Days of Thunder - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Days of Thunder Reviews

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March 14, 2018
One of the greatest movies
February 5, 2018
Nascar wasn't something that interested me, but after watching this movie I've learned a lot more about Nascar. I've learned about structures of the teams. Basically it's like a normal job. Boss hires a coach and a driver and also mechanics, who try to win races and make him money. Also, I didn't know it's that dangerous and that they actually try to hit each other when racing. I watched YouTube videos and it does actually happen in real life. Tom Cruise is great here and Nicole Kidman as well. Humour is nice, loved the scene with cops lol :D This movie allows you to see the life of a racer. Interesting moment from the movie is when Cole (Tom Cruise) said that he's more afraid of becoming noone rather than becoming a cripple. Apparently for some people being a cripple is not such a bad thing, as opposed to being noone. Basically they are ready to take the risks and won't regret it
February 1, 2018
'Days of Thunder' is a cult classic within the NASCAR community. As a standard movie, it's solid with decent enough performances and a believable story despite it's predictable nature. Another positive must be made about the score by Hans Zimmer as it is absolutely fantastic and adds a real emphasis to several scenes with a beautiful blend of guitar and piano.
January 20, 2018
One of my all time guilty pleasure films! I just caught the last hour on TV today. The movie overall is silly and over the top, especially in regards to the race scenes. But the chemistry between Cruise and Duvall is great. Duvall's character Harry is hilarious. Also, Randy Quaid is great as a team owner. This movie is NOT a great film, but if you appreciate cheesy dialogue and looking to have FUN watching a movie...then check this one out.
December 1, 2017
Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) is a young racer from Eagle Rock, California, with years of experience in open-wheel racing, winning championships in the United States Auto Club (USAC). His goal was to win the Indianapolis 500, but realizes that "You can't win at Indy without a great car and my name isn't Andretti or Unser". He is recruited by Chevrolet dealership tycoon Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) to race for his team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Daland also convinces former crew chief and car builder Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall) to come out of retirement and lead Cole's pit crew. After Trickle sets a fast time in a private test at Charlotte, Hogge builds him a new Chevrolet Lumina to drive in the Winston Cup, though the season has already started. During his first few races, Cole has difficulty adjusting to the larger NASCAR stock cars and communicating with his crew while being intimidated on the track by Winston Cup Champion Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker); this results in Cole not finishing the races, mostly due to crashes and blown engines. After discovering that Cole does not understand the common terminology used by NASCAR teams, Harry puts him through rigorous training. This pays off at the Darlington race, when Cole uses a slingshot maneuver from the outside line to overtake Rowdy and win his first race. The rivalry between Cole and Rowdy intensifies throughout the season until tragedy strikes. At the Firecracker 400 in Daytona, both drivers are seriously injured after their cars are destroyed in a multi-car wreck. While recovering from his injuries in Daytona Beach, Cole develops a romantic relationship with Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman), a neurosurgeon at Halifax Hospital who was senior doctor on duty when he was brought in after his crash and who was attending to his health. At the same time, NASCAR president Big John (Fred Thompson), brings Rowdy and Cole together in a meeting and warns them that he and his sport will no longer tolerate any hanky-panky from the two rivals. Afterwards, Cole and Rowdy go out to lunch together by Big John's persuasion, and settle their differences by banging rental cars on the beach. Cole and Rowdy change from bitter rivals to close friends. As Cole is still undergoing therapy, Daland hires hot-shot rookie Russ Wheeler (Cary Elwes) as a substitute to fill the seat. Weeks later, Cole returns to active duty, with Daland now fielding two teams - the second car driven by Wheeler which Harry disapproves of. Though Cole shows signs of his old self, he now finds himself in a rivalry with his new teammate with no help from his inexperienced owner...

The film received mixed reviews from critics who mostly shrugged off the sometimes over-the-top special effects and plot in many ways resembling the earlier Bruckheimer, Simpson, Scott and Cruise vehicle Top Gun (some calling it "Top Gun on wheels" or "Top Gun in Race Cars!"), which had been a huge success four years earlier. Halliwell's Film Guide dismissed Days of Thunder as "An over familiar story rendered no more interestingly than usual", while the Monthly Film Bulletin described it as "simply a flashy, noisy star vehicle for Tom Cruise, one which - like the stock car he drives - goes around in circles getting nowhere". Rotten Tomatoes consensus is: "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."

In a positive review, film critic Roger Ebert noted: Days of Thunder is an entertaining example of what we might as well call the Tom Cruise Picture, since it assembles most of the same elements that worked in Top Gun, The Color of Money and Cocktail and runs them through the formula once again. Parts of the plot are beginning to wear out their welcome, but the key ingredients are still effective. They include:

1. The Cruise character, invariably a young and naive but naturally talented kid who could be the best, if ever he could tame his rambunctious spirit.
2. The Mentor, an older man who has done it himself and has been there before and knows talent when he sees it, and who has faith in the kid even when the kid screws up because his free spirit has gotten the best of him.
3. The Superior Woman, usually older, taller and more mature than the Cruise character, who functions as a Mentor for his spirit, while the male Mentor supervises his craft.
4. The Craft, which the gifted young man must master.
5. The Arena, in which the young man is tested.
6. The Arcana, consisting of the specialized knowledge and lore that the movie knows all about, and we get to learn.
7. The Arc, a journey to visit the principal places where the masters of the craft test one another.
8. The Proto-Villain, the bad guy in the opening reels of the movie, who provides the hero with an opponent to practice on. At first the Cruise character and the Proto-Enemy dislike each other, but eventually through a baptism of fire they learn to love one another.
9. The Villain, a real bad guy who turns up in the closing reels to provide the hero with a test of his skill, his learning ability, his love, his craft and his knowledge of the Arena and the Arcana.

