Paramount Pictures | Release Date: June 27, 1990 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Mixed or average reviews based on 16 Critics
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Days of Thunder, the latest Tom Cruise movie, which is a flimsy but nonetheless compelling story of a hot-shot amateur race car driver who wants to make it in the big-time world of championship stock car racing. Good writing by Robert Towne and a host of strong supporting performances complement the on-the-track visuals of director Tony Scott in giving us a sense of the leap of faith that is required by drivers at this level. [29 Jun 1990, p.C]
The movie blurs into a continuum of cars pounding one another and closeups of faces showing disgust, happiness, fear and outrage. It's the kind of shorthand imagery that works best in brief spurts, say, the amount of time it takes for a television commercial to implant a spark-plug brand into your brain. [5 Jul 1990, p.A9]
The nerve of these people, recycling that story. No, the shrewdness of these people. For Days of Thunder offers adolescent males the possibility of a high-speed crash almost every minute. It offers their dates the possibility of a shy, winning Tom Cruise smile on an equal-opportunity basis. The boys get some sober, silly chat about the nature of courage. The girls get to see one of their sex (Nicole Kidman) play doctor with Cruise. [16 July 1990, p.87]
Days of Thunder relies on charm, loud noise and a few racing sequences to print money with Cocky's visage on the bills: there can be no suspense because there can be no possibility Cocky will lose. [29 Jun 1990, p.C1]
Christian Science MonitorStaff (Not Credited)
Days of Thunder wants to be an action drama, but it's really just a star vehicle of the most rudimentary sort, with nothing to offer Cruise except a chance to look pretty and chant time-tested punchlines. Ditto for the rest of the cast, which may be talented but gets little chance to show it here. [3 Jul 1990, p.13]
This cliche primer is a bit more than bearable - even when it's literally and figuratively off the track. It's no Cocktail, but it's no Dom Perignon, either. [27 Jun 1990, p.1D]
You can leave Days of Thunder feeling positively chafed. That clanking noise, however, comes from Robert Towne's tinny story and its malnourished characters. [27 Jun 1990, p.1]