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Speed Racer Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 2.0
    37

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This toxic admixture of computer-generated frenzy and live-action torpor succeeds in being, almost simultaneously, genuinely painful -- the esthetic equivalent of needles in eyeballs -- and weirdly benumbing, like eye candy laced with lidocaine.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Yes, it's a candy-colored Day-Glo world, but there's a liveliness missing from this lead-footed Speed Racer.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Young boys are the only suitable audience for Speed Racer, the elaborate live-action adaptation written and directed by "Matrix" creators Larry and Andy Wachowski. And even they might feel an urge to squirm.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Unlike a Pixar cartoon that embraces as wide an audience as possible, Speed Racer proudly denies entry into its ultra-bright world to all but gamers, fanboys and anime enthusiasts. Story and character are tossed aside to focus obsessively on PG-rated action and milk-guzzling heroes.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    At its best, it's buoyant pop entertainment focused on three things: speed, racing and retina-splitting oceans of digitally captured color.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Speed Racer reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Action-packed kids' film fun, with a few sputters.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Speed Racer is a fast-paced, visually kinetic car racing movie -- which is the first family-targeted movie from Matrix creators Larry and Andy Wachowski -- seems tailor-made for kids under 12 who've been raised on video games and anime adventures. The central family sticks together, which is nice to see, and there's hardly any swearing or sexual content. But some of the fairly frequent fight scenes are quite vicious, with tons of bone-crunching noises and other sounds (though there's not that much in the way of blood). One beating fairly early in the story is somewhat brutal (and includes the threat of a hand getting eaten by piranhas) and could upset young children. The basic good-vs.-evil story will entertain kids, but it may leave older teens and adults -- especially those who love the original '60s animated series -- indifferent.

  • Families can talk about whether Speed Racer feels more like a live-action film or a cartoon. Why? What do you think the filmmakers wanted watching it to feel like?é
  • If family members have seen the Matrix movies, you can talk about what they have in common with Speed Racer, if anything.
  • Families can also discuss how the movie portrays Speed's family. How does it compare to families in other movies?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    Educational value: Kids learn a bit about cars and the sport of car racing.

  • message true0

    Messages: Some deception, violence, and betrayal -- but since this is a classic good-vs.-evil story, the bad guys get their comeuppance in the end. Parents and children are portrayed as having a fairly healthy, supportive relationship.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: The central family sticks together and Speed has tons of support from his race-car builder dad, encouraging mother, feisty girlfriend , cheerleading brother (Paulie Litt), and the family's pet chimp. Racer X is an enigmatic driver who recruits Speed to fight for justice.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Plenty of fight scenes that mix kung-fu with regular brawling and gunplay. A gun is trained up a man's nose. Although there's not that much blood, there's lots of bone-crunching, head-banging, and the like (and the sound effects can be gruesome). Mob-like criminals threaten to throw one racer into a vat of piranhas after they beat him pretty brutally; later, a man's finger is eaten by the same fish (the tone of this scene could be scary for young kids). Car crashes aplenty, though no one is hurt badly.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: A couple of kisses in the end. There are also some mild sexual innuendoes and some menacing suggestive comments about a young woman from a villain.

  • language false1

    Language: Mostly tame ("holy moly," "hubba hubba"), aside from a few uses of "ass," a "damn," and a bleeped-out "s--t." Brief rude finger gesture.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Some logos for Royalton Motors, cars, and cigars, but nothing excessive.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One character smokes, and another is given a box of cigars.

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