A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid iffy behavior is the message that the only way out is through; resilience and teamwork are necessary to get through life.
Positive Role Models
It's hard to call anyone here a true role model, but Enzo and Laura Ferrari worked as a team to build the Ferrari empire despite their marital problems and erratic behavior. And Enzo's longtime mistress, Lina, is patient, kind, thoughtful, and remorseful about getting involved with a married man.
Main characters are Italian, with the central couple played by White actor Adam Driver and Spanish actress Penelope Cruz. Cruz' character, Laura Ferrari, is credited throughout for helping build Ferrari automotive with her husband, although she's not often shown working in that capacity; in general, women are largely depicted as wives, lovers, and mothers. A supporting character has a disability and walks with a crutch. Spanish driver Alfonso de Portago is portrayed by Brazilian actor Gabriel Leone. Italian culture, locations, and food are included.
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Violence & Scariness
Horrific car crash scenes are depicted frankly and explicitly -- car and bodies fly through the air, and the camera doesn't turn away. Dead bodies are shown lying on the ground, including children. A person is scythed in half (the camera holds still and steady for a long look). A gun is shot at a person as a warning for comical effect.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple of fairly graphic sex scenes. Fully naked man shown in a sexual context, his backside exposed. Infidelity; a married man wakes up in bed with a woman who isn't his wife. Kissing.
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Strong language includes "ass," "bulls--t," "screw," "s--t," and "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
The whole movie is about a famous car brand. At racing events, car brands have banners up, such as Shell and Pirelli.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking wine at special occasions. Cigarettes dangle out of the mouths, and one racer is a chain smoker.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ferrari is a sports biopic centered on a difficult year in the life of sports car manufacturer Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver). It highlights why resilience and teamwork are necessary to get through life, but the subject matter and violent content are too mature for kids. Director Michael Mann doesn't blink at showing the grim terror of race car crashes: Bodies hurtle through the air as a car breaks into pieces, and there's a grisly image of a driver's body cut in two. Ferrari's stone-faced reaction to these incidents reads like callous indifference -- there's a very brief speech that indicates he's seen so much death that he compartmentalizes these events to protect himself -- but some could see it as implying that collateral damage is a necessary evil of building an empire. Ferrari's marriage to his wife, Laura (Penelope Cruz), is fractured and complicated (the film doesn't explain that divorce was illegal in Italy at that time), and he has a mistress (Shailene Woodley). Steamy sex scenes include showing a man running naked into bed, his full backside exposed. And the film is set in Italy in the 1950s, so it's not surprising to see characters drinking wine and smoking lots of cigarettes. Strong language includes "s--t," "f--k," and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Michael Mann's vehicle for telling this real-life story about working through adversity looks good -- with sleek, stylish parts -- but the battery is dead. Enzo Ferrari is a compelling figure who built an empire through sheer determination and, as depicted here, the teamwork of his wife. But meeting him in Ferrari at the point after life has worn him down -- he's lived through war and the deaths of his son, his brother, and his drivers -- is tricky. He's tired and grizzled, and his behavior and reactions are unsympathetic.
On the acting front, Driver continues to make good use of the Italian accent he developed for House of Gucci, and Cruz offers viewers a deeper understanding of a woman who's been called "crazy" and "mean" by those who knew her. And the camera work is wondrous, whether it's capturing the beauty of the northern Italian countryside or piazzas, the excitement of a new romance, or the horror of a car losing control and slaying bystanders. But familiarity with the events that transpire and the values of the era is assumed, which may leave many viewers scratching their head throughout. In racing/car terms, the components are there, but the storytelling lacks the momentum to get out of the starting gate, much less make us excited to wait by the finish line.
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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.