shot from Jake’s perspective to Vicki splashing her feet in a local pool to show her underage youth and playful personality.

Thelma Schoonmaker’s first collaboration with Martin Scorsese starts with Raging Bull and her cuts are so sharp and entertaining. From Jake needing a punch in the face to Thelma cutting to him getting beaten in a boxing match and so forth with her effortlessly clever cuts to her steady pacing that keeps Raging Bull’s 129 rush by like a knockout punch!

Scorsese sympathizes with this lumbering brute and all his inner turmoil, constant doubt, increasing paranoia, endless jealousy, brutal violence, and cruel domestic abuse with a fair and balanced direction for Raging Bull. You see Jake LaMotta’s fearsome rage in every word, glare, and punch of Robert De Niro’s leading role. De Niro captures Jake LaMotta’s flurry of swift punishing punches, brutal manner, distrusting nature, disgusting sexism, commanding gravitas, cringe humor, and fearful paranoia all with ease. He’s easy to hate and difficult to understand, but Scorsese lets you witness LaMotta’s boxing glory days to his embarrassing low moments in one of Scorsese’s greatest pictures: Raging Bull.

Joe Pesci steals the show as Joey LaMotta, Jake’s brother and trainer, who manages to push his brother to stardom and success, all while dealing with Jake’s incessant temper tantrums and vicious assaults. I love seeing Pesci go from quiet and patient to bursting with violence and righteous indignation at Jake’s mean taunts and shocking violence. I appreciate how Pesci is subtle as portraying Joey’s frustrations with Jake’s rage with his incredulous faces and aghast expressions.

Pesci is fascinating to watch throughout Raging Bull as Joey starts out empathetic and measured with his reassurations and pep talks to De Niro’s Jake LaMotta, but you see Pesci’s Joey cheating on his wife and belittling her just like how Jake treats his poor wife Vicki LaMotta as beautifully portrayed by Cathy Moriarty. She is perfect as the flirty and forlorn Vicki as she must succumb to Jake’s every wish and order until she’s had enough. Moriarty plays each moment with a knowing that lets you know Vicki understands every jealous question and hurtful comment made by Jake cuts deeply.

Frank Vincent is great as the two-faced goon Salvy with his compliments to Jake’s face, then insults behind his back to all his friends. Nicholas Colasanto is excellent as the Godfather type mafia boss Tommy Como with his boxing demands and ever present presence in Jake’s life and career. Theresa Saldana is gorgeous as Joey’s wife Lenore. You feel so sorry for her just like Cathy Moriarty’s Vicki as she is mistreated horribly by these wretched men.

John Turturro cameos as a man at the same club table as Salvy and Tommy early in his acting career. Martin Scorsese’s father Charles Scorsese cameos as Charlie when Tommy visits Jake in his apartment. Martin Scorsese himself has a cameo as a club stagehand later on in Raging Bull. Johnny Barnes is captivating as Sugar Ray Robinson opposite Robert De Niro’s barrelling Jake LaMotta. Michael Westmore and Mike Maggi’s make-up transforms De Niro into Jake LaMotta with a broader nose, torn eye gashes, beat up marks, and fat additions to capture LaMotta’s weight gains and losses throughout the years. Richard Bruno, Marilyn Putnam, Robert Iannacconne, and Andrea E. Weaver’s costumes fit the 1940’s and 1950’s eras from the boxing uniforms to the nightlife scene’s tight lavish dresses and slick suits.

In all, Raging Bull is a rush of blood to the head like one of Jake LaMotta’s legendary boxing bouts. Martin Scorsese at his peak technical prowess with powerful acting all over Raging Bull.
AddieReviewed in the United States on September 29, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Powerful, Raw, Moving
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The Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese, follows middleweight boxer Jake La Motta as he struggles to navigate life in and outside of the ring. This film differs from other movies in it’s genre that premiered in the 1980’s because it was much less about La Motta’s boxing and more about how his career, selfish tendencies and anger issues effected his life beyond his fights. Robert De Nero takes on the role of La Motta with a powerful stride, interpreting all aspects of the character to a T. It is noted that De Nero even gained 60 lbs. to fulfill the looks for this particular role. Joe Pesci, another memorable actor in the film, plays the role of Joey La Motta. Pesci and De Nero successfully portray the La Motta brother’s rocky relationship. One scene in the film stands out particularly in this sense, a moment when Jake accuses Joey of having an affair with his wife. The scene is impressively packed with raw emotional tension and properly driven strong acting, revealing the true talent of De Nero and Pesci.
The Raging Bull, although a crowd favorite of the time, may not have done as well if released a couple of decades later. It is clear that La Motta struggled with controlling his anger and emotions from his memoir which was then portrayed vividly in the script. (The script itself was written brilliantly by Paul Schrader.) From script to production and production to final cut film, the domestic violence in La Motta’s life becomes very overpowering. It seems that almost every other scene a female character is being slapped across the face, being told to shut up or to do a task commanded by a male character. Although this was truthfully what La Motta was known for, and may have been looked past at the time, it seems to be overexaggerated and distracting at certain moments in the film.
The cinematography, lighting and poignant film score interplay powerfully with one another specifically in the multiple fight scenes throughout the film. A scene in particular, La Motta and his opponent are keenly focused in upon, fog surrounding their faces as if they are the only two people. Not only in the ring, but in the entire building. The sound of the crowd fades, the film score rises, and it is as if we can feel the tension emoting from one character to the other. This classic fight film pushes boundaries and brings its audience through a realistic, raw journey of a man unable to find himself. I would highly recommend the Raging Bull for a full raw emotional experience.
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