Box art for Speed (1994)

Speed (1994)

action & adventure, drama


Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves), an LAPD cop on SWAT detail, has a fearless nature and a keen understanding of the criminal mind. That, and some luck have kept him alive. But Jack's luck is being put to the ultimate test.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    93%
  • Audience Score
    75%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Sex
0 out of 5

Explosive bus ride for mature action lovers.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is filled with violent images: a fatal stabbing to the head; a decapitation; a bomb activated in a house, which kills several people, including one of the heroes; an elevator plunging forty floors; a bus explosion with the driver trapped inside; hostages with dynamite strapped to their bodies; and a woman killed when she falls under a bus. The language is extremely crude throughout.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how closely this live-action movie resembles a cartoon or a superhero movie. Do you think anyone could really do all the things that Officer Jack Traven does? How believable are the events in this movie? How believable are the characters? Do you think the moviemakers are trying to tell a real story, or make a fantastical movie that is simply fun to watch? What other movies have you seen that fit into this category?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    93%
    reviews counted: 19
    see all Speed (1994) reviews
  • Audience

    75%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The result is clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy -- the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot's The Wages of Fear.

- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rotten: Eventually, inevitably, it] goes too far, too fast, and ends up off the rails.

- Derek Adams, Time Out, Saturday, June 24, 2006

Rotten: The plot becomes so overextended, as Reeves and Hopper wage their endless public transportation battle, even the hardest Die-Harders will consider leaping off way before the final stop.

- Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews

4 stars

img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif/img] Speed is one of those action movies that has a familiar premise that were sure we've seen somewhere else before. But we can't quite put our fingers on where. Even if originality is not it's strongest point it's fast paced, relentless, action packed and emotionally involving. But on the down side it's a bit tiring and heavily reliant on the cliches. Without doubt it doesn't in any way re-invent the bomb/hostage style thrillers but even though it isn't in a fine work of art it's continuously filled with nail biting suspense and easily one of the better action B movies of it's time. Despite the fact it's longer than it needs to be and dumb without charm, it's definitely worth seeing once and most remarkably believable considering the various flaws in the plot. It features great hero and bad guy chemistry from Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper, and a sassy, lovable one from "pre oscar" Sandra Bullock. Also the special effects sequences are well choreographed, the camerawork is perfect, and the pain the characters feel isn't weightless. So technically it's pretty well structured, and even though it's entirely empty and very thinly plotted it gets the job done. So if you want to see an above average blockbuster with Keanu Reevers (something that strangely doesn't come around often), you will finish it satisfied. Personally I was constantly at the edge of my seat the whole way through, and overall I think it deserves it's title as one of the most respected action films released in the 90's. Most impressively the brilliantly nostalgic and welcoming tone of it to it really reminded me of the time when mainstream action audiences weren't being served criminally bad explosion fests like Transformers: Dark Of The Moon every weekend. And because of that, Speed remains an extremely fast and over the top slice of ridiculously fun escapism that deliriously grips you, and really doesn't let go until it ultimately comes to a stop.

- aquateen2, Thursday, September 13, 2012

4 stars

img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif/img] Speed is one of those action movies that has a familiar premise that were sure we've seen somewhere else before. But we can't quite put our fingers on where. Even if originality is not it's strongest point it's fast paced, relentless, action packed and emotionally involving. But on the down side it's a bit tiring and heavily reliant on the cliches. Without doubt it doesn't in any way re-invent the bomb/hostage style thrillers but even though it isn't in a fine work of art it's continuously filled with nail biting suspense and easily one of the better action B movies of it's time. Despite the fact it's longer than it needs to be and dumb without charm, it's definitely worth seeing once and most remarkably believable considering the various flaws in the plot. It features great hero and bad guy chemistry from Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper, and a sassy, lovable one from "pre oscar" Sandra Bullock. Also the special effects sequences are well choreographed, the camerawork is perfect, and the pain the characters feel isn't weightless. So technically it's pretty well structured, and even though it's entirely empty and very thinly plotted it gets the job done. So if you want to see an above average blockbuster with Keanu Reevers (something that strangely doesn't come around often), you will finish it satisfied. Personally I was constantly at the edge of my seat the whole way through, and overall I think it deserves it's title as one of the most respected action films released in the 90's. Most impressively the brilliantly nostalgic and welcoming tone of it to it really reminded me of the time when mainstream action audiences weren't being served criminally bad explosion fests like Transformers: Dark Of The Moon every weekend. And because of that, Speed remains an extremely fast and over the top slice of ridiculously fun escapism that deliriously grips you, and really doesn't let go until it ultimately comes to a stop.

- aquateen2, Thursday, September 13, 2012

4 stars

img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif/img] Speed is one of those action movies that has a familiar premise that were sure we've seen somewhere else before. But we can't quite put our fingers on where. Even if originality is not it's strongest point it's fast paced, relentless, action packed and emotionally involving. But on the down side it's a bit tiring and heavily reliant on the cliches. Without doubt it doesn't in any way re-invent the bomb/hostage style thrillers but even though it isn't in a fine work of art it's continuously filled with nail biting suspense and easily one of the better action B movies of it's time. Despite the fact it's longer than it needs to be and dumb without charm, it's definitely worth seeing once and most remarkably believable considering the various flaws in the plot. It features great hero and bad guy chemistry from Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper, and a sassy, lovable one from "pre oscar" Sandra Bullock. Also the special effects sequences are well choreographed, the camerawork is perfect, and the pain the characters feel isn't weightless. So technically it's pretty well structured, and even though it's entirely empty and very thinly plotted it gets the job done. So if you want to see an above average blockbuster with Keanu Reevers (something that strangely doesn't come around often), you will finish it satisfied. Personally I was constantly at the edge of my seat the whole way through, and overall I think it deserves it's title as one of the most respected action films released in the 90's. Most impressively the brilliantly nostalgic and welcoming tone of it to it really reminded me of the time when mainstream action audiences weren't being served criminally bad explosion fests like Transformers: Dark Of The Moon every weekend. And because of that, Speed remains an extremely fast and over the top slice of ridiculously fun escapism that deliriously grips you, and really doesn't let go until it ultimately comes to a stop.

- aquateen2, Thursday, September 13, 2012