Generation Iron

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Generation Iron
Generation Iron Theatrical Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byVlad Yudin
Produced byVlad Yudin
Edwin Mejia
Narrated byMickey Rourke
Music byJeff Rona
CinematographyColin Morvan
Guy Livneh
Edited byJustin Timms
Distributed byThe Vladar Company
Release date
September 20, 2013
(United States)
November 10, 2013
Running time
106 minutes
Box office$849,523[1]

Generation Iron is a 2013 documentary film which follows the world's leading professional bodybuilders as they train and compete for the 2012 Mr. Olympia. The film gives access to the lives of the top seven bodybuilders in the sport, including Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Branch Warren, and Dennis Wolf. Mickey Rourke narrates the film, with appearances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and Jay Cutler.



Generation Iron chronicles seven top bodybuilders as they train to compete in the 2012 Mr. Olympia.


United States[edit]

Generation Iron was released on September 20, 2013[2] on 53 screens across the U.S. The film expanded to reach over 100 theaters in various areas of the country. The release of the film coincided with the 2013 Mr. Olympia, held on September 28, 2013 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.[3]


On October 7, 2013, Generation Iron opened for a one-night-only event in 21 locations across Canada.


The film had its European premiere on November 10, 2013 at the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival. The sold-out screening was held at the 650 seat Bremen Teater.[4]

On November 11, 2013, it was announced that Generation Iron had secured distribution deals for Australia, Brazil, Germany, and New Zealand, with deals soon to be finalized with China, Finland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.[5]


Box office[edit]

Generation Iron opened on September 20, 2013 with an opening weekend box office total of $245,000, making it the biggest documentary opening of 2013.[6] Generation Iron held position as the #1 documentary in the U.S. at the box office for three consecutive weeks after its release.[7] Its domestic total as of January 3, 2014 was $849,521.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Generation Iron opened to positive reviews, scoring 80% critic approval based on 15 reviews and an 86% audience approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.[9]

Ernest Hardy of The Village Voice gave the film a perfect score[10] and called it "a gorgeous meditation on age-old existential concerns".[11] The Los Angeles Times called Generation Iron "an intimate portrait of bodybuilders" and praised the film as being "compelling and energetic".[12] Louis Black of The Austin Chronicle stated that the film is "really a triumph of intelligent, strategic filmmaking".[13] Philip Martin, president of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, stated in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Generation Iron is not just a film for bodybuilding fans and that "like all good stories, this movie about bodybuilding is really about much more".[14]

Generation Iron also received a few mixed reviews. Nicole Herrington of The New York Times gave the film 2.5 stars and wrote, "For a documentary about extreme discipline, the filmmakers lack restraint: the movie, about 20 minutes too long, undercuts much of its own momentum."[15] Nick Schager of The Dissolve expressed disdain for how the film "goes into absolutely no detail regarding the specifics of how [the bodybuilders] design their diets or their workout regimens".[16] Film critic Tim Falkenberg of MXDWN praised the film for the same reasons, stating that "much in the way Ron Howard's Rush, released earlier this year, was about the competitors, not understanding Formula 1 competition, the documentary Generation Iron largely eschews educating its audience on the intricacies of its subject matter in favor of focusing on the competitors themselves".[17]


Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
Buffalo Niagara Film Festival[18] Audience Award Vlad Yudin, Edwin Mejia Won
Nevada International Film Festival[19] Platinum Reel Award Vlad Yudin, Edwin Mejia Won
Rincon International Film Festival[20] Best Documentary Film Vlad Yudin, Edwin Mejia Won
Accolade Competition[21] Award of Excellence (Best Feature Documentary) Vlad Yudin, Edwin Mejia Won
Award of Merit (Best Voice-Over Talent) Mickey Rourke Won
Flex Magazine[22] Steve Stone Vanguard Award Vlad Yudin Won
Synchrotones Awards[23] Best Individual Cue Jeff Rona, "Stress Relief" Won
Copenhagen International Documentary Festival[24] Audience Award Vlad Yudin, Edwin Mejia Nominated

Top ten lists[edit]

  • The Huffington Post film critic Jon Eig listed Kai Greene's performance in Generation Iron as his #1 moment in film in 2013.[25]
  • Inside Pulse listed Generation Iron #2 on their list of the top 10 films of 2013.[26]
  • Tribeca Film Institute listed Generation Iron as #6 on their top 10 documentary 'Power Rankings'.[27]
  • Indiewire reported Generation Iron finished 2013 as the #7 highest grossing documentary, finishing with $849,521.[28]

