A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Success requires conviction and commitment. A quote on a sign in the background sums it up: "The winner ain't the one with the fastest car, it's the one who refuses to lose." Teamwork is important.
Positive Role Models
Jann is a positive role model who's a great example of perseverance. He knows his passion and sticks to his goals. Humble and polite, he puts in hard work, believes in himself, respects and listens to his coach, and knows himself well enough to know how he can remain calm and focused. Chief engineer Jeff Salton demonstrates integrity, even if doing the right thing means that he might not achieve his goal.
Main character Jann (British-born actor Archie Madekwe, who's of Nigerian and Swiss descent) and his brother are biracial, and their loving, present father is played by Black actor Djimon Hounsou, who was born in Benin and grew up in France. Finalists at GT Academy come from all over the world and are diverse in terms of gender and race, including characters of South Asian, East Asian, and Latino descent. Gran Turismo video game creator Kazunori Yamucki is Japanese, as are the Nissan executives. Jann's hometown friend is Indian English. While most of the primary filmmakers are White men, three are of Asian descent.
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Violence & Scariness
Several intense car crashes, including a first-person point of view from inside the vehicle. Reference to the (real-life) death of a person who isn't introduced on-screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A crush. A kiss.
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Language includes "a--holes," "bitch," "bulls--t," "goddamn," "pr--ks," a use of "f--k," and the abbreviation "NFW." After Jann's first race, a person off camera can be heard congratulating him by saying "you broke your cherry." "Jesus Christ!" and "God!" are used as exclamations or to express disbelief.
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Products & Purchases
Based on the popular video game franchise, the movie doubles as an ad for the game, and the story acknowledges that the creation of the GT Academy was a marketing stunt. And, true to professional racing, brand names are seen everywhere, particularly those associated with cars (such as Michelin) and alcohol (Moet-Chandon in particular). Expensive sports cars like Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren are treated with high esteem; Porsche gets so much positive attention that it's likely product placement. The most mentioned brand is Nissan, the car company sponsoring the GT Academy.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Reference to champagne being "for winners." Until that happens, characters drink beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gran Turismo is director Neill Blomkamp's exciting, fact-based action drama about gamer-turned-professional race car driver Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe). While kids might use Jann's story to counter parental arguments against playing tons of video games, he's clearly a positive role model: He exemplifies perseverance, gratitude, and humility. Expect to see intense crashes on the race track, including some scenes shown from a first-person point of view. Brand names (especially cars and alcohol) are everywhere, and champagne is positioned as a drink for winners. Characters kiss and use strong language ("bulls--t," "goddamn," a use of "f--k it," etc.). There's a strong message about success requiring commitment, and watching the movie's events unfold might help kids believe that, with conviction, even their loftiest dream could come true. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A fist pump of aspiration, this fact-based biopic does laps around other sports movies -- at least, it will for teens who connect with the gaming aspect. Director Neill Blomkamp's fans know that he's a master at elevating emotions, and in Gran Turismo, he delivers plenty -- including hope, disappointment, fluttery feelings of love, devastation, anticipation, trepidation, and the euphoria of unlikely success. What's more, leaning into the movie's gaming roots, he allows you to feel the experience as if it's happening to you.
Some of that experience -- just like watching a Formula One race in real life -- can occasionally drag (especially in the middle), but it's all a vital part of the process: The only way to get to the phenomenal, exciting ending is for the wheels to ride across every bit of road to get there. Jann encounters some serious real-life adversity that's likely to put the brakes on kids thinking of following his career path. (Parents may find themselves relating more to Jann's father, Steve, played by Djimon Hounsou, who's frustrated that his son spends all his time gaming and rides him to get a job.) But Jann's difficulties make the finish a knuckle-gnawer, fueled by a surge of adrenaline. You'll likely end the film feeling completely pumped, wondering what impossibility you can accomplish. Just wait to look up Jann's full story until a few days later, as some elements are fictionalized for the film.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.