Box art for Premium Rush

Premium Rush

action & adventure, drama, thrillers

Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a day's work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best of New York's agile and aggressive bicycle messengers.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 14
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5

High-octane action sustains thin plot in teen-friendly film.

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.

what families can talk 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 reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Premium Rush reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: It's a good thing that adrenaline tends to short-circuit logical thinking; the plot is mostly nonsensical, but you'll be too thrilled by the literal twists and turns to care much.

- Alonso Duralde, TheWrap, Friday, August 24, 2012

Fresh: Like the lithe and maligned carriers weaving their way through Big Apple traffic, "Premium Rush" is a thin, brash, sinewy thing built entirely for speed.

- Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fresh: Premium Rush is just a fun ride.

- Bob Mondello, NPR, Thursday, August 23, 2012

Audience Reviews

2 stars

"Brakes are death," proclaims protagonist Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 500 Days of Summer) in a flashback sequence towards the end of "Premium Rush". David Koepp ("Ghost Town"), who both directed and wrote the movie, would have been wise to take this advice. For a film that promises a nonstop adrenaline-filled thrill ride, "Rush" inexplicably hits the brakes at all the wrong times. And while the result fortunately isn't death as Wilee says, what we are left with is a confused, stilted missed opportunity of a film. At its core, Rush is a standard chase movie, with its one big twist being the focus on bikes instead of cars. The basic premise is as simple as can be: New York City bike messenger Wilee is given a job to deliver a package, but corrupt cop Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon, "Take Shelter") wants to get his hands on it as well. What the package is or why Monday wants it is unimportant (seriously, even the film can't come up with interesting explanations), but what is important is that this set-up allows for a brisk pursuit through The Big Apple, where Gordon-Levitt's character must outsmart and out-pedal his adversary. This concept wouldn't be much of a problem if the film owned up to its own simplicity. Several straightforward genre entries have embraced its adherence to convention, such as the recent "The Expendables", which was fine with being a body count simulator and nothing more. The trouble with "Rush" is that it tries to mask its basic nature by adding excess exposition and a dreaded one-two-punch of a tacked-on love interest (Dania Ramirez) and a tacked on rival (Wole Parks), with neither adding anything to the plot. More troubling, and what ultimately trips the film up, is the way in that it constantly slows way down for lengthy, unnecessary flashbacks and cutaways. In the most glaring of these extraneous scenes, just as the pursuit seems to be picking up steam with Monday hot on Wilee's tale, the film flashes back to show why Monday is after the package in the first place. It isn't a bad scene per se, as it gives the spotlight to the talented actor, whose creepy nervous laughter and nervous ticks remind us just how good he is at playing crazy. However, the result of such a random cutaway (and one that doesn't really reveal anything important or interesting) is that all of the momentum is destroyed. This happens several times through the film, usually whenever the present conflict starts to pick up speed. The result of Koepp's gratuitous over-complication of a simple idea is more than a little jarring. Even in the final act, the film fails to build up the climactic race against the clock it so badly wants. Which isn't to say "Rush" doesn't have plenty going for it; Gordon-Levitt and especially Michael Shannon seem to be on a completely different plane of acting than the cringe-worthy supporting cast. The film is also damn sleek, with its swooping satellite effects and GPS-imitating transitions. Finally, the whole picture is shot with a breezy confidence that's a joy to just take in. These bells and whistles are enough to demonstrate how much fun this movie could have been. Unfortunately, the incoherent script assures that the film is never becomes to adrenaline rush it promises. Put a different way, "Premium Rush" technically delivers the package to its destination, but only after taking one too many detours and dropping it on the ground a few times.

- fb791220692, Sunday, December 30, 2012

4 stars

Well to know that this movie only got 60-70% users that liked it, to be honest I'm a little shocked cause in my opinion 'Premium Rush' successfully made me won't blink my eye while watching it even just for a second.. I realize from the story, it's really simple and nothing special.. But from how simple the story was, to make it into great entertaining movie is definitely the challenge and for me David Koepp did his job brilliantly.. Joseph Gordon-Levitt definitely been an amazing lead cast even though it's kinda hurt since he's got a lot more potential than just riding a bike but at least his expression convinced me to see him as a bike messenger.. The other brilliant performance from this movie comes from Michael Shannon, which in my humble opinion, still need to prove himself a lot more since the first time his acting acknowledged come from 'Revolutionary Road' where he plays the almost same type as the character he played in this movie.. The other cast did their job quite well too and they should be given a credit for their performance.. Overall, like it's tagline it's been quite a hell ride while watching it cause it was so much fun watching it!!

- ajaymuthecooldevils, Thursday, September 27, 2012

3 stars

Here's a good chase movie, but instead of car chases it's a bicycle chase movie. A bike messenger(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) picks up a package and has only a few hours to deliver in, but he is being chased by someone who wants that package before it is delivered. Anything else may ruin some of the twists and turns, and there are plenty. The performances are great, especially Michael Shannon, who is always awesome, as the guy after the package. One second you feel sorry for him, then the next you hate him, he really does great. The action is awesome, as it's very unique to see a chase movie like this. The way the bikes navigate through New York is different, and you never know what could happen, and it really adds to the tension of the movie. This really reminded me of a movie called "Cellular". Completely different stories, but the tone is very similar as both are a "race against time" action movie, that isn't too serious, and not too light. "Premium Rush" is a very fun movie to watch, and great rush of a movie to close out the summer season and kick start the fall movie season.

- fb100000145236770, Saturday, September 15, 2012