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Premium Rush

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Premium Rush Movie Poster Image
High-octane action sustains thin plot in teen-friendly film.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 91 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

You can't hesitate: When someone's in trouble, you do what you can for people in need.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Wilee is kind, if reckless. He's willing to help, even if it means his life could be thrown in danger. All the bikers share a great camaraderie.


Lots of peril/tense scenes as bike messengers navigate New York's dangerous streets, darting through cars and trucks at full speed. They're frequently at risk, and they have bad -- sometimes deadly -- crashes (one scene shows someone falling under a vehicle's wheels). A man with a bad temper strikes without hesitation without provocation. He's shown beating someone up, causing the man's death. Another man shoots someone point blank.


Kissing, flirting, and some sexual innuendo.


Strong language includes one use of "f--k," plus many uses of "s--t," "p---y," "damn," "bitch," "douchebag," "a--hole," "hell," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more. A guy gives another the finger.


Brands/logos are seen everywhere as bikes whiz through New York City: Chase Bank, Rite-Aid, Amalgamated Bank, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking in bars among adult co-workers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Premium Rush is an exhilarating thriller filled with bone-crunching bike-and-car chases and crashes and a few physical confrontations (some with firearms involved). Bike messengers (including one played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) weave in and out of traffic at a dangerous, sometimes cringe-inducing pace. So you can expect plenty of accident scenes, including one that shows a man falling under the wheels of an oncoming vehicle. There's also some swearing (one "f--k," plus "s--t," "a--hole," etc.) and a bit of kissing/flirting and social drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 15 year old Written byParentReviewz December 19, 2012

The Perfect Definition of a Good Summer Movie.

Premium Rush is my EXACT definition of a Summer Movie. A Fun B-Movie that's Entertaining and Enjoyable Without Having Much Substance. When the Twist is rev... Continue reading
Adult Written byjoshua martinez January 2, 2013

14 and up.

this thriller movie Premium Rush stars with Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a awesome movie filled with bike chasing action this movie is fine for older teens and paren... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 August 24, 2012

Suspense in fun action flick.

Now,see there's proof that action movies don't need to go overboard with bloody violence and gore just to make it good.Premium Rush has heavy levels o... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bybucks2012 September 2, 2012


Violence 2/5 A person is beat to death and one person is shot little blood Language 3/5 A lot Sex 2/5 A lot of mild jokes the main female charcted where'... Continue reading

What's the story?

Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of New York City's best bike messengers. Riding a bike without brakes, he navigates the city's traffic- and pedestrian-clogged streets with tenacity and foresight, hoping his razor-sharp route choices won't land him in the middle of an avenue, knocked off and in mortal danger. One day his agency gets a call; he has to deliver an envelope 100-plus blocks down from his old college, where he was once a law student. And it turns out this is no ordinary pick-up. Wilee's estranged girlfriend's roommate, Nima (Jamie Chung), specifically requested him, and the envelope's contents are as good as money. Soon after retrieving it, Wilee finds himself chased down by an enraged cop (Michael Shannon), who's looking to the envelope as his salvation.

Is it any good?

PREMIUM RUSH won't be mistaken for a complex masterpiece. It's a popcorn movie through and through, made for maximum momentum and white-knuckle thrills. Make peace with this reality, and you're in for a ride (pardon the pun), with bike sequences that will place you square at the handlebars of Wilee's bike, hoping you'll make it out alive. He's a lean, mean delivery machine.

That said, the film suffers from sloppy writing and plotting. (Wilee's name, to start, is explained as a reference to Wile E. Coyote. You don't say.) A romance thrown into the mix is a throwaway, and throughout the movie, there are markers to make sure you're getting points that are already obvious. Viewers never doubt that they'll get to Premium Rush's intended destination, which is a blunder, considering that suspense is what sustains a thriller. Ultimately, what keeps this bike on the road is Gordon-Levitt's authentic, accessible charm and Shannon's off-kilter villain. We can't keep our eyes off them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Premium Rush's tension compares to bloodier violence in other movies. Which has more of an impact on you? Why?

  • Why do you think bike messengers ride around cities at such a dangerous clip? What's in it for them? Are the motivations presented here believable?

  • Is Wilee an admirable character? Why?

Movie details

For kids who love suspense

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