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Need for Speed: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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Inspired by a car racing video game with the same name, Need for Speed is a high-speed, cross-country road trip, taking moviegoers from coast to coast in a souped-up Shelby Mustang. The thunderous roar of supercar engines provides the bass background to a hometown rivalry gone terribly wrong.

Rated PG-13, for reasons explained below, Need for Speed marks lines in the sand as its two main characters make decisions that lead to life-altering consequences. It's a movie about friendship, ruthlessness, and justice.


Wrongfully convicted of a serious crime, Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) has got something to prove when he's released from prison in New York. Determined to right the wrong, Tobey campaigns to enter an invitation-only street race in California and beat his rival, former professional driver and high school enemy Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). Nothing, and no one, is going to stand in his way. Vengeance will be his.


Though it explores significant themes, Need for Speed's story is considerably overshadowed by the movie's stunt work. The eye-popping stunt driving is especially noteworthy because it was all filmed on location with no CGI tricks put in during post-production. A throwback to the old car chase movies, such as Bullitt, Need for Speed allows these magnificent machines to take center screen.

Fast cars and speed chases may be enough for some action fans, but those looking for a grade-A movie experience aren't going to find it in Need for Speed. It has its moments of humor, touching drama and includes a scene depicting a Christian funeral. However, it's slow to start, predictable and melodramatic at times.

Need for Speed is rated PG-13 for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language. Moviegoers should be advised that one of the male, supporting actors appears naked in a full shot of him walking away from the camera. The film's main characters convey a complete disregard for law enforcement and road safety; however, there are consequences to their recklessness.


Need for Speed starts out slow, kicks it into high gear and wavers a bit before reaching the finish line.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's