Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore


Genre: Drama
Starring: John Machado, Chjwetel Ejiofor, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, Tim Allen, Jennifer Grey, Emily Mortimer, Vincent Guastaferro, Alice Braga
Director: David Mamat
Rating: M18 (Violence & Nudity)
Year Made: 2008




- Audio Commentary with David Mamet and Randy Couture
- Behind-the-Scenes of Redbelt
- Inside Mixed Martial Arts
The Magic of Cyril Takayama
- Q & A with Mamet
Interview with Dana White (President of the UFC)
- Fighter Profiles



Languages: English/Thai
Subtitles: English/Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 44 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment
Official Website:




REDBELT is the story of Mike Terry, a Jiu-jitsu master who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, choosing to instead pursue a life of honor and education by operating a self-defense studio (with a samurai's code) in Los Angeles. Terry's life is dramatically changed, however, when he is conned by a cabal of movie stars and promoters. In order to pay off his debts and regain his honor, Terry must step into the ring for the first time in his life.


The last time this reviewer watched a David Mamet directed movie was four years ago, when he made Spartan starring Val Kilmer. The picture was highly recommended by a lecturer and since the synopsis told me that the drama thriller involves kidnaps and government conspiracies, I thought that this was an action filled crime movie which I can leave my brains at the door. But there was a reason why the academic loved this 2004 production: It features what Chicago born Mamet does best, and that’s a screenplay that intertwines between action and intellect. And in his latest big screen directorial effort, Mamet displays that flair again.

This time, the 99 minute movie centers itself on Jujitsu, a form of Japanese martial arts which literally means “art of softness” and consists of several grappling and striking techniques. Mike Terry (a very solemn Chiwetel Ejiofor) is an instructor at a Jujitsu school, but does not think too highly of fighting in the ring. However, when a series of unfortunate events occur, our protagonist is forced into returning to the ring to pay off debts and make ends meet.

Viewers who are anticipating a fast and furious action flick may be disappointed, because much of the picture is on plot development and is really a showcase of Mamet’s talent for writing. The playwright screenwriter’s crisp and memorable lines are spouted by the many characters in this movie – Mike Terry says in a very righteous moment: “The hands are not the issue. The fight is the issue. The battle is the issue. Who imposes the terms of the battle will impose the terms of the peace. Think he has a handicap? No. The other guy has a handicap if he cannot control himself. You control yourself, you control him.”

Wonderfully grounded performances are also another highlight of this moral drama. Other than Ejiofor, expect fine role portrayals from Emily Mortimer (Lars and the Real Girl) as a shady attorney who changes the protagonist’s life, Tim Allen (Wild Hogs) as a movie star who has a showbiz agenda and Alice Braga (I Am Legend) as a practical wife trying to keep the family together.

Those who are trying to figure out why this above average drama didn’t make it to theatres here, you need not look further than the amount of smartly written dialogue in this picture. While movie goers may be looking out for violent and adrenaline filled action sequences, they may find this too dry and dreary if they are not in the mood for something brainy.


This Code 3 DVD contains a substantial number of special features. The Commentary with David Mamet and Randy Couture shows how intelligent the director writer is because he talks about details of how the opening credits are inspired by the opening sequence of King Lear, and how women began as hand painters to editors and then eventually directors through the history of film. Couture, who plays a commentator in the film, complements him by saying how his knowledge of film has influenced his works. Behind the Scenes of Redbelt is a 19 minute feature where the cast shows how happy they are to work with Mamet, and how Mamet says how the film is both a Samurai film and an American fight movie. The 19 minute Inside Mixed Martial Arts tells us that Mamet was a boxer in school, boxed for a while, and got into Jujitsu some five years ago, hence the interest in making this film. In April 2008, a Q & A with David Mamet was recorded at a public session and this 26 minute feature has the director writer talking about how Ejiofor has the looks of a fighter, and the this movie may actually be a reflection of how things are really like in the American movie industry. An Interview with Dana White is a 17 minute feature where the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship talks about the history of the US based mixed martial arts organization and the impact it has on different fighting styles. The four minute Fighter Profiles highlights different scenes from the movie and categorizes the different characters and their fighting styles. The Magic of Cyril Takayama is an amusing five minute feature where the Japanese American magician talks about his art and how it has become a way of life. Included is also the movie’s Theatrical Trailer.


The disc’s visual transfer enhances cinematographer Robert Elswit’s gritty camera work look good, while the audio track can be switched between English, Spanish, Thai or Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1.



Review by John Li


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. Felon

. Tortured

. Penelope

. Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron

. Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms

. Away From Her

. The Take

. Saawariya

. Black Book

. The Shepherd

. Conspiracy

. Cleaner

. Hero Wanted

. Shattered

. Breath

. Cashback

. Your Name Is Justine

. Death Sentence

. The Jane Austen Book Club

. Across The Universe

. The Triplets of Belleville

. The Ten Commandments

. CJ7

. Love Lies Bleeding

. Living Death

. La Vie En Rose

. Urban Justice

. Perfect Stranger

. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

. Reign Over Me

. Surf's Up

. 5ivegirls

. Vacancy

. Paprika

. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

. Dead Mary

. Spider-Man 3

. Priceless

. Trust the Man

. The Contractor

. Blood And Chocolate

. The Wicker Man

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.