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Death Race Reviews

Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

November 17, 2011

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: C-

October 18, 2008
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
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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.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/6

September 25, 2008
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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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?

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

August 22, 2008
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
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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.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 1/4

August 22, 2008
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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Death Race is cartoonishly brutal and pleasantly disreputable.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

August 22, 2008
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Statham's films never promise to be something they're not or offer something they don't provide. Death Race is not an exception.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 22, 2008
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Of all the Z-movies in the Roger Corman catalog, they had to remake Death Race 2000.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 2/5

August 22, 2008
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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It's the perfect end-of-summer film, and a sign that summer needs to end soon.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C+

August 22, 2008
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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If you're a fan of Gone in 60 Seconds or The Fast and the Furious, you won't look at your watch while the movie is going on, and you won't feel conned out of your money when it's over.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

August 22, 2008
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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Like first love -- or maybe just a crowbar to the Adam's apple -- Death Race works fast and hits hard. A prison flick and a car chase movie at the same time? I am so there.

| Original Score: 3/4

August 22, 2008
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 1.5/5

August 22, 2008
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Car-crash porn for the modern audience.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: .5/4

August 22, 2008
Tom Long
Detroit News
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It has the tough guy lead, dozens of mad car crack-ups, tons of gratuitous violence, sweaty B-movie appeal, and even a couple of A-talent actors, but in the end Death Race runs around in circles.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C

August 22, 2008
Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
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The movie gets its own Mad Max mojo working, but there's no real attempt at social commentary here -- these churls just want to have fun.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

August 22, 2008
Tom Russo
Boston Globe
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Thanks to its character interplay, the movie doesn't drag despite taking a good 40 minutes to really rev its engines. And the racing that ensues is as loud, fast, hyper-edited, and pulverizingly destructive as the gladiatorially minded would hope.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 22, 2008
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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This is still summer trash and no brain cells were injured or even fatigued in the making of it.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 22, 2008
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
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Yes, Death Race is as brutal as a punch in the face. If you have a hankering for B-movie grime and gore, it can also be a lot of fun.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 22, 2008
Robert Koehler
Variety
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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.

Full Review Source: Variety

August 22, 2008
Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
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Actors try to add a touch of class to a picture that's utterly crass.

August 22, 2008
Nathan Lee
New York Times
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No fancy talk here, just solid, monosyllabic obscenities; no flights of digital fancy, just souped-up monster cars flipping end over end in a napalm blaze and crashing in a crunch of flaming metal ouch.

| Original Score: 5/5

August 22, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 0.5/4

August 22, 2008
Philip Kennicott
Washington Post
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If a movie could drag its knuckles on the ground, Death Race would leave eight little tracks in the sand.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

August 21, 2008
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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Death Race may be a loud, lowbrow piece of pulp, but it's also crackling entertainment -- the very definition of a cheap thrill.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

August 21, 2008
David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Death Race is a cinematic dreadnought: imposing on the surface, hollow at its core.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2/4

August 21, 2008
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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It's one of those vicious larks that just plain hit the spot. It hits the spot, throws 'er into reverse and hits the spot again, before machine-gunning it and ramming it head-on for the fun of it.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

August 21, 2008
Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
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Death Race should at least score points for its title, which is more apt than, say, Feelings Exploration. It's mostly a race, and there's a lot of death.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

August 21, 2008
Aaron Hillis
L.A. Weekly
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Almost so bad it's good. Almost ...

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

August 21, 2008
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Anderson's take is ultraviolent, ridiculously stupid and kind of a rush. If your brain has an 'off' switch, you're well-advised to use it. And the carnage is relentless.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2/5

August 21, 2008
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