In an 1990 Siskel and Ebert special on Cruise, Ebert added one more ingredient to the formula, the "Dying Friend", referencing how in almost all the Cruise formula films, his friend/colleague had almost ended up sick or dying in the course of the film to present an emotional challenge for the Cruise character.

With the success of "Top Gun" Tom Cruise ended up in a typcasted universe as Roger Ebert points out above and the three following films including "Days Of Thunder" carries more of less the same formula. Why change a winning concept? Or..? The NASCAR arena in the film feels real and authentic and it´s visually quite alright, so Tony Scott managed to do what he did with "Top Gun" which is to make you believe in the settings and surroundings. The casting is ok, but no one really shines if you ask me. However, the storyline is so formulaic, "cartoony", stereotypical and macho (typical Scott watermarks) you have a hard time to not just dismiss it as just "Top Gun on wheels" and not much else.

Trivia: The film's disappointing box-office performance was responsible for destroying the relationship between Paramount and superproducers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. After the film under-performed in the summer of 1990, the studio angrily responded in two ways. They insisted on an impossible lowball budget for a planned third edition of the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, and asked Simpson and Bruckheimer to give Paramount nine million dollars of their earnings for this movie back to defray losses. The producers responded by telling Paramount they were done working there, and the studio terminated their contract, which led to them taking a new production deal with Disney via Hollywood Studios.
½ September 18, 2017
Days of Thunder is Tony Scott?s desperate attempt to recapture the magic of Top Gun by doing a similar story in stock cars. Sadly, it fails at everything it tries to do. I wonder if there are NASCAR fans who enjoy this film because it is focused on their ?sport,? or if it isn?t even faithful to that element. It feels like they cut some corners and perhaps play a little fast-and-loose with the way that stock car racing actually works. The races are not shot well, because I never get the feel for where Tom Cruise is within the pack, or what he needs to do. They constantly have to insert lines of dialogue between him and his pit crew so that we have some notion of what is happening. The romance is clumsily tacked on and adds zero to the plot, other than giving him a place to blatantly foreshadow what will happen in the final race (because we all sleep with sugar packets in the bed.) I was mostly just bored throughout Days of Thunder. It has little to offer, and even the good actors who are in the movie don?t add much to their roles.
September 7, 2017
Very poor, no character development, just Cruise cheesefest. All very obvious, can read the plot from a mile off and the acting is hammy from everyone.
August 13, 2017
Excruciatingly stupid story about the life of a NASCAR rookie driver. One of the so bad its good movies. The title says it all. Cheesy idiocy. So hilarious.
August 6, 2017
Entertaining yet unrealistic, when taken for what it is "Days Of Thunder" can be alot of fun.
August 5, 2017
By the time the credits roll, if you don't have a greater appreciation of stock car racing, the movie has probably failed in presenting its protagonist and his circumstances in a heroic light. Well, fade to black and: NASCAR is still a dumb event, filled with dumb people, making for a dumb movie.
July 19, 2017
Great movie one of the best movies to depict NASCAR. Compared with today's movies this movie might seem outdated but once u watch it, u realize it's a great Tony Scott film one of his best only topped by Top Gun
½ July 7, 2017
A good movie depicting the fear of racing with good drama throughout with healthy light heartedness throughout. Cruise and Kidman had chemistry and not really a dull moment but not my favorite
June 18, 2017
Um NASCAR-Filme estrelado por Tom Cruise. Days of Thunder mantém alguns momentos de competência surpreendente, embora no geral é um filme inconsistente e ralo.
June 8, 2017
awesome cole trickle is a badass
May 4, 2017
February 2009
May 2017
April 16, 2017
150814: Not sure if I have ever liked this film. As a NASCAR fan, I find the driving scenes unrealistic, though a bit fun. The majority of the acting is annoyingly histrionic. Further, I've never been a fan of Cruise, and his work is this film is particularly irksome. All I can say is the acting is just not to my liking while everything else is ok. Perhaps you'll like it more?
½ April 14, 2017
For what it is, Days of Thunder isn't a bad racing film. Couldn't have been better, but I enjoyed it enough to not care
January 20, 2017
Like a boring version of Talladega Nights(heck, even John C. Reilly is in this) I just could not get engaged in this at all. I suppose you really have to be into NASCAR to really appreciate this one, for me it's just cars going round and round in circles with rednecks yelling 'yee haw!' over and over. Snooze.....
January 8, 2017
This movie is like Top Gun except involving race cars. The acting and the plot were good. Entertaining with racing action.
½ September 9, 2016
"Top gun" with race cars.
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