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I watched this with no knowledge of the real-life events.
I went into the movie expecting it to be a typical rivalry movie about the likable good guy beating out the evil bad guy, but both characters were built up well with their likable aspects and their flaws. By the time of the last race I didn't know who I wanted to win; I just wanted them to survive.
If you didn't know it's the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt during the 1970's, mostly around the 1976 F1 season. While it's great if you know this before going in, it's not essential and the whole film is easy to understand and completely accessible for non-F1 fans. This film is as polished as it gets, Ron Howard is one of those directors who is a safe pair of hands, the film is perfectly put together, the race scene's are visually incredible and visceral. All the actors do a brilliant job but special note to the Niki Lauda character. I wasn't a huge fan of the way Howard used the filters but after a while it was fine. Worth a watch, brilliantly made movie. 8/10
Excellent camera work, and one of the best rivalry stories in a film I have seen in some time. Ron Howard really steps it up and puts together one hell of a film. You could even hate racing and have a blast with this movie. All the characters are very real and very likeable (and unlikeable at the same time). I think it is natural to find yourself going backwards in allegiance to Hunt and Lauda throughout the film.
Chris Hemsworth proves he can act. He perfectly captures the playboy James Hunt while making him a very personable yet superstar character. Daniel Bruhl also gives a very nuanced performance, and is as much a lead in the film as Hemsworth. You really get sucked into the rivalry between them even though rivalries have been done so many times in films before. This one is captured with a level of attention to detail and storytelling that makes it something special.
Very hard to be disappointed by this one. Definitely one of the best films I have seen so far this year.
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In 6 official lists
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This movie ranks #8 in IMDb's Sport Top 50
This movie ranks #23 in IMDb's Biography Top 50
This movie ranks #28 in IMDb's Independent Top 50
This movie ranks #36 in IMDb's 2010s Top 50
This movie ranks #44 in IMDb's Action Top 50
This movie ranks #221 in IMDb's Top 250