The Fast and the Furious

Critics Consensus

Sleek and shiny on the surface, The Fast and the Furious recalls those cheesy teenage exploitation flicks of the 1950s.



Total Count: 149


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,043,870
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Movie Info

A magazine article about real-life car racing gangs for Vibe becomes this fast-paced automotive thriller from director Rob Cohen. Paul Walker stars as Brian O'Conner, a youthful FBI agent investigating a series of hijackings by going undercover with a street gang led by charismatic Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Caught up in Toretto's world of gang conflict that is resolved in late-night car races, Spindler starts to sympathize with his chief suspect and falls in love with Toretto's younger sister Mia (Jordana Brewster). In the meantime, Spindler initially suspects the wrong gang of complicity in the crimes he's probing, while Toretto remains involved in a forbidden romance, à la Romeo and Juliet, with his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). The Fast and the Furious co-stars Ted Levine, Rick Yune, and Matt Schulze. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for The Fast and the Furious

All Critics (149) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (70)

  • A gritty and gratifying cheap thrill, Rob Cohen's high-octane hot-car meller is a true rarity these days, a really good exploitationer, the sort of thing that would rule at drive-ins if they still existed.

    Mar 12, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • While few of the paper-thin characters register long enough to make much of an impression, Diesel carries the movie with his unsettling mix of Zen-like tranquillity and barely controlled rage.

    Mar 12, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Returning the series to solid ground after 2 Fast 2 Furious leaned too heavily on cartoonish CGI effects, Tokyo Drift relies on old-fashioned stunt work that gives its best sequences a sense of brute physicality.

    Jun 15, 2006 | Rating: C

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • It doesn't matter that we know where it's going, what counts is that Cohen keeps his pedal to the floor and that his actors gun their lines with absolute conviction. Loud cars, fast music: this movie knows exactly what it's about.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Could you keep the noise down a touch, Vin? You're going to wake up the audience.

    Sep 17, 2001 | Full Review…
  • A visceral, high-octane, Formula One of a flick that puts the pedal to the metal in the opening minutes and does not take the foot off the accelerator until the end credits.

    Sep 10, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Fast and the Furious

  • Apr 04, 2017
    16 years and 7 films ago the Fast & Furious franchise wasn't the worldwide phenomena that it is now. It was once a cheesy Point Break rip-off that took itself way too seriously. But you know what, it was a darn good guilty pleasure movie. That's for sure. A lot has changed over the years in the series, but the one constant has always been that the films are about family. For all its faults, no one can deny how well this film does the family angle. It's not the best acting, writing, or directing, but you care enough about the characters to where you believe the motivations behind characters' actions regarding family. But let's talk about how ridiculous, stupid, and fun this movie is. They drive their cars (successfully) underneath semi-trucks several times throughout the film. So much so that when I was younger I believed it was possible. That word, "possible", will be used sparingly through the course of this film and the entire series. Where Furious 7 pushes the boundaries of reality by driving cars via one building to the next, The Fast and the Furious provides the unbelievable through street car races with seemingly a few hundred people. In the middle of the night, that is. Oh and those hundreds of people each have their own car and parking spot, that is. But that won't be the last time the film could have you roll your eyes. In fact, it's way easier to watch this film now that I've seen every installment to date. This film is extremely dated, but it's an interesting watch, especially considering where the series has gone to now. There's an underground motorcycle gang who steals DVD players and stashes them in a Thai-food restaurant. The climax of the film begins at an event called Race Wars. Creative huh? At one point, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) tells someone to back off or she will scar her face with tire tracks. I guess my point is, if you don't accept the film for what it is, I don't think you'll have any fun with it. The real joy of this film comes by its goofiest and most outlandish moments, but also with its impressive stunts and action. In camera stunts may be this franchise's finest assets, and the last highway heist in this film is a thing of beauty. Yes, the film gets bogged down by a really dated and contrived script, but there's so much undeniable fun to be had here. A guilty pleasure movie at its best +Stunts/action +All about family +Ridiculously goofy/fun -Horrible script, and passable acting -Takes itself a little too serious at times 7.5/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2016
    The film that started the entire franchise. Too bad the entire story was a ripoff of "Point Break" but with cars instead of extreme sports. What they did with the story though was decent and the car racing scenes were well directed. Paul Walker's transparent performance is nothing to write home about but Vin Diesel does a pretty good job.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 03, 2016
    Between now and when it was first released on VHS over a decade ago, I tried no less than eight times to actually watch this film in its entirety. I just finished the task, and I guess I wasn't prepared for it to be quite the bare-faced ripoff of Point Break that it was. Some halfway decent acting could probably have bumped this up to a 2 star deal, but as it stands I can't stretch that far.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 18, 2016
    A mindlessly entertaining film, The Fast and the Furious features fun action, sexy cars and women as well as having some cool characters. Don't go into this film expecting it to engage your brain though or any Fast and Furious film for that matter. Thank you Rob Cohen for starting this franchise!
    Mr N Super Reviewer

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