Beyond the Mat
Beyond the Mat (1999)

The carnival world of wrestling is explored through the portraits of three men who are at the end points of their dangerous and unpredictable careers: Terry Funk, a renowned Texas champ who is 53 and has been wrestling for 32 years, Jake… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: October 22, 1999
DVD Release Date: August 22, 2000
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Critic Score: 82% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Even if you aren't a fan, Beyond the Mat provides a riveting, perceptive look into the world of professional wrestling by taking a closer look at the people beneath the personas.

Lisa Alspector
Chicago Reader

Documentaries are almost always more interesting if the filmmakers fess up about their relationship to the subject, as unabashed pro-wrestling fan Barry Blaustein does in this naively made, compelling homage to the sport.

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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail

Entertaining and twisted.

Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

WWF documentary is OK for older teens.

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Robert Koehler

A gently and genuinely observed film whose subject is a garish, artificial display of mayhem.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

It has a hypnotic quality.

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Michael Dequina

Am engrossing watch, but it's far from the most fascinating and incisive look at its subject.

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Time Out

We tour the All-Pro Wrestling School in California and Philadelphia's fearsome Extreme Championships, but it's the studies Blaustein makes of several wrestlers that root the film.

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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

The wrestlers are cannier than Blaustein probably gives them credit for; they seem to be offering up their backstage lives to him in ways that mimic the soppiest of melodramas, and he falls for it.

Richard Luck

Blaustein, Foley and Funk layeth the smack well and truly down.

Full review…
More reviews for Beyond the Mat

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Lafe Fredbjornson
A gritty and interesting look at life behind the wrestling scenes.
Lesley N
If you liked The Wrestler, you'll like this documentary because its the same story yet its all true. And if you like wrestling, you'll like this… More
Todd Smith
Adult professional wrestling fans aren't stupid, we know wrestling is fake and the outcomes are pre-determined. What none fans don't realize is why we… More
Curt C
There's something here for both fans and non-fans. Both a study of the wrestling business and an intriguing human character protrayal.
John Ballantine
The best documentary that I have ever seen on professional wrestling. Those who were fans of the sport in the 80s will be appalled at the current state of the… More
Christopher Brown
As a fan of wrestling, I found this doc incredible. It's a fascinating look into the folks who chose to wrestle for a living and their trials and… More