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
  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
    Statham is an essential tough guy, what the Brits call "well'ard," as self-assured as Lee Marvin.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    75
    It honestly delivers the goods without all the preachy moralizing about violent entertainment and cultural ruin.
  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. Soft sexual and racial jabs replace the more daring political commentary of the original, a crude classic from the Roger Corman factory.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Death Race is our unshaven Brit hero's inevitable comeuppance: The Prison Job.
  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. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    40
    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. 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.
  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. It isn't so much a movie as a superheated, highly conductive miracle substance for the pure transmission of masculine aggression and misogyny.
  18. Paul Bartel's "Death Race 2000" is a beloved camp item, but this slick, loud, violent remake is pitched at the video game crowd.
  19. An ill-advised and severely wussified remake.
  20. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    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
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 144 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 48
  2. Negative: 9 out of 48
  1. Mar 8, 2013
    7
    In 2012 the US economy collapses, unemployment and crime rocket to their highest ever levels. Jensen Ames is a steelworker, his yard is being closed down and he gets a measly last pay of $300. When he return home to his wife and daughter all is normal until she is murdered by a burglar, leaving Jensen with the blame. 6 months later Jensen has been found guilty of a murder he didn't commit and is on his way to Terminal Island Prison. At Terminal Island people have the chance to win their freedom by competing in Death Race, Jensen becomes the new star of the competition however his rivals aren't all to keen on him taking the limelight.
    Death Race is a great dumb action film, the plot is good though you wont remember it in 2 hours. The action is bloody and satisfying, the racing is tense and the film is well edited. Wrapping it all together is a half decent story, everything you need in an action movie...oh and Jason Statham.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 6, 2011
    8
    The story about a man who was framed for killing his wife isn't the most original thing in the world but it does a good job of setting the pace, if bloody adrenaline fueled action doesn't keep your attention, you may want to look elsewhere for your next movie. Full Review »
  3. richards
    Jan 21, 2009
    10
    It was a cool movie I think you should make a part 2 to this.