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MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use.

Reviewed by: Curtis McParland

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Action Adventure Sports Thriller Biography Drama
2 hr. 3 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
September 20, 2013 (5 theaters)
September 27, 2013 (wide—2,200+ theaters)
DVD: January 28, 2014
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

adultery and fornication in the Bible

LUST—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

lust (WebBible Encyclopedia)

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

CONSEQUENCES—What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.


male rivalry

burn victims

Featuring: Chris HemsworthJames Hunt
Natalie Dormer … Gemma
Olivia WildeSuzy Miller
Daniel BrühlNiki Lauda
Tom Wlaschiha … Harald Ertl (attached)
Rebecca Ferdinando … Maid of Honour
Alexandra Maria Lara … Marlene Knaus
See all »
Director: Ron Howard
Producer: Cross Creek Pictures
Exclusive Media Group
See all »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“Everyone’s driven by something. Based on a true story.”

“The wind you feel is me breathing down your neck. Next time, I’ll have you.” The film “Rush” revolves around the classic rivalry of James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) during the 1976 season of Formula 1 racing. James Hunt was the king of the track. He was winning nearly every race, had all the fame, and all the glory. But then Niki Lauda decided to step his game. After signing a contract with Ferrari, Lauda used his hidden mechanical skills to be able to build a car that was not only faster on the track but legal to drive.

Hunt was a man who rarely had any competition on the track. He was a fast driver, but he lacked one great thing Lauda had: having Formula 1 racing down to a science. Through many intense races, emotional battles, and brash track conditions, the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda has become one of the most notorious in Formula 1 racing.

Although “Rush” is a film filled with lots of great racing sequences, historical facts, and brilliant performances, it is also a film filled with layers of sexual content, profanity, and heavy alcohol and tobacco consumption.

Sexual Content: James Hunt is a womanizer, and director Ron Howard does not refrain from showing his audience Hunt’s immoral lifestyle. Near the beginning of the film, Hunt flirts with a nurse, and we later see them having sex moving from the bedroom to the shower. The audience sees them both naked from the back for a few seconds as they walk into a room. Hunt’s wife also leaves him and has an affair with another man. We only hear mention of it. Because of the affair, Hunt takes advantage and has sex with a flight attendant in a plane’s lavatory (brief breast nudity). We also see brief glimpses of Hunt bedding more women (some brief nudity). We see shirtless men and some scantily clad women; including showgirls on the racetrack. Lauda and his wife kiss passionately in a pool and the camera catches a glimpse of her bare breasts. Other couples kiss passionately. Hunt also wears a race patch that says “Sex: Breakfast of Champions.” Crude sexual slang and terms for male body parts are used, and a man kisses another man out of pure joy in a non-homosexual manner.

Violence: The Formula 1 racing world is an intense one, and “Rush” portrays them quite realistically. Some actual Formula 1 footage is used, as well. There are a number of crashes, including one leading to a racer’s death. Bloody wounds (one very graphic including bone) are shown on racers, and some hospital procedures are shown, as well. After one racer gets involved in a serious accident, we see him in the car engulfed in flames struggling for his life. After he is rescued, we see is bloody, burned (but mostly patched up) body on a hospital bed. It doesn’t stop there though. The audience pretty much feels his pain as bandages are peeled off and his deformed face is revealed. There are many graphic bloody wounds shown. The same character has his lungs vacuumed out, and the procedure is shown in graphic detail. Hunt also beats up a man in defense of Lauda.

Language: Although the language is strong, it relatively scattered and infrequent for an R rated film about racing. The f-word is used about 16 times and the s-word around half a dozen. The c-word is used once, and God’s and Jesus” names are abused at least 6 times each. The a-word is used around dozen times and h*ll about half as much. A few other mild profanities are used, as well. The racial slur “kraut” is used once, as well as the word “schmuck.” The middle finger is used about three times.

Drugs and Alcohol: There is a lot of heavy alcohol consumption during after race parties, and we also see Hunt drinking plenty of hard liquor. He’s drunk on a number of occasions and even insults his wife. Many characters smoke (including Hunt), and, although not explicitly seen, marijuana is consumed. There is also a reference to “dope.”

