Death Race (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Death Race (2008)



Critic Consensus: Mindless, violent, and lightning-paced, Death Race is little more than an empty action romp.

Movie Info

The Transporter star Jason Statham takes the wheel in director Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of the Roger Corman classic about a hyper-violent cross-country race that breaks all of the traditional rules of the road. The time is the not-so-distant future, and as America's prisons begin overflowing with violent criminals, the powers that be devise a grisly game that will free up space in the cells and entertain the masses at the same time. Jensen Ames (Statham) is a three-time speedway champion with a dark past. A survival expert and ex-con whose sordid history comes back to haunt him when he is framed for a murder he didn't commit, Ames is forced to choose between donning the metallic mask of a mythical racer known as Frankenstein or languishing away on Terminal Island -- America's most notorious penitentiary. Over the course of the next three days, this unlikely champion will get behind the wheel of a nightmare machine outfitted with machine guns, grenade launchers, and flamethrowers in a desperate attempt to outrun some of the most violent criminals ever imprisoned. Should Ames be the first to cross the checkered flag, he will win his freedom; should he come in second, however, death would be preferable to a grim future in a cramped concrete cell. Co-stars include Joan Allen, Ian McShane, Natalie Martinez, and Tyrese Gibson, who takes over the role of Machine Gun Joe, made famous by Sylvester Stallone in the original. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: R (for strong violence and language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Anderson, Paul W.S. Anderson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 21, 2008
Box Office: $36.1M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


Jason Statham
as Jensen Ames
Joan Allen
as Hennessey
Tyrese Gibson
as Machine Gun Joe
Natalie Martinez
as Elizabeth Case
Max Ryan
as Pachenko
Justin Mader
as Travis Colt
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Death Race

Critic Reviews for Death Race

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (29)

Violent action remake races to a high body count.

Full Review… | December 18, 2010
Common Sense Media

The most epically loaded triple-cheeseburger action film since "Con Air." Driving-team maven Spiro Razatos handles second-unit duty, and flings gas, sweat and oil at the screen with the hard-cornered glee of having real Hot Wheels with which to play.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

This is both a bad film and a bad influence, and on many levels. Still, for all of its brainlessness, it somehow manages a train-wreck hold on attention.

Full Review… | October 9, 2009

Lean on substance, but bustling with excitement; Death Race is entertainment in its most primitive form.

August 1, 2009

usporedba originala i remakea %u0107e dati jasnu prevagu starijem film

Full Review… | July 15, 2009

...sets itself apart from its campy predecessor right from the get go.

Full Review… | July 9, 2009
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Death Race

Absolutely no real plot or good acting. Awesome balls to the walls action and a hot young lady made this movie passable. Good effects nad lots of fun.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


An ex-racing car driver is framed for the murder of his wife in order to force him to impersonate the dead star of a gladiatorial game show of the near future. His name was Frankenstein, which is ironic, because this is a cinematic pick'n'mix of many cult sci-fi movies. It has the story of The Running Man with shades of Mean Machine, the themes of Rollerball, the environment of Escape From New York and the style and action of Mad Max. Original, it most certainly ain't. It has the usual trappings of the modern action movie, namely characters who are the inevitable mix of gang banger stereotypes and hotties and it's over directed in the way that has been de rigeur over the past few years, all set to an appalling pop music soundtrack. As a whole, it's like watching a videogame adaptation of a game that doesn't exist. But what a bloody cool videogame it is! The dialogue and characters are shall we say "functional", but it never descends too far into depressing macho porn and leaves plenty of room for the action scenes; in this film the cars are most definitely the stars! The races are thrillingly staged, and are clearly intended as the centrepiece of the film in a similar way to Mad Max 2. It's a shame they had to water down Statham's character by making him an innocent family man, because let's face it, Max and Snake Plissken were so cool precisely BECAUSE they were utter bastards. It may be low brow, but entertaining it truly is, and is one of the few action films I've seen in recent years that actually lives up to its trailer.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Attention holding, entertaining, solid B-movie that's decently well made and delivers what it promises. The story, and elements there in are contrived and unoriginal, but I didn't mind. The attempts at social satire are well-intended, but ultimately prove weak.

Tweaking the premise of the Roger Corman original, this remake readjusts things, positing a near future where the issue of prison overpopulation is dealt with by hosting violent demolition derby car races with the inmates, which are broadcast for the masses to enjoy. Problems are taken care of and people are entertained, so the corrupt powers that be think its a win win...until one man decides to buck the system....with explosive results.

Okay, so the film is kinda dumb, even though it attempts otherwise. It's mostly just 'turn your brain off' filler, and, sometimes, that's okay. Anderson is great at this kind of crap, so if this sounds like something you wanna see, then go do so.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Death Race Quotes

– Submitted by Akheel K (21 months ago)
– Submitted by Nick P (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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