The World's Fastest Indian

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
The World's Fastest Indian Movie Poster Image
Hopkins' joyous romp is a little slow for kids.
  • PG-13
  • 2005
  • 127 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Burt doesn't follow rules and tries to talk people into bending the rules for him. He speeds and gets pulled over by a cop, pees on his tree and teaches a neighborhood boy to do the same, lights his yard on fire when he hears that a neighbor thinks his lawn is lowering property values. Burt also accepts everyone just the way they are and expresses the joy of following his dreams.


Burt drives on the wrong side of the road, nearly causing several accidents. Burt witnesses a car accident caused by road rage that's played for laughs. A rattlesnake nearly bites Burt. Burt sets his lawn on fire when he hears that the neighbors think his unkempt lawn is lowering property values. When he races, Burt takes few precautions and crashes a few times.


Burt sleeps separately with two different women. Both times, the women are shown naked and covered by sheets in bed. Burt kisses Doris and Ada, but there's nothing more graphic than that. Burt is solicited by hookers and befriends and kisses a drag queen.


Some salty language, including "hell," "testicles," "bastard," "goddamn," "prick," "chickens--t," and "ass."


Indian, a motorcycle brand, is prominently featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Burt doesn't drink or smoke and lectures others to abstain as well -- but many of the people around him do smoke and drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Burt is an iconoclast -- he doesn't follow rules, ignores authorities, and tries to sweet-talk his way out of everything. While nothing here is particularly violent or sexual, Burt's antics may prompt kids to follow that example. Burt also lights his lawn on fire when a neighbor complains that his unkempt yard is lowering property values, and sleeps with two different women and flirts with a third.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3, 8, 11, and 12-year-old Written byTimothy B. August 7, 2015

Inspiring story with mature themes

The movie is about a man from New Zealand who dreams of testing the speed of his Indian motorcycle at Bonneville. He is a man with a colorful personality, whic... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWhatanexitright... October 17, 2020

Good dream pursuer for teenagers

Violence and language as well as smoking are part of a great movie!
Kid, 9 years old April 20, 2009

REal life drama

Common Sence is right.- A little slow for kids. Some language, and consumerism since Bert is always commenting on his "Indian."

What's the story?

THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN follows the adventures of eccentric and determined New Zealander Burt Monro (Anthony Hopkins) as he tries to set a land-speed record on his 1920s motorcycle. Burt takes very few things seriously. He pees on his lemon tree (because it fertilizes the tree, he tells a neighbor boy); he revs his ancient motorcycle's engine before dawn, waking the neighborhood; and generally enjoys himself regardless of social norms. When Burt finds out some bad news, he decides to finally pursue his dream: set a land-speed record on that old bike at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Along the way, Burt fixes used cars, befriends a proper-looking drag queen, sleeps with two different women, and spends the night with a Native American man who gives him a folk remedy for prostate problems.

Is it any good?

Lots of movies exalt the virtues of following your dreams, but few do it with such joy as The World's Fastest Indian. Hopkins turns in an infectious performance as the eccentric and crotchety Munro. You can tell Hopkins loves playing a wild man who does a little dance for his gal pal and gets by on his considerable charm. He's positively giddy, even when driving the wrong way on a one-way street or dodging a rattlesnake's bite.

The moral here is you don't have to be rich, you don't have to be young, and you don't have to be urbane to go after your dreams. You can be a crotchety old man who's never been outside his small town. It's a great message for insecure teens. Unfortunately, the film is unlikely to maintain their interest. It's odd that a movie about speed is so slow and belabored. There are certainly great parts, but teens may not stick around to discover them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the joy Burt takes in following his dreams. When you're going after the things you like, do you have fun, or do you take it seriously? This is also a good time to talk about appropriate behavior. Is it OK for Burt to behave the way he does? What's enjoyable about watching Burt go against the social norms?

Movie details

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