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Death Race (2008)

tomatometer

43

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 150
Fresh: 64 | Rotten: 86

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

41

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 17

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

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 206,533

My Rating

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

Dec 21, 2008

$36.1M

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September 26, 2008:
Exclusive: David Carradine Cameo in Crank 2 says Statham
It's not just Death Race that boasts a cameo from legend David Carradine. According to star Jason...
September 26, 2008:
RT Interview: Jason Statham Chats Death Race, Crank 2 and The Sweeney
RT catches up with Jason Statham to learn more about the Death Race and grill him on upcoming turns...

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All Critics (153) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (86) | DVD (14)

It's brainless fun, but while Anderson's brilliant staging of the flesh-ripping stunts surpasses Bartel's cheap thrills, this update lacks the sardonic wit and satirical bite of the Corman-produced version.

September 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Let Death Race serve as a warning, or maybe an inspiration, to any TV producer who says she'd kill for high ratings: Why not stage a pay-per-view car race in which prisoners compete to stay alive on the course?

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The combination of good actors and terrible dialogue might have allowed the film a chance at minor cult status, if it weren't for the frustratingly inept action sequences.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Death Race is cartoonishly brutal and pleasantly disreputable.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Statham's films never promise to be something they're not or offer something they don't provide. Death Race is not an exception.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Of all the Z-movies in the Roger Corman catalog, they had to remake Death Race 2000.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Violent action remake races to a high body count.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
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.

September 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

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.

October 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune

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

August 1, 2009
Moviedex

usporedba originala i remakea %u0107e dati jasnu prevagu starijem film

July 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Index.hr

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

July 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

pos tha itan to Pimp My Ride an to analambanan isobites sosiopatheis, toytestin apolaystika sadistiko kai afrena adrenaliniko

January 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

While the premise creates plenty of entertaining opportunities for violence and destruction, how much better could this have been as a true "cannonball run" coast-to-coast..?

January 18, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieCrypt.com
MovieCrypt.com

An orgasmic mix of on-road mayhem that plays at 1000 miles per hour! Marvel in some terrifically-choreographed stunt

November 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Moviehole
Moviehole

Director Paul W.S. Anderson really isn't known for Oscar contenders, but the guy understands over-the-top gratuitous violence better than most.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

A must-see for petrolheads and cineastes alike.

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia) | Comments (2)
The Age (Australia)

There's some fine action, but the film never gets within spitting distance of breaking any taboos or taste barriers, which, for a schlock spectacle, is like racing within speed limits.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

While not being the most awful filmic experience available, it's certainly one of the dumbest.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia) | Comments (3)
FILMINK (Australia)

Petrolheads and gorehounds, this backfiring blast of cinematic carbon monoxide is your film of the year.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Daily Telegraph (Australia)

It's all pretty senseless and senseless is how I felt at the end of it all, after being party to a sadistic and deadly race that relies on the killing of its participants for its entertainment.

October 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile | Comments (3)
Urban Cinefile

Neither as bad as you fear it could be nor as good as you might hope.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Anderson finds a few interesting angles from which to cover things, but there's nothing really memorable or original to wow jaded action fans.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

The main problem with the new film is that it tries to make the whole thing credible, whereas the original never tried to make any sense.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Basically, it's a videogame masquerading as a movie, but the action scenes are so loud and messily edited that they're tedious rather than tense. If it weren't so incoherent, it would be a classic.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Death Race is a travesty of the original film but it delivers enough explosions, violence and vroom-vroom action to ensure that it remains entertaining if you leave your brain in neutral.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Audience Reviews for Death Race

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.
November 15, 2013
garyX
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.
June 27, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

OK this is highly highly predictable stuff but its damn good fun stuff thats for sure :)
Death Race is basically a computer game blueprint ready to go, 'Carmageddon', 'Destruction Derby', 'Road Blasters' etc...you all know the score here hehe.

Along with its obvious movie rip ideas ( 'Mad Max', 'Running Man' etc..) its a wholly unoriginal film but its rip roaring fun I gotta admit. To the sound of some great heavy metal tunes the car race sequences are pretty decent, car lovers and petrol heads especially will enjoy. The cast is a good colourful mix that do look quite dangerous and nasty, its almost in the same vain as 'Con Air' in certain aspects, and the films look is pretty rough and realistic, in other words it doesn't look like an obvious set like most other Anderson films.

Some silly things do grate...the fact that these cars wouldn't be able to race very fast with all that junk stuck on them I'm sure, they would handle like tanks with the weight increase. Also I'm sure in reality Stathams Mustang would thrash Gibbson's 4x4 truck thing in a flat race haha again the weight would kill the 4x4. One thing that sticks in my mind is why all these prisoners help the drivers when they dont actually have any way of being released due to the race outcomes like the drivers do, there's nothing in it for them, and lastly the ending is kind of a anti climax really.

All that aside its of course very stupid and a total rip of SO many films but in the end its actually well made and a good pumpin evening out or in, I enjoyed it allot and Statham is really fast becoming the new action hero of the 00's.
January 14, 2013
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

    1. Jensen Ames/Frankenstein: What's that?
    2. Gunner: Most important part of the car.
    – Submitted by Akheel K (3 months ago)
    1. Coach: [after the Dreadnought is destroyed] Now that's entertainment.
    – Submitted by Nick P (18 months ago)
    1. Coach: Don't talk to the other drivers. Frank never did. Part of the mystique. Let the mask do the work.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Lists: Travis Colt. Our local superstar. He used to race for Nascar...
    2. Gunner: Yeah, he was good too.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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