Home media[edit]

The Vladar Company released an extended director's cut on Blu-ray and DVD exclusively for sale on their website on April 4, 2014.[29] Starz Inc. released the theatrical version of Generation Iron digitally on iTunes on April 4, 2014[30] and VOD/Amazon on April 15, 2014. Anchor Bay Entertainment released the theatrical version of Generation Iron on DVD on May 13, 2014.[31]


Jeff Rona composed the original score for Generation Iron. A soundtrack album was released on Milan Records.[32]

Additional songs featured in the film include:

  • "Never Gonna Stop" by Mind the Gap featuring Quan, also used in the film's official trailer[33]
  • "Some Say" by SolarDrive & TC
  • "In Da Gym" by Melle Mel
  • "Size" by Melle Mel
  • "Double Life" by Sixth Gate
  • "Unattached Human" by Sixth Gate

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Yamato, Jen. "Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Doc 'Generation Iron' Gets September Release". Deadline.
  3. ^ Vegas, Las. "Mr Olympia 2013".
  4. ^ Theater, Bremen. "Generation Iron European Premiere". Archived from the original on 2013-12-27.
  5. ^ Team, Deadline. "AFM Briefs: Well Go USA Acquires Justin Long Pic 'The Lookalike'; 'Generation Iron' Sells Overseas". Deadline.
  6. ^ Campbell, Christopher. "'Generation Iron' Debuts With Year's Best Opening For a Non-Concert Doc".
  7. ^ Newswire, PR. "'Generation Iron' is the #1 Documentary for 3 Weeks Straight at the US Box Office". PR Newswire.
  8. ^ The, Numbers. "The Numbers".
  9. ^ Rotten, Tomatoes. "Generation Iron on Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.
  10. ^ Hardy, Ernest. "Variety Score". MetaCritic.
  11. ^ Hardy, Ernest. "Generation Iron Presents Professional Bodybuilding as the Existential Minefield That It Truly Is". Village Voice.
  12. ^ Goldstein, Gary (September 19, 2013). "Review: 'Generation Iron' an intimate portrait of bodybuilders". LA Times.
  13. ^ Black, Louis. "Generation Iron". Austin Chronicle.
  14. ^ Martin, Philip. "Review Generation Iron". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
  15. ^ Herrington, Nicole (September 19, 2013). "Buffed and Toned Up for a Beauty Contest". NY Times.
  16. ^ Schager, Nick. "The Dissolve". The Dissolve.
  17. ^ Falkenberg, Tim. "Movie Review – 'Generation Iron'". MXDOWN Movie Reviews.
  18. ^ BNFF, The. "Generation Iron". Buffalo Niagara Film Festival.
  19. ^ Nevada, Festival. "Nevada Film Festival". Nevada Film Festival.
  20. ^ Film Festival, Rincon. "Generation Iron". Rincon International Film Festival.
  21. ^ Baker, Thomas. "2013 Awards". Accolade Competition. Archived from the original on 2014-04-19.
  22. ^ Flex, Staff. "2013 Steve Stone Vanguard Award". Flex Magazine.
  23. ^ Simons, Pete. "2013 Synchrotones Awards". Synchrotones Soundtrack Reviews.
  24. ^ Dox, CPH. "Audience Award". Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival.
  25. ^ Eig, Jon (December 19, 2013). "2013's Best (And Worst) Moments In Film". Huffington Post.
  26. ^ Sawitz, Scott. "Kubryk's Top 10 Films of 2013". Inside Pulse.
  27. ^ Reid, Joe. "Documentary Power Rankings: Politics and Pumped Iron". Tribeca Film.
  28. ^ Knegt, Peter. "Top 15 Highest Grossing Documentaries of 2013". IndieWire.
  29. ^ "DVD & Blu-Ray Ship Internationally!". The Vladar Company.
  30. ^ Generation, Iron. "Generation Iron iTunes". Apple.
  31. ^ Anchor, Bay. "Generation Iron DVD". Amazon.
  32. ^ Records, Milan. "Generation Iron Soundtrack". Milan Records. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04.
  33. ^ Trailers, Apple. "Generation Iron Trailer". Apple.

External links[edit]