The Karate Kid
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Newly arrived in California from New Jersey, teenager Daniel (Ralph Macchio) almost immediately runs afoul of karate-trained high school bullies. He is rescued by Japanese janitor Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), who agrees to teach Daniel how to harness karate for good instead of brutality. The film culminates in a championship karate bout, pitting Daniel against his sworn enemy Johnny (William Zabka) -- the cruel and thuggish boyfriend of Ali (Elisabeth Shue), with whom Daniel has fallen in love (and vice versa). Real-life karate champ Chuck Norris was offered the role of Kreese,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This film's art consists entirely of hiding the cynicism of its calculations under an agreeably modest and disarming manner."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"An exciting, sweet-tempered, heart-warming story with one of the most interesting friendships in a long time."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Macchio rises above the trite script to deliver a sympathetic and believable performance. Morita is equally good value and look out, too, for Elisabeth Shue in an early role."
‑ John Ferguson, Radio Times
"Avildsen crafted an inspired movie with the perfect mix of 80's bravado and 70's artistic integrity."
‑ Jordan Hiller,
"Perhaps a touch on the corny side and undeniably broad, Kid is a ridiculously rewarding drama that puts pure sincerity to marvelous use, inflating a mild underdog story into an inspiring tale of education and developing friendship."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"Morita is simply terrific, bringing the appropriate authority and wisdom to the part."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The Karate Kid exhibits warmth and friendly, predictable humor, its greatest assets."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Upbeat, sentimental and predictable tale, but the acting of Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita (who was Oscar-nominated) is good and their friendship charming."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Irresistible wish fulfillment."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"'80s classic is still fun for families with older tweens."
‑ Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
"A surprise summer hit in the States, this is another film-making-by-numbers exercise in teenage wish-fulfilment."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It's primitive, predatory stuff."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Predictable yet satisfying..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"The Karate Kid brought something fresh to the table and proved exceptionally skilled at reaching its adolescent audience. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"This is the kind of movie where you find yourself cheering even though you know you're being hoodwinked."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for The Karate Kid on Rotten Tomatoes

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