Other Negative Elements: Hunt vomits a number of times before his races. We hear that it is quite normal. Lauda also mentions that “Happiness is the enemy.” “It weakens you. Puts doubt in your mind. Suddenly, you have something to lose.” A character also drives recklessly on a highway trying to impress a girl.

On a filmmaking note, “Rush” is my second favorite film of the year, right behind “42.” Both Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl give star studded performances and fit their roles perfectly. Come award season, I would not be surprised if both actors receive multiple nominations for their roles. Director Ron Howard sets the pace just right for this two hour film, and the racing sequences are simply breathtaking. Hans Zimmer’s musical score is very engaging and blends well with the time era. Also, the set and costume designs are remarkable and suit the 1970’s time period perfectly. It made the film, its characters, and story all more believable.

However, I can’t recommend “Rush” for even mature audiences. This film could have easily been a PG-13, if the sex scenes were removed and the language toned down. My biggest issue with the film is its display of sexual immorality and adultery. The film portrays James Hunt as a very immoral, worldly man who never really learns his lesson. 1 Corinthians 6:18 says that we should “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” “Rush” glorifies sexual immorality and never shows its true affects on the immoral human being.

“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). These words from Jesus describe James Hunt’s character perfectly. He still had lustful thoughts even while married and later committs adultery since his wife left and cheated on him.

LUST—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

Hunt is a corrupt man while Lauda appears to be a man of much more character. He doesn’t drink or smoke much, he isn’t a partier, he takes his racing career very seriously, and we never see him in bed with anyone except for his wife. Still, like all human beings, he isn’t perfect. He’d throw the middle finger at a racer or curse at another, but he is still faithful to his wife and his career. He even tries to set a professional example for Hunt. In the end, I believe Hunt finally starts to show more respect towards Lauda and is starting to learn more from his example. The film never has time to show it though.

Proverbs 20:1 says that “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” We witness some of the effect alcohol has on Hunt, and his wife eventually leaves him because of his decaying character and morals. Although Niki Lauda is the more humble character in this film, both characters have their moments of arrogance and pride. The only Biblical values I could pull from this film was the parallel between Hunt’s corrupt character and Lauda’s more humble one.

“A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.” —Niki Lauda

“Rush” is a film that displays Formula 1 racing at its finest. But within its story are moments of sexual immorality, adultery, some strong language, and drug and alcohol abuse. Again, I strongly recommend that you steer clear of “Rush” because of the content listed above. Even for mature Christian audiences this film should be avoided. “Rush” not only glorifies immoral lifestyles but materialism as well, and it appears that James Hunt never truly learned from his mistakes in life. The film hardly portrays any consequences of his sinful lifestyle.

“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.” —1 John 2:16

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—This is probably the best auto racing movie ever made. The nudity is limited to momentary flashes of breasts or buttocks; but the profanity is scattered throughout, and it tends to dilute the few impassioned curses that seem appropriate. Ron Howard is usually above this. This is primarily a tale of conflicting personalities, and a begrudging friendship, which my wife (not a racing fan) also enjoyed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Brian Schacht, age 66 (Canada)
Positive—This is what I call a real movie. It has the thrills, the in-the-pits reality of Grand Prix racing, and it has the humanism showing all the frailties of even supermen. Of the two race drivers, one man seeks victory for personal achievement—to show what he can accomplish through intelligence and personal discipline. The other man seeks victory for personal aggrandizement and all the money, sex, and champagne he will gain from it. Both men achieve championship level—but one’s marriage ends in divorce, and the other is faithful to his wife, and they have a loving, lasting relationship.

One man throws a grand party with the remainder of his short life, and the other fights back from an accident and becomes champion again. Although there is no overt religious reference, there is a clear morality in the film when the one who leads a clean life prevails at the end. And yet, I still felt a sympathetic tug for the hapless immoral man who tried to do the right thing—but just couldn’t get out of his own way. Didn’t Jesus tell us about searching for the one lost sheep?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Leonard Capobianco, age 71 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl give Oscar-worthy performances in this exciting new movie from Ron Howard. Violence: Moderate Profanity: Moderate Sex/Nudity: Heavy
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
C, age 15 (USA)

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