Need For Speed (Theatrical)

6.42 h 10 min2014X-RayPG-13
A gritty race against time, starring Aaron Paul.
Scott Waugh
Aaron PaulDominic CooperImogen Poots
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Ramon RodriguezMichael Keaton
John GatinsPatrick O'BrienMark Sourian
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

10484 global ratings

  1. 81% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

John F. RossReviewed in the United States on August 9, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Oh. My. God.
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This review is for all you folks that have an appreciation for car chase films that were made in the pre-CGI era:

Thunder Road
Gone in 60 Seconds (original)
Vanishing Point
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
The French Connection
The Gumball Rally
The Driver

When Steven Spielberg was getting ready to film the dinosaur movie Jurassic Park, he was planning to use models of the dinosaurs and stop action techniques for much of the film. An underling in the tech department (who went by the nickname "Spaz," IIRC), on his own initiative, created a 10 second CGI clip of a T-Rex in action, and when Spielberg saw it he was blown away. All plans for using models were immediately scrapped.

Ever since that moment in movie history, action movies have relied more and more on computer-generated imaging, and less on doing actual stunts and capturing them on film. Sometimes this works pretty well, and sometimes it's embarrassingly awful, but a knowledgeable viewer can almost always tell when something has actually been performed and captured on film, or when it's been created with a mouse and keyboard.

Here's the description for NEED FOR SPEED: "Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins."

NFS is based on a video game of the same name. It has an immensely long credits section, listing dozens of people and entities with "computer" in their job descriptions for their work on this film.

Given these facts, any fool could predict going in that NFS would be a "me too" CGI effort to cash in on the Fast & Furious franchise.


I'll say right now that in this gearhead's opinion, NFS, made in 2014, is the most pulse-pounding, most relentless, and BEST live-action car chase movie EVER filmed as of this date, August 2019.

There is MINIMAL use of CGI in this film--I'd say less than 5% of the action sequences. The rest is "Holy ****, they actually DID that!" stuff that would make the late Bill Hickman stand up and salute.

This can be attributed to two things: Director Scott Waugh's vision, and a person he hired whose name is conspicuously absent from the lengthy credits section, Fran Hall. Fran is the owner of (and driving force behind) Race Car Replicas and Superlite Cars in Fraser, Michigan.

The movie features ultra-high-end supercars, costing upwards of $2 million each, racing (and crashing) on public roads. They needed cars that looked like the real thing, but weren't as expensive. Fran was called in to build functional duplicates of the exotic cars used in the film.

When he learned of the director's vision to use as little CGI as possible, Fran started showing him how almost every one of the stunts could be done live by using the proper equipment. For example, Fran built a camera car that had the front end of a Bugatti Veyron, with a perch for the cameraman 5 feet above where the car's roof would be. When you see drone's-eye-views of the Bugatti jockeying for position at speed with another car, those are real drivers in real cars on real roads at real triple digit speeds, with a cameraman sitting 8 feet in the air atop the overtaking vehicle, getting it all on film.

I believe Fran built a total of 14 replica and camera cars for the film. Most were crashed at one point or another, some multiple times.

There's a scene where the lead actor returns to the spot where his friend has just been run off the road and flipped. He slides his car sideways right up to the camera, which captures the concern on his face as he jumps out of the car and races on foot to where his friend has just been killed.

Filming this scene, actor Aaron Paul kept sliding the car to a stop 15 feet short of his mark, as he didn't want to hit the director. The director told him to hit the camera on the next take. He tied a rope around his own waist and instructed the crew to yank him back when the car hit the camera. Paul slid the car to within several inches of the camera without hitting it on the next attempt. They got the scene, and it's stunning.

As car chase movies go, it doesn't get any better than NEED FOR SPEED.
41 people found this helpful
J.S. KnappReviewed in the United States on September 22, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
WAY Better Than Everyone Says
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This movie took way more guff from movie reviewers than it deserved. I absolutely love this movie.

Obviously this movie was inspired by the Fast & Furious comedies... ...I mean action films... ...and probably intended as a cash grab for one of the worse companies in the world - Electronic Arts.

But somehow out of all of this, they came up with a movie that is filled with heart and soul, from the homegrown grease monkey following in his deceased father's footsteps, to the comradery of a bunch of young men who grew up together, to the tumultuous elegy-turned-car-race that consumes the second half of the movie.

I love the characters, most of which seem new to the screen (for me at least - I'm not much of a movie/TV buff) but all of whom seem to work so well together. I love the cars - all while knowing that the stunts/scenes depicted throughout most of the film are ridiculously bogus and silly. Ever watch a real car race? They're boring as hell. So of COURSE Hollywood has to doll 'em up a little.

