Days of Thunder

Critics Consensus

Days of Thunder has Tom Cruise and plenty of flash going for it, but they aren't enough to compensate for the stock plot, two-dimensional characters, and poorly written dialogue.

38%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 65

60%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 132,446

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Movie Info

In the fast-paced world of NASCAR, a rivalry brews between rookie hotshot Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) and veteran racer Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker). When both of them are seriously injured in competition, the former bitter rivals become close friends. With Cole's spirits restored by a romance with neurosurgeon Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman), and Rowdy still sidelined by injuries, Cole decides to race Rowdy's car in the Daytona 500 against underhanded newcomer Russ Wheeler (Cary Elwes).

Cast & Crew

Tom Cruise
Cole Trickle
Robert Duvall
Harry Hogge
Nicole Kidman
Dr. Claire Lewicki
Randy Quaid
Tim Daland
Cary Elwes
Russ Wheeler
John C. Reilly
Buck Bretherton
Don Simpson
Aldo Bennedetti
Robert Towne
Screenwriter
Tom Cruise
Writer (Story)
Gerald R. Molen
Executive Producer
Hans Zimmer
Original Music
Ward Russell
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Days of Thunder

Critic Reviews for Days of Thunder

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (40)

  • The most daring thing about his cat-and-mouse game with Kidman is how erotic Noyce makes it.

    October 24, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Like the previous Simpson-Bruckheimer pictures, it's designed to give audiences an overdose of the thrill of victory; it wants us to jump out of our seats, pumping our fists in the air and roaring for the hero to pulverize his opponents.

    May 20, 2014 | Full Review…
  • This is the kind of monstrously overgrown commercial movie that depends entirely on the microscopic pleasures of having one`s most routine expectations fulfilled.

    May 20, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Whoosh!! Days of Thunder just streaked in, fast as a race-car paint job and about as flat.

    May 20, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Not only does Days of Thunder disappoint on the basic narrative level, it is also a peculiarly thrill-less action movie. Shot from the driver's point of view, the race sequences lose their novelty as swiftly as a video game.

    May 20, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Days of Thunder does accomplish the job it sets out to do. It's sometimes funny, sometimes exciting and never too boring or offensive. In a disappointing movie season -- as this one has started out to be -- that can seem like quite an accomplishment.

    May 20, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Days of Thunder

  • Jan 17, 2016
    Top Gun with stock-cars instead of fighter jets, So many similarities that its hard to really take seriously, Apart from some ok racing scenes there's not allot to enjoy, The script was poorly written, Tom Cruise was good and the soundtrack was ok too, As far as a good movie I'm afraid it's very predictable and nothing new.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2015
    Pretty dumb, but still an entertaining watch. This is such an 80s movie though...it's even more 80s than Top Gun, and if you've seen that, you have an idea of how cliched this is.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2014
    Like Top Gun with racing stock cars, it may not be really original and is quite predictable actually, but it has a very good soundtrack and Tom Cruise injecting a lot of energy into a two-dimensional character who lacks sufficient depth and motivation for us to care.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 31, 2013
    Capitalizing off the success of "Top Gun", director Tony Scott and actor Tom Cruise reunite to bring about another strong drama, trading Naval aviators in for stock car racers, in "Days Of Thunder". Cruise plays Cole Trickle, a nobody racer without a sponsor brought in by Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) to get them into the business of racing. The real star of the show is Robert Duvall as Harry Hogge, the pit crew captain that has all but retired. It's when Hogee and Trickle work together that they become the unstoppable force in racing. Trickle's rivalry with Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker) reaches the highest dynamics of the film, especially when it comes to them racing down the hallways of a hospital after a major crash on the track. Also, Trickle's blossoming relationship with Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman) takes front seat towards the second act of the film, in one of Kidman's strongest showings to date, despite being the stereotypical good woman drawn to a flawed man. Tony Scott's style shines through and banking on the popularity of Cruise at the height of his career, "Days Of Thunder" is an utter success, bringing more emotion and suspense to the screen than any racing film could ask for. As with "Top Gun", which was somewhat dated by its use of music, "Days Of Thunder" hits many of the same marks, but in the end, its a reminiscence that makes this film as strong as it is, reminding us of '90s in all the best ways.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer

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