Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)



Critic Consensus: Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights' mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner's circle.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

When America's number one NASCAR speed-demon is issued a direct challenge from a gay, French Formula One racer with a hunger for the top spot and a mean talent for tight-cornering, the race is on to become the number one man in all of NASCAR in a full throttle comedy starring Will Ferrell and directed by Anchorman cohort Adam McKay. Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) is a national hero with a "smokin' hot" trophy wife, pair of borderline-abusively precocious sons, and an endless line of endorsement deals filling his mansion with toys and driveway with sports cars and Hummers. His racing partner and lifelong friend Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly), never fails to provide him with a hand on the racetrack, frequently performing their trademark "slingshot" maneuver to shoot Ricky into first place, leaving Cal in second. While the public loves these buddies (popularly known by the meaningless childhood nicknames they find so exceedingly cool: "Shake and Bake"), a wedge comes between the two, as Ricky Bobby's longstanding winning-streak is broken by flamboyand French Formula One driver Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen), robbing Ricky of everything in an instant as the trauma leaves him unable to drive. Ricky's wife takes his fortunes while Cal takes his wife, and now he's back with his mother (Jane Lynch) and long-estranged father (Gary Cole). Things look bad for Ricky, but his father was once a race car driver himself, and now with the help of a training montage, a live cougar, and the courage to drive without his gleaming white Wonder Bread endorsement, Ricky might be ready to face the track again. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for crude and sexual humor, language, drug references and brief comic violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Sports & Fitness, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 12, 2006
Box Office: $148.2M
Sony Pictures Releasing - Official Site


Will Ferrell
as Ricky Bobby
John C. Reilly
as Cal Naughton Jr.
Sacha Baron Cohen
as Jean Girard
Gary Cole
as Reese Bobby
Michael Clarke Dunca...
as Lucius Washington
Leslie Bibb
as Carley Bobby
Amy Adams
as Susan
Jane Lynch
as Lucy Bobby
Andy Richter
as Gregory
Molly Shannon
as Mrs. Dennit
Jake Johnson
as Ricky (5 years old)
Luke Bigham
as Ricky (10 years old)
Austin Crimm
as Cal (10 years old)
David Koechner
as Herschell
Greg Germann
as Larry Dennit Jr.
Pat Hingle
as Mr. Dennit
Yasiin Bey
as Himself
Jason A. Davis
as Waffle House Manager
Lorrie Bess Crumley
as Schoolteacher
Adam McKay
as Terry Cheveaux
John D. King
as ESPN Reporter
Grayson Russell
as Texas Ranger
Danny Vinson
as Texas Ticket Seller
Sylvia G. Lyerly
as Texas Ticket Seller
Mike Joy
as Himself
Dan Cox
as Bartender
Bob Jenkins
as Himself
Rob Riggle
as Jack Telmont
William Boyer
as Rescue Worker
Rick Benjamin
as Reporter
Matt Day
as Pizza Delivery Boy
Christoph Sanders
as Pizza Delivery Boy
Pete Burris
as Police Officer
Conrad Ricamora
as DMV Officer
Angie Fox
as Waitress
Jim Wise
as Jim Bohampton
Rebecca Koon
as Car Wash Customer
Wally Dellenbach
as Wally Dallenbach
Bill Weber
as Himself
John Baker
as Ted Beaman
Robert R. Lee
as Talladega Ticket Sel...
Matt Coulter
as PA Announcer
Jake M. Johnson
as Ricky (5 years old)
Bill Weber
as Himself
Jake Johnson (XVI)
as 5 Year-Old Ricky
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Critic Reviews for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

All Critics (186) | Top Critics (44)

A comedy with horsepower to spare.

Full Review… | July 31, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Broad but not crude, dumb but not witless, clever but still snot-spittingly funny. Stupidly brilliant, in other words.

Full Review… | September 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

You pretty much have to like Will Ferrell to like Talladega Nights, it's his film through and through. But if you do, you're in for a ride.

Full Review… | March 21, 2011

Often a one-note joke that goes on way too long...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Talladega starts out slow, picks up speed in the middle, and nearly crashes and burns in the end.

Full Review… | April 23, 2009
Boston Phoenix

The movie takes a piecemeal approach that allows for several guffaw-inducing comic bits, but doesn't hold together enough for a sustained comic experience.

Full Review… | April 21, 2009

Audience Reviews for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

A film with just as much obnoxious hysteria than the main character. Will Ferrell provides a flavorful laughter that sticks to you no matter the amount of random-pun it may present. The enticing blend of comedy and racing is an excellent motion picture that reaches the finish line in grand fashion. 5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Ferrell films can vary from one end of the scale to the other, he can be funny and ingenious or a complete annoying twat, unfortunately many of his films do come under the 'annoying twat' label for me.

This is not funny, Ferrell's worst by far, it may be because car racing just isn't a great source material for a comedy, I dunno. Cohen is very good as the French racer, he comes across quite well, almost like a kind of dastardly Disney baddie in the realms of 'Thorndyke' in 'The Love Bug' but the rest is just silly and simply unfunny.

The characters are all rather un-likeable too, it just seems Ferrell is trying to make a comedy out of every 'sport', and this isn't even an interesting 'sport', NASCAR is dull dull dull if you ask me, but I am British, if you like this type of racing you may like it.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


Terrible funny!

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Quotes

Ricky Bobby: Are you serious? I was gone for three hours!
– Submitted by Connor N (2 years ago)
Ricky Bobby: Save me Tom Cruise!
– Submitted by Carlos Manuel R (2 years ago)
Reese Bobby: You've gotta learn to drive with the fear. There ain't nothin' more frightenin' than drivin' with a live cougar in the car. If you're calm, that wonderous big cat will be calm too. But if you're scared, that beautiful death machine will do what God made it to do, namely, eat you with a smile on its face.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Chip: Ricky, remember: The fieldmouse is fast, but the owl sees at night.
– Submitted by Mathieu G (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby on our Movie forum!