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Movie Review: Rush

September 27, 2013

Rush PosterRush – An eOne Films’ Release

Release Date: September 27th, 2013

Rated 14A for coarse language, sexual content and disturbing content

Running time: 123 minutes

Ron Howard (dir.)

Peter Morgan (screenplay)

Hans Zimmer (music)

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt

Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda

Olivia Wilde as Suzy Miller

Alexandra Maria Lara as Marlene Lauda

Pierfrancesco Favino as Clay Regazzoni

Christian McKay as Lord Hesketh

Julian Rhind-Tutt as Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley

Natalie Dormer as Nurse Gemma


©eOne Films.  All Rights Reserved.

James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) in Rush.

Our reviews below:


Rush Review By John C.

**** (out of 4)

The title of Rush perfectly describes the feelings of pure adrenaline and emotion that fuel this racing drama, which is one of the best movies of the year.  After recently premiering at TIFF, I’ve seen the film twice now and both times found myself completely immersed in this fascinating true story that touches on the seductive nature of dangerous behaviour.  I love this movie.

The rivalry between drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) that braced the 1976 Formula One season has been brought to the screen in the captivatingly mature Rush, and their jealous rivalry is fascinating to watch both on and off the track.  These drastically different personalities are even evident by their relationships with women, as James Hunt’s impulsive and rocky marriage to the beautiful model Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde) is contrasted by Niki Lauda’s more stable and surprisingly touching relationship with Marlene (Alexandra Maria Lara).  This heated competition leads up to some genuinely emotional scenes between the two interesting characters, as the season is threatened to be derailed by a terrifying accident.

This is the stuff of legend, and the refreshingly adult screenplay by Peter Morgan does a great job of pulling all of this history together into a riveting 123 minute film.  Chris Hemsworth delivers some of the best work of his career as James Hunt, a racer who is driven by an inflated sense of self, fuelled by the obvious sex appeal of his public image and the culture of celebrity that comes from winning.  Daniel Brühl is excellent as Niki Lauda, a fiercely intelligent underdog who is seemingly unfazed by how the public sees him, more focused on the technical aspects of actually winning a race than the persona that comes with being crowned a champion.  This is a brilliant performance that could easily make him a household name, and a memorable role that deserves serious awards recognition.

The racing scenes are shot in a riveting way by cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, with the action captured from both above and right on the ground, delivering constant suspense regardless of whether or not you know the outcome of the true story.  Director Ron Howard is at the top of his game with Rush, delivering compelling entertainment with gripping racing scenes and excellent acting from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl.


Rush Review by Erin V.

**** (out of 4)

In 1976, two Formula 1 drivers and their intense rivalry became the talk of the racing circuit.  Each driven by the will to win and cheating death each time they got in their cars, the British James Hunt (played here by Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl) captured the attention of the world.  Both were amazing drivers, but besides their competitive nature, personality-wise couldn’t be more different.  Hunt believed more in being a party-boy and living life to the fullest, while Lauda used logic and his knowledge of cars to drive him to success.  But in an extreme will to win and not let the other get ahead, half-way through the racing season, a crash involving Lauda changed everything.

Based on this true story, Rush is a thrill to watch.  I knew little of the actual story going in, and wouldn’t want to spoil it for those who are the same.  Having seen it twice, I love this movie.  The performances by Hemsworth and in particular Brühl are stunning, and seeing archival footage of the real guys at the end of the film, very well matched.  The cinematography is outstanding, bringing us to the feel of being right on the race track, and the editing too is superb.  With an intense score by Hans Zimmer behind the action, and a quick and smart screenplay by Peter Morgan, this mature sports drama fires on all cylinders to be one of the best movies of the year.


Rush Review by Nicole

**** (out of 4)

Rush follows the true story of two rival race car drivers in the 1970s.  England’s James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) is a cocky playboy whose attitude is to party, look good for the ladies and ultimately win every race.  Winning is so important for him in fact, that he gets sick from panic before every race.

While Hunt is the brawn, Austria’s Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) is the brains.  Lauda is smart, logical and treats racing as a job.  His attitude is sleep well, eat well and study the science behind the race, in order to do your best.  While Hunt is fearless, Lauda is cautious, not just about winning, but also about staying safe.  Despite their personality differences, the two have a respect among their rivalry.  The film becomes really suspenseful when one character, (I won’t say which one), is in a terrible accident.  The injuries are painfully shown, but the story becomes even more inspirational after this.

Rush is a fascinating film.  Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth act with a lot of emotional depth.  The screenwriting is sharp, creating a lot of insight into the humanity of these racers.  The cinematography at the races is spectacular.  This is a very well made film that is sure to get some Oscar buzz.


Rush Review by Maureen

**** (out of 4)

Through much of the seventies, two men dominated the Formula One race car scene, with their rivalry coming to a head in the 1976 season.  The true story of race car drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) is brought to the big screen by director Ron Howard in Rush, a film that is intense, exciting and easily one of the best of 2013.

Rush not only offers plenty of well filmed racing sequences, it also offers solid performances by the two leads, giving viewers a real sense of the personality clashes that fuelled their rivalry and a sense of what drove them each personally to win at all costs.  Chris Hemsworth is perfect as the good looking British racer who lived for driving, drinking, partying and women.  His arrogant confidence gets under the skin of his polar opposite, the serious minded, all business, mechanically and technically brilliant Austrian driver Niki Lauda.  Daniel Brühl is simply brilliant in this role.  When things take a dramatic turn for his character, Brühl’s performance soars.

This is very much a keep you on the edge of your seat movie.  The action is intense, and anyone who enjoys auto racing will find Rush exhilarating.  This is also very much an adult movie.  There is a fair amount of drinking, drugs and sexual content, and Chris Hemsworth does have a nude scene.  Also, if you get queasy watching medical procedures, keep that in mind during some of the more dramatic hospital scenes.

If you don’t know the true story beforehand, don’t look it up.  Be prepared to be entertained and moved by this dramatic and intense story.  Rush is a winner.


Rush Review by Tony

**** (out of 4)

Rush focuses on the rivalry between English driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and the Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) during the 1976 Grand Prix racing season. The charming attractive Hunt was as addicted to booze, drugs and shagging as to driving, but was briefly married to model Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde). The homely perfectionist Lauda couldn’t be more different, always calculating every detail of his craft with little interest for anything else. Not suffering fools gladly, his blunt sarcasm put many people off, except for his wife Marlene (Alexandra Maria Lara), who stood by him during painful recovery from a fiery mid-season crash.

Since John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix (1966), Rush is arguably the best film on the F1 circuit in a half century, directed by Ron Howard with all the care and integrity of his best work. The racing sequences are brilliant, using numerous car mounted cameras (like the previous film) and no fakery that true racing fans hate, all over a strong Hans Zimmer score. After studying their real-life counterparts in archival footage and with the cooperation and approval of Niki Lauda himself, both Hemsworth and Brühl have nailed their roles. The Peter Morgan screenplay itself plays like a race between the fortunes of the two principals, right up to the final showdown and a touching epilogue. Rush will appeal to racing fans and non-fans alike, though the drug and shag scenes are too “mature” for children.


Consensus: Directed by Ron Howard, Rush is a compellingly mature biopic of racing legends James Hunt and Niki Lauda, carried by gripping scenes on the racetrack and excellent performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl.  **** (Out of 4)

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