Most of all I love the message - the conquest of a man who fights to the end despite all he's lost.
32 people found this helpful
Beth E.Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Suprisingly I liked It!
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Good actors! Imogen Poots is a joy to watch. At first glance I sized this movie up as nothing more than a cheesy, copycat Fast & Furious flick. I recently learned that it was based off a video game and directed by a very accomplished race car stunt driver. It was one of the less costly movies on AmzPrime to rent so I went ahead thinking, 'eh.. at worst I get to see Rami Malek in something other than Mr. Robot.' [I'm a HUGE MR. ROBOT FAN!] At first it was a bit confusing with the cliche opening 'hometown garage scenes.' But it quickly picked up. I am prbly one of the 3 ppl on the planet that has yet to watch Breaking Bad. I say that only to say that I wasn't familiar with Aaron Paul as an actor. I can now see what all the buzz is about! He is really a natural to watch. The film may be a 'popcorn flick,' but it is certainly anything BUT cheesy! I plan to re-watch tonight! It was a fun film.
16 people found this helpful
JJReviewed in the United States on July 7, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Sure I may be a bit late finding out about this movie but I'm a booknerd so that's my excuse. I grew up playing the "Need For Speed" games and I'm saying this now my review, my opinions but the Fast and Furious don't compare. After the first one, it's time to stop with them. Classic overkill to make bank.

Now about NEED FOR SPEED, the friendships on screen are incredible, believable and these actors sold the movie. I laughed and enjoyed seeing the scenes in which made the games popular. You'll remember the roads and scenic backgrounds. Not to mention, these cars were so beautiful and stunts were impressive as heck.

So I was 5 years late to find this movie but I really loved the 2+hours I got to remember why I was obsessed with the games growing up.
6 people found this helpful
Slader MatthewReviewed in the United States on April 25, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Desire to Go Fast
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Highly underrated movie. I feel like if this wasn't based off a video game, it would've received better reviews.

Aaron Paul is fantastic, if you don't know who that is, please go back to hiding in whatever cave you've been living in, and grab a bucket of popcorn, an empty mountain dew bottle, and call in sick for work because you have about two weeks worth of Breaking Bad to watch.

That aside. Great movie. It has emotion, a decent story and my oh my does it have some sexy cars.

That is all, thank you.
10 people found this helpful
IncredibleHatReviewed in the United States on October 31, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Absolute thrill ride
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This is one of those thrilling action movies which just keeps it up and runs through superbly the entire way. I've seen this movie many times now, and it STILL gets my blood going with just how well made it was. From the incredible actors (Poots is SO adorable! and Paul does a SPOT ON job), the overall story, and of course the intense scenes... its just awesome.

You don't need to have played any of the games, or even know what the games are. This movie all by itself stands on its own two feet... pedal to the metal... then entire way. Excellent!
AidanReviewed in the United States on November 26, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
A fun action movie with little substance
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I imaging if you're watching a movie based on a racing video game, you're not expecting a deep, realistic plot. Which is good, because you're not really going to get that here. This is mindless action and good vs evil revenge. Need For Speed follows the typical action movie archetype almost to the letter.

It's not a bad movie. The cinematography isn't the absolute best, but it's solid. The script is standard, but there aren't any obvious plot holes. The acting is decent from a fairly good cast. Rami Malek quits his office job by getting naked. It's a fun movie that doesn't require any substantial thought from its viewer. And it doesn't really try to be anything other than that.

Need For Speed knows what kind of movie it is. I think it's solid for what it's supposed to be, which is stupid good fun.
2 people found this helpful
NyghtHawkReviewed in the United States on June 30, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Throwback in Movie Making: A Tip of the Hat to Bullitt
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This movie is one of my favorite car movies of all time. I love the basic premise, the commitment to using as little CGI as possible (think the stunts in 1960's Bullitt), and the variety of cars. Most of the acting was good as well with big names such as Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Imogen Poots, and Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr. Robot) with a small part starring Dakota Johnson (of Fifty Shades of Grey fame). I was even pleasantly surprised with Kid Cudi's comic relief character "Maverick". But, the acting by some of the support characters and the "villian" played by Dominic Cooper brought down what they brought to the table a bit. I dont know if it was the video game level lines at times or what but they felt forced, even a bit cheesy. The story also felt a little video game like in its story arch but still just ood enough to keep you invested.

Overall, if you want a movie that provides sufficient entertainment and gives you a much need break from the crazy, Asian market pleasing, over the top, unbelieveable stunts that permeate the current movies from Hollywood, *COUGH* I'm looking at YOU Fast and Furious Franchises 5, 6, 7 and 8 (also Terminator: Dark Fate, Independence Day: Resurgence, etc), then spend a few bucks, microwave some popcorn, and enjoy a throwback to how movies used to feel where the cars were the stars and the actors weren't invincible superheros.
2 people found this helpful
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