In 1976, on the Formula 1 circuits around the world, two drivers had a rivalry that became legend. Rush brilliantly tells the tale of James Hunt and Niki Lauda, their lives and rivalry, their triumphs and tragedies.


Genuinely gripping story.
Two brilliant performances.
F1 races are great, better than actual F1 races.

Bit sugary at times

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆



Director – Ron Howard

Screenplay – Peter Morgan

Niki Lauda – Daniel Brühl
James Hunt – Chris Hemsworth
Suzy Miller – Olivia Wilde

This is a great story about two men, and is brought to us by four: Director, producer, and Oscar winner Ron Howard; writer, and producer Peter Morgan; and the two charismatic leads Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth. Each of these men do a brilliant job, resulting in a great movie.


Rush opens big, on the rain soaked Nurburgring circuit, the site of a crucial moment in the rivalry of these men. It then goes back and tells the story of how they got here, using a duel voice-over, giving duel story focus. Neither of them are the center of the movie, giving equal emphasis and screen time to both men’s story. It all feels very 70’s, and it’s the whole look of film, not just the hair and outfits. It also captures wonderfully the feel of racing, be it F3 or F1. The whole movie really draws you in. The time, the cars, the men, their rivalry.

There are two great leads here, giving great performances. Both are engaging, and charismatic, in very different ways. Just like the real men, Niki Lauda and James Hunt. It’s great to see Hemsworth actually act, and it’s good to know that he can. Admittedly, he is playing a good looking charming playboy type, which doesn’t feel like a massive stretch for him, but he is still very good. However Daniel Brühl is a revelation. He is great. Just great. Don’t be surprised to see his name mentioned when we get to award season. Sure, there are lots of other people in this movie, including a blonde Olivia Wilde, and while everyone is good, there’s nobody else that really stands out. The two lads are the center piece, and stand tall over the movie. They have great chemistry together. You can feel their rivalry, and unspoken respect.


Ron Howard has made some brilliant movies: Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon, and of course Splash and Willow (the less said about The Da Vinci Code movies the better). Fortunately, this is defiantly more Apollo 13 than anything else. Unlike his A Beautiful Mind, which took massive liberties with the truth, this sticks close to the real story. This is thanks to the great script by Morgan, reunited with Howard after Frost/Nixon. The story does cover a lot of the same ground as Days of Thunder, but this is a vastly superior movie, in just about every regard. And the fact that it is based on a true story, and very closely based, means it can be forgiven for any plot similarities to the Top Gun With Cars movie.

There’s no “flashy” direction. This is solid storytelling. Howard uses all his skills, culled from decades of making good movies, to tell this story. It may be a big sugary at times, but the hospital and crash scenes really bring us back to the reality of the danger of the racing. Also, the way he shoots the races is brilliant. It really makes you feel like you’re in the cars with the drivers. The race montages are very cool too, as are the title cards and introductions to each race. It is all very well edited, very kinetic.


So… Rush is pretty great. It may not be classic, but it is an incredibly well crafted movie, in just about every way. Performances. Look. Writing. Music. It is a great story, told very well.

Rating: ★★★★☆


About Author

What to say...born in the last year of the seventies, the decade of the best music and movies, Cathal's earliest memories are of movies and comics. Star Wars, Batman, Superman and Indiana Jones filled his childhood, and not a whole lot has changed. He lives in Dublin, with his supremely understanding wife. Cathal voice his opinions across the various corners of The IntarWebs: @CatHaloMovies on The Twitter; Cat Halo Movies on The FaceSpace; and on the Major Spoilers Forum, where all manner of opinions are aired by all manner of folk on a wide variety of topics.


  1. Hmm. Seems to me I’ve seen this movie before. Back in 1966, in fact. It was called “Grand Prix” then. Hopefully this one is less… ponderous?

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