Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Racing biopic has complex characters, lots of iffy behavior.

Movie R 2013 123 minutes
Rush Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

That Common Sense couldn't find any positive messages in these two characters makes me wonder...

(Review contains some plot spoilers) Yes, this is not for kids. There is sex, violence and swearing. But only the first has (arguably) moments of gratuity in it, relative to the story. By this I mean that we could establish James Hunt's playboy life without quite as many vignettes of his bedroom antics. But we could not realistically establish the terrible risks and consequences of F1 racing (in the 1970s) without seeing the violence it delivers on the characters, nor hearing the swearing bravado they use to mask their fears. Death is around every corner in this film. Driving fast might be glamorous but it is inherently dangerous. Great drivers make mistakes, get horribly hurt, and die. As a parent: that's good. That's real. I would rather my teenage children watch Rush fifty times before getting a driver's license, than play Grand Theft Auto and think it's an indication of their skill. How the characters respond, differently, to that risk, gives parents immense topics to talk through. Lauda's approach is to work, practice, engineer and manage every possible risk that he has control over downwards. He tries to 'science' his way out of death and pays a price through years of diligence. Hunt, seemingly, just accepts it and lets it fuel his 'courage'; yet his hollow, drug-fuelled lifestyle clearly shows he is paying costs of another kind. Do your kids want to be Hunt or Lauda? Hunt wins one championship, retires and dies young. Lauda wins numerous, and was involved in F1 for the rest of his long long life. Who won the short game? Who won the long game? Why? Both men are at extremes from each other, but both learn from being faced to compete. Hunt learns self-discipline, humility and resilience from seeing Lauda's brave recovery from near death. And when Lauda fails to convince other drivers to cancel the German grand prix - even though he clearly has their safety in mind - he learns that his aloof and prickly ways have real limits. We all need friends. No positive messages? * Lauda's determined recovery and return to the track? * Lauda's pleading attempt to convince other drivers to cancel the German Grand Prix due to safety? * Gemma's patient response to Lauda that if he truly fears that his love for her will make him a poorer driver (because he will take less risks for fear of losing his life with her) then he has 'already lost' * Lauda's decision to leave the Japanese GP because it is too dangerous - and more importantly, his total peace with this decision when it means that Hunt wins the world championship. "No regrets. Not one." * Hunt's apology to Lauda, and Lauda's response that it was Hunt who motivated him to recover and return * And - and yes, this is a contentious one, because violence is never a solution - Hunt's decision to pull aside and punch the lights out of a journalist who appallingly questions whether Lauda's marriage can survive his injuries. I highlight that last one because Hunt, while physically hulking, brooding, and edgy the whole film, is never shown as being a man of violence at any time. Except once - when he reaches for violence, not to defend his honour, but that of his opponent. As a parent, it's an interesting paradox - his use of violence was wrong, yet his motivation was noble. Real life is complex. Real people are complex. And as long as your teens are old enough to start managing that complexity, there are some interesting topics in this film. Oh - and it's a ripping race track yarn with awesome driving sequences. Turn it up loud.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
age 16+

not iffy 17 lol CSM rating

Some violent scenes with graphic emergency scene a language a sexual content with some nudity a some drug

This title has:

Too much consumerism

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (16):

Working with the great screenwriter Peter Morgan, with RUSH, director Ron Howard creates his best and grittiest movie since the duo's Frost/Nixon (2008), or even Apollo 13 (1995). Perhaps Howard was inspired by his earliest days as a filmmaker, working for B-movie maven Roger Corman and making another car-centric movie, Grand Theft Auto (1977). In any case, Howard seems recharged, delving into complex, multi-dimensional characters. It would be easy to peg the handsome, chiseled Hemsworth as the hero of any movie. But here he's just as flawed as the would-be villain, played by Bruhl with a great deal of intelligence and sympathy. As with any biopic, the supporting players tend to take a back seat to the leads. But the good news is that the characters are interesting enough to overcome Howard's over-excited attempts to supercharge the racing sequences. Rattling footage from between the wheel wells and the road doesn't exactly capture the feel of a race, but many other moments do the trick.

Movie Details

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