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Need for Speed

Thriller . Drama . Action . Crime

The film revolves around a local street-racer who partners with a rich and arrogant business associate, only to find himself framed by his colleague and sent to prison. After he gets out, he joins a New York-to-Los Angeles race to get revenge. But when the ex-partner learns of the scheme, he puts a massive bounty on the racer's head, forcing him to run a cross-country gauntlet of illegal racers in all manner of supercharged vehicles.

Actors: Sir Maejor , Scott Mescudi , Michael Keaton , Dakota Johnson , Harrison Gilbertson , Ramón Rodríguez , Rami Malek , Imogen Poots , Dominic Cooper , Aaron Paul
Directors: Scott Waugh
Release: 2014-03-14
More Info:
  • Steven Rea

    It's the cars, and the mega-horsepowered action, that matter most. With its driver-POV spinouts, wrong-way chases, and multilane median jumps, the movie is a roaring revel of an automotive fantasy.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Genevieve Koski

    Need For Speed modifies its outlaw antihero with all sorts of unnecessary pain and backstory, and the film is slow to leave the starting gate because of it. But once it does, Need For Speed becomes a much fleeter vehicle, powered by impressive practical stuntwork, eye-popping cross-country landscapes, and the sparking chemistry between Paul and Poots.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    Need For Speed’s dialogue-centric scenes are often clunky, and its comic relief is at times embarrassingly unfunny, but whenever Waugh shifts his focus to figuring out how to best convey an ingenious practical stunt with the camera, the movie comes alive.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Bill Zwecker

    The best parts of Need for Speed are the actual racing and chasing sequences — a true thrill ride for the audience as the story unfolds.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    When the actors are in cars, the movie's fun. When they get out to argue, or seethe, it's uh-oh time. Happily, director Scott Waugh comes out of the stunt world himself, and there's a refreshing emphasis on actual, theoretically dangerous stunt driving over digital absurdities.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    Subtle it isn't. But the entertainment rev counter more or less keeps turning over.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    This is cinema reduced or distilled to its purest definition, of movies that move. If you want dewy humanity in your entertainment, watch Lifetime.

    Time Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    An energetic, unpretentious B movie — the kind best seen at a drive-in like the one in an early scene — it is devoted, above all, to the delivery of visceral, kinetic excitement.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    A snoozy-but-diverting, lightly constipated B-movie. Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    Paul plays the part with the flinty, tightly wound charisma of a small man who makes up in moxie what he lacks in stature. There’s something of the young James Cagney in him, and he’s by far the best thing Need for Speed has going for it.

    Variety Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Every stage of the race and chase is announced on a webcast conducted by the secret impresario of the illegal De Leon race, a billionaire car enthusiast known as the Monarch, who “nobody knows.” Actually, the Monarch is clearly visible in a corner of the computer screen and he’s played, with jive-spouting brio by Michael Keaton. Hey, the movie isn’t called Need for Logic.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Jamie S. Rich

    Credit to Aaron Paul for fully committing to this ridiculousness. There isn’t a scene he doesn’t play with the utmost seriousness.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    Based on the popular video games, this is a movie with breathtakingly visceral racing scenes, and they are matched by a breathtakingly, breathtakingly terrible script.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Waugh has a good feel for the cars and action extremes, while director of photography Shane Hurlbut acquits himself nicely. But the screenplay written by George Gatins is full of potholes.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    The cast doesn’t have the sassy swagger of the “Fast & Furious” crew. Paul, surrounded by co-stars of the same modest height, isn’t particularly charismatic in this setting. He’s not a natural “quiet tough guy.” But the actors are second bananas here — to the Koenigsegg Ageras, Saleens and Shelby Mustang that feed America’s Need for Speed, on screen and off. And the cars deliver.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Keith Staskiewicz

    A moderately popular racing series that the powers that be have tried to turn into a turbo-boosted stunt-car extravaganza of the same make and model as the "Fast & Furious" franchise.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • James Dyer

    Less a three-lane pile-up than a minor traffic violation in a residential area. Three points for Waugh, then, and a £60 fine.

    Empire Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    If not for the "Fast and Furious" franchise, Need for Speed probably wouldn't exist outside of the video game series that inspired it.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    The racing scenes are its one hope of reclaiming your attention, but there aren’t nearly enough of them to justify such a killing duration.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    If you like watching people drive really nice cars really fast, Need for Speed scratches that particular itch. But expect nothing more, because everything else about it is just running on empty.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Anna Smith

    After a creaky, clichéd start, Need for Speed picks up a bit. The script is still as corny as hell, but the chase scenes are pretty spectacular.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Marc Bernardin

    Need For Speed is a flat, sexless movie that seems not to understand why people like to sit in the driver’s seat and rev that big engine: Because of the transgressive rumble in your nethers.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • James Mottram

    The cars are hot, the action is decent, but the characters and plot need a serious tune-up.

    Total Film Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Director Scott Waugh’s intention may have been to elevate my pulse, but the only thing at which he succeeded was getting me to check my watch repeatedly.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Ostensibly meant to be light entertainment. If light is synonymous with preposterous, frenetic and noisy, it qualifies.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    All that’s missing is Clyde the orangutan from Clint Eastwood’s “Every Which Way But Loose,” which, trust me, this movie could have used.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    There's nothing to distract you from a plot so tired there are tire tracks from other racing movies all over it.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Young men and fast cars are automatically stupid together, but even if you set your intelligence level at “off” — and you should — you’ll get a hangover from this cocktail of 200-proof stupid, clinking with moron ice cubes and with an idiot cherry on top.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Jen Chaney

    Need for Speed is a piece of auto-collision pornography that weighs down its car-flip-and-massive-fireball money shots with a preposterous plot involving vehicular manslaughter vengeance.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    Need For Speed is several different movies at once, and most of them are very stupid.

    HitFix Full Review
  • Steve Davis

    From the start, Need for Speed smells like a movie in search of a franchise. On that count, it’s somewhat fast but seldom furious.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Odie Henderson

    The resulting mishmash is as exciting as getting a tow from AAA, and just as slow. Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Need For Speed possesses eye-rolling, tone deaf dialogue, passable performances (unless you’re Dominic Cooper or Kid Cudi) and plotting so conventional, there’s not even one surprise U-turn anywhere.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    Even when compared to other films posing as Ford Mustang commercials, Need for Speed isn't particularly memorable for anything other than the startling incompetence and dull sheen of the end result.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Do not attempt to see this film, derived loosely from the videogame of the same name, unless you're prepared for wobbly writing, lead-footed direction and acting that must have been boosted by nitrous-oxide injectors, plus a starring performance that could have used a boost and didn't get one.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    This movie is so dumb for most of its running time, you walk away wishing there was less plot and pointless posing and more of the fuel-injected coolness that brought you to the multiplex in the first place.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    Scott Waugh's moronic flick has multiple personalities — it's the Sibyl of street racing, with a script that doesn't feel so much typed as button-mashed.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Though overlong and formulaic, two things keep this street-racing movie of interest all the way to the finish line. The first is Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad"), a sensitive actor in his first major movie showcase. The second: some extraordinary racing sequences.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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