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Rush Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Eat their Euro-dust Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Brilliantly captures the exhilaration that comes from facing death head-on. It's also an ode to joyous rivalry.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Variety Peter Debruge

    Not just one of the great racing movies of all time, but a virtuoso feat of filmmaking in its own right, elevated by two of the year’s most compelling performances.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    Rush ranks among the best movies about auto racing ever made, featuring two great performances from the leads, who capture not only the physical look of the racing legends they’re playing, but the vastly different character traits that made their rivalry, well, made for the movies.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal John Anderson

    For all its immersion in the roar, grease and danger of Formula One, the fact-based Rush — about the sport's great rivalry of the 1970s — is also more predictable than a pit stop, something well-suited to Mr. Howard. He's made perfectly palatable pictures, but never a truly great one, partly because he has such a weakness for the commercial and a consequent gift for the obvious.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Chris Nashawaty

    Rush hits a few potholes, but in the end it reveals the psyches of two men who only feel alive when they're cheating death.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl excel as, respectively, British wild man and hedonist James Hunt and Austrian by-the-books tactician Niki Lauda.

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  • See all Rush reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Racing biopic has complex characters, lots of iffy behavior.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rush is a biopic from director Ron Howard about two 1970s Grand Prix champions, James Hunt and Niki Lauda. It depicts their athletic skill and determination, but it's also about their dark sides: their excesses, dirty tricks, and personal failures. In other words, they aren't anywhere near the squeaky-clean role models parents might be hoping for. The movie includes several car crashes, with blood and bones shown, and a very intense sequence in which one character is badly burned. Language is very strong, with uses of "f--k," "a--hole," and "c--t." Hunt sleeps with many women, and some female toplessness is shown (Lauda's girlfriend is also shown topless.) Hunt is also shown drinking to excess, smoking cigarettes, and briefly smoking pot. Finally, it's no secret that racing is all about merchandizing, and many brand names are shown throughout, including Coca-Cola and Marlboro cigarettes.

  • Families can talk about whether Hunt and Lauda are role models. They're Grand Prix champions, but they're also complex people with weaknesses and dark sides. Does this make them bad people?
  • Could Rush have been made without the violent crashes and their bloody aftermath? Is this what people really watching racing to see? Why or why not?
  • Why does Hunt turn to sex, alcohol, and smoking when he's feeling victorious? Does the movie glamorize these things? Are there any realistic consequences?
  • What's the difference between "likable" Hollywood characters and the characters shown in this movie?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Two race-car drivers discover that rivalry increases their drive for competition -- not necessarily the healthiest lesson, as it leads to destructive behavior. On the surface, this is also a movie about fame and success and how, if they're allowed to run rampant, they can destroy relationships. Success is shown as a big trophy, some champagne, and lots of parties, as well as the realization that it's fleeting.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The two main characters are real-life champion race-car drivers, and they come with a certain amount of hero worship. Their athletic skills are impeccable, and they have an intense drive to succeed, but their behavior is often destructive and disrespectful. But it's shown that the men's relationship is, on a deeper level, complicated and respectful.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The most intense sequence takes place when Niki Lauda suffers a fiery crash and burns in his car for almost a minute. In the hospital, he's shown burned and scarred and later with fresh skin grafts on his face. There's also a horrible procedure in which a tube is shoved down his throat to suck black gunk out of his lungs. Several other crash sequences are shown, with blood and broken bones.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The main character, James Hunt, has sex with many, many women over the course of the movie. Some sex scenes are shown, and others are implied. He's shown kissing women and in bed with them. Some female toplessness is shown. Niki stays with one woman throughout, and she's also shown topless.

  • language false4

    Language: Language is very strong, including fairly frequent uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," "bulls--t," "balls," "prick," "a--hole," "ass," "hell," "crap," "Christ" (as an exclamation), and "turd." A middle finger gesture is used.

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Racing is all about sponsors, and many corporate logos are (realistically) on display throughout, including Marlboro cigarettes, Goodyear tires, Coca-Cola, Levis, Shell, and STP. One character drives for Ferrari. There's an early speech about trying not to use sponsors, but eventually this idea goes by the wayside.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character is always sober before a race, but afterward, he drinks a great deal (champagne, various kinds of hard liquor), sometimes to drunkenness. He also smokes cigarettes frequently, and he and other characters smoke pot. One character smokes a cigar.