Senna - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Senna Reviews

Top Critic
Christine Champ
Film.com
September 9, 2011
Captivating, chilling, and surprisingly sublime.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 2, 2011
"Senna" is simply the greatest sports film I have ever seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 26, 2011
A psychologically intriguing if at times too hagiographic portrait of a man who often held pole position in his profession and felt nearer to God because of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
August 25, 2011
"Senna" is carefully edited and makes sometimes spectacular use of extensive home movies and videos.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 25, 2011
There's not an ounce of fat or a wasted shot throughout.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 25, 2011
You don't have to know anything about car racing at all. Instead, you simply have to like a great story, one that has all the elements: drama, inspiration, competition, victory, defeat, betrayal and, looming above it all, tragedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
August 22, 2011
It's stripped of narration, talking heads, and anything else that might threaten to slow it down.
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
August 19, 2011
Even if you can't tell Formula One from Grecian Formula, Senna is pretty exciting stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
August 19, 2011
Most interesting for the way its construction builds on the inherent austerity of auto racing.
Top Critic
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
August 19, 2011
Real life eclipses fiction in delivering a tale that combines heroism, villainy, suspense and a surprising amount of emotional resonance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 19, 2011
What makes "Senna" essential viewing is the propulsive education it provides in one of the world's most popular sports, and the introduction it provides to an extraordinary athlete and human being.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 19, 2011
Kapadia is working with an embarrassment of riches, but to his credit he selects wisely, and has the good sense to keep the talking heads off the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
August 18, 2011
Senna feels a touch too short to be fully realized -- but then again, so was Ayrton Senna's life.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 18, 2011
Senna is earnest, eloquent, and impossibly charismatic, and his rocketing ascension through the ranks of professional drivers - gunning his car at more than 200 m.p.h. down the straightaways - is something to behold.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 18, 2011
The movie's assemblage of audio interviews poured mostly over astounding race footage is fit for a shrine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
August 18, 2011
Plays like a narrative feature, juicy and alive, with enough kinetic excitement to hook the Formula One-ignorant (me, I knew next to nothing about the subject), let alone racing fans worldwide.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 18, 2011
"Senna" is a documentary that does the job it sets out to do. I wish it had tried for more.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 12, 2011
There are some thrilling you-are-there sequences shot inside the racing car from his POV as he zooms around the tracks. It's like watching a video game made real.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
August 12, 2011
Kapadia has, quite daringly, decided to rely completely on primary materials - although occasionally we hear the voices of after-the-fact observers, what we see is what happened then.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
August 12, 2011
My interest in watching men drive machines in ovals is limited, and in this documentary the title character mostly comes across as an uninteresting dope.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
August 12, 2011
Kapadia creates a full picture of a talented driver (rain on a track was a good omen for him) and his humble family, and the country that embraced him at a crucial time in its history.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
August 11, 2011
"Senna" is such a vivid and powerful film about a larger-than-life personality that I hesitate to criticize it, but racing aficionados will notice a heavy and perhaps inevitable degree of hagiography.
Top Critic
August 11, 2011
Their pain translates through the screen not just because it's real, but because Kapadia tells a story here that inspires genuine empathy for it.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.5/10
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
August 11, 2011
A celebration of a singular spirit in an impure sport.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 11, 2011
"Senna" is a documentary with the pace of a thriller, a story of motors and machines that is beyond compelling because of the intensely human story it tells.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
August 11, 2011
The film is two things: a discreet hagiography of the handsome, soft-spoken Senna, who was only 34 when he died in a 1994 crash at the San Marino Grand Prix in Italy, and a compressed, esoteric slice of Formula One history during his 10-year ascendance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
August 11, 2011
If you're a fan of Formula One, you'll enjoy seeing this footage on the big screen, but unlike the great sports documentaries (Hoop Dreams, When We Were Kings), this one offers little to those not already versed in the subject.
Top Critic
Alison Willmore
AV Club
August 11, 2011
Senna is considered one of motorsporting's greats, but Asif Kapadia's film also makes it clear he was a sort of artist, his talent accompanied by an unquenchable thirst for excellence and a belief that racing offered him a connection to God.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
August 10, 2011
Kapadia expertly contrasts episodes of adrenaline-rush speed with moments of reflective slow motion to capture the addictive thrill and danger of the sport, as well as the personal values of the humble, spiritual sportsman.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
August 10, 2011
Surely the most thorough look at the art and passion of auto racing yet made.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Una LaMarche
New York Observer
August 10, 2011
There is simply not enough material to make a compelling movie, even though Mr. Kapadia appears to have used every last frame of footage from the Formula One archives.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
August 10, 2011
You don't have to know a thing about Formula 1 racing to become engrossed by "Senna."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
August 9, 2011
Even nonbelievers in Senna's sport and church will find it difficult to visit Kapadia's cinematic shrine without emotion.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
February 8, 2011
Fine documentary about one of auto racing's greats will please fans and make some new ones.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Variety
January 24, 2011
Within the expertly edited archival construct, Kapadia maintains a respectful but less-than-adulatory view of Senna himself, and a caustic assessment of Formula One and its then-president Jean-Marie Balestre.