Death Race

Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 24
  2. Negative: 10 out of 24

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Critic Reviews

  1. 80
    The movie is legitimately greasy, authentically nasty, with a good old-fashioned sense of laying waste to everything in sight -- including the shallow philosophizing and computer-generated fakery that have overrun the summer blockbuster.
  2. Nothing in director Paul W.S. Anderson's schlock drawer--prepares you for the peppy, good-time nastiness that is Death Race.
  3. 75
    It honestly delivers the goods without all the preachy moralizing about violent entertainment and cultural ruin.
  4. 75
    Statham is an essential tough guy, what the Brits call "well'ard," as self-assured as Lee Marvin.
  5. 70
    Statham moves with such easy grace that you don't have to work hard to believe him. And if he can stand up to Joan Allen, melting her predatory stare with his own molten gaze, then it's clear he's not just the prettiest guy on the prison block, but also the toughest.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    Though the picture doesn't deserve to appear on any critic's 10-best list, it observes the minimum standards of modern action films, which is to say it looks smarter, talks sassier and moves faster than almost anything else on the market.
  7. This new version has absolutely none of the distinctive tongue-in-cheek black humor that was the keynote of its model and the trademark of its original director, Paul Bartel.
  8. Soft sexual and racial jabs replace the more daring political commentary of the original, a crude classic from the Roger Corman factory.
  9. 63
    This movie is about mayhem on wheels, tough guys viewers can root for, and villains whose comeuppances audiences crave. That's what Death Race is all about and, for what it is, it does a solid job.
  10. Death Race is our unshaven Brit hero's inevitable comeuppance: The Prison Job.
  11. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    63
    Smartly, Anderson makes some eclectic casting choices that keep the story from feeling as though it's populated by video-game characters.
  12. 60
    It's nothing more than an enjoyable, ridiculously macho B-movie romp, but it's derson' best movie since the underrated Event Horizon. Perhaps, at long last, he' starting to find his - yep - top gear.
  13. 58
    It's the perfect end-of-summer film, and a sign that summer needs to end soon.
  14. The best you can say about the movie is that it isn't boring. It's fast-paced, but it isn't really well made.
  15. It isn't so much a movie as a superheated, highly conductive miracle substance for the pure transmission of masculine aggression and misogyny.
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    30
    As hard as metal and just as dumb, Paul W.S. Anderson's Death Race couldn't be further from producer Roger Corman and director Paul Bartel's goofy, bloody 1975 original, "Death Race 2000."
  17. Paul Bartel's "Death Race 2000" is a beloved camp item, but this slick, loud, violent remake is pitched at the video game crowd.
  18. Well, you've got to say this for Death Race: It knows what it is and doesn't apologize for it. What it is, incidentally, is junk.
  19. An ill-advised and severely wussified remake.
  20. 20
    With its inexplicably watchable shotgun-riding bimbos, unconscious homoeroticism and "Shawshank Redemption" ending, The Fast and the Frivolous here is almost so bad it's good. Almost...
  21. 12
    It is an assault on all the senses, including common. Walking out, I had the impression I had just seen the video game and was still waiting for the movie.
  22. 0
    Anderson has neutered the original film's outrageously transgressive macadam mayhem and completely stripped the story of its pointedly political social satire, making this Death Race one of the most boring drags of all time.
  23. 0
    Here's hoping Allen's static Hennessey is due to an extreme acting choice and not plastic surgery. It would be tragic to lose a natural smile to star in garbage like Death Race.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 53
  2. Negative: 9 out of 53
  1. Nov 19, 2011
    0
    Eh it was a poor and unneeded remake. The cast sucked, The entire idea was poor and is pretty much exactly the same as the original, and itEh it was a poor and unneeded remake. The cast sucked, The entire idea was poor and is pretty much exactly the same as the original, and it was just boring. Its one of those films that was more fitting for a direct to dvd release. Full Review »
  2. richards
    Jan 21, 2009
    10
    It was a cool movie I think you should make a part 2 to this.
  3. Jan 3, 2016
    4
    Even though the story line is incredibly thin, Anderson still managed to leave open a number of plot holes. Copying from 1975 the film "DeathEven though the story line is incredibly thin, Anderson still managed to leave open a number of plot holes. Copying from 1975 the film "Death Race 2000" and the 1987 Schwarzenegger film "The Running Man" as well as computer games like "Carmageddon" or "Destruction Derby", Anderson's "Death Race" has little new to offer besides some 21st century special effects.

    The only ones who can really look forward to something new and refreshing are fans of Tangerine Dream's Paul Haslinger. Haslinger's soundtrack adds a grim industrial feeling to the film, making the brainless movie bits a bit easier to swallow.

    Still, the film consists of little more than monotonous car chases with lots of bullets and explosions added to them. If you're interested in a dumb and unoriginal action film filled with plot holes, then "Death Race" might be your thing. Otherwise, watch out you don't fall asleep.....
    Full Review »