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Death Race Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    The best you can say about the movie is that it isn't boring. It's fast-paced, but it isn't really well made.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This movie is about mayhem on wheels, tough guys viewers can root for, and villains whose comeuppances audiences crave. That's what Death Race is all about and, for what it is, it does a solid job.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Soft sexual and racial jabs replace the more daring political commentary of the original, a crude classic from the Roger Corman factory.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Nothing in director Paul W.S. Anderson's schlock drawer--prepares you for the peppy, good-time nastiness that is Death Race.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Violent action remake races to a high body count.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is a non-stop series of graphic, violent action scenes, with lots of blood and some gore. Although it's based on '70s exploitation film Death Race 2000, this movie forgoes the original film's over-the-top satire in favor of even more-over-the-top action. The film's authority figures -- a prison warden and her guards -- are uniformly depicted as corrupt, brutish, money-hungry thugs. The main character is in prison for killing his wife, which he didn't do; at the same time, he racks up a substantial body count throughout the film in his quest for vengeance. Also expect plenty of strong language, plenty of car-related product placement, and some drinking and smoking.

  • Families can talk about the idea of the Death Race itself -- what point does violent entertainment stop being entertaining? Is the idea of a live, pay-per-view to-the-death gladiatorial event ludicrous or unnervingly ahead of its time? Families can also discuss the cultural history of gladiatorial games, from the Roman Empire's death matches to more "civilized" events like mixed martial arts today. What's so compelling about watching people fight?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The titular "Death Race" is a media event conducted from prison by a private corporation; the film's near-future setting involves an economic recession that's put millions out of work. A lead character is unjustly sentenced for the death of his wife, though he has a prior criminal record. authority figures are depicted as corrupt thugs. A disclaimer after the film states that viewers should not "duplicate any action, driving, or car play" they've just seen.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Constant graphic action, including shooting, fistfights, stabbings, people being beaten with truncheons, explosions, car crashes, Tasering, pepper spraying, head-butts, a character slashing himself with a razor blade, a character being strangled with a length of chain, and more. Several grisly demises are witnessed on screen, including a bare-handed neck-breaking, a character being struck by a car, a character being hurled from a moving car, a character being burned alive, a character's vehicle being struck by a tank shell, a speeding car being impaled on spikes, a female character being mangled by wheel-spikes cutting through the side of a car and her body, and much more.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Passionate kissing in a committed relationship; ogling of women who are wearing tight/low-cut outfits. Some discussion of a character's homosexuality.

  • language false5

    Language: Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "c--k," "c--ksucker," "homo," "faggot," "bitch," "bulls--t," "t---y," "damn," and more. The "N" word is used repeatedly in a song on the soundtrack.

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Extensive mention and on-screen presence of car-related brands, including Ford Mustang, Dodge Ram, BMW, Porsche, Mopar, NASCAR, NOS nitrous oxide systems, NASCAR, and more; Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is seen on screen, with the label in close-up.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A character drinks a beer; characters smoke.