Box art for Death Race

Death Race

action & adventure


A penitentiary full of felons has inspired the jailers to create a grisly pastime ripe for lucrative kickbacks. Now, adrenalized inmates, a global audience hungry for televised violence and a spectacular arena come together to form the Death Race.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    43%
  • Audience Score
    61%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
4 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

Violent action remake races to a high body count.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is a non-stop series of graphic, violent action scenes, with lots of blood and some gore. Although it's based on '70s exploitation film Death Race 2000, this movie forgoes the original film's over-the-top satire in favor of even more-over-the-top action. The film's authority figures -- a prison warden and her guards -- are uniformly depicted as corrupt, brutish, money-hungry thugs. The main character is in prison for killing his wife, which he didn't do; at the same time, he racks up a substantial body count throughout the film in his quest for vengeance. Also expect plenty of strong language, plenty of car-related product placement, and some drinking and smoking.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the idea of the Death Race itself -- what point does violent entertainment stop being entertaining? Is the idea of a live, pay-per-view to-the-death gladiatorial event ludicrous or unnervingly ahead of its time? Families can also discuss the cultural history of gladiatorial games, from the Roman Empire's death matches to more "civilized" events like mixed martial arts today. What's so compelling about watching people fight?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    43%
    reviews counted: 29
    see all Death Race reviews
  • Audience

    61%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Car-crash porn for the modern audience.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, August 22, 2008

Fresh:

- Chris Bumbray, JoBlo's Movie Emporium, Friday, February 27, 2009

Fresh: An orgasmic mix of on-road mayhem that plays at 1000 miles per hour! Marvel in some terrifically-choreographed stunt

- Clint Morris, Moviehole, Friday, February 27, 2009

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Absolutely no real plot or good acting. Awesome balls to the walls action and a hot young lady made this movie passable. Good effects nad lots of fun.

- jmanard52, Monday, February 9, 2009

4 stars

Maybe i'm partial to this because I love Jason Statham and I love the original Death Race 2000, but this is such a fun and cool movie. While it is essentially a giant car chase, it works so well that it doesn't matter. This takes the original and gives it more depth, meaning and stronger characters. Jason Statham takes the reigns of Frankenstein and makes him even better. This looks great and has flawless car stunts, it doesn't feel fake at all. This happens to be the best thing Paul W.S. Anderson has ever directed, it actually delivers on everything. This makes a fun 80s B-movie become something you can take seriously and appreciate.

- ythelastman89, Thursday, August 12, 2010

3 stars

An ex-racing car driver is framed for the murder of his wife in order to force him to impersonate the dead star of a gladiatorial game show of the near future. His name was Frankenstein, which is ironic, because this is a cinematic pick'n'mix of many cult sci-fi movies. It has the story of The Running Man with shades of Mean Machine, the themes of Rollerball, the environment of Escape From New York and the style and action of Mad Max. Original, it most certainly ain't. It has the usual trappings of the modern action movie, namely characters who are the inevitable mix of gang banger stereotypes and hotties and it's over directed in the way that has been de rigeur over the past few years, all set to an appalling pop music soundtrack. As a whole, it's like watching a videogame adaptation of a game that doesn't exist. But what a bloody cool videogame it is! The dialogue and characters are shall we say "functional", but it never descends too far into depressing macho porn and leaves plenty of room for the action scenes; in this film the cars are most definitely the stars! The races are thrillingly staged, and are clearly intended as the centrepiece of the film in a similar way to Mad Max 2. It's a shame they had to water down Statham's character by making him an innocent family man, because let's face it, Max and Snake Plissken were so cool precisely BECAUSE they were utter bastards. It may be low brow, but entertaining it truly is, and is one of the few action films I've seen in recent years that actually lives up to its trailer.

- garyX, Friday, November 15, 2013