What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rush is a biopic from director Ron Howard about two 1970s Grand Prix champions, James Hunt and Niki Lauda. It depicts their athletic skill and determination, but it's also about their dark sides: their excesses, dirty tricks, and personal failures. In other words, they aren't anywhere near the squeaky-clean role models parents might be hoping for. The movie includes several car crashes, with blood and bones shown, and a very intense sequence in which one character is badly burned. Language is very strong, with uses of "f--k," "a--hole," and "c--t." Hunt sleeps with many women, and some female toplessness is shown (Lauda's girlfriend is also shown topless.) Hunt is also shown drinking to excess, smoking cigarettes, and briefly smoking pot. Finally, it's no secret that racing is all about merchandizing, and many brand names are shown throughout, including Coca-Cola and Marlboro cigarettes.
  • Families can talk about whether Hunt and Lauda are role models. They're Grand Prix champions, but they're also complex people with weaknesses and dark sides. Does this make them bad people?
  • Could Rush have been made without the violent crashes and their bloody aftermath? Is this what people really watching racing to see? Why or why not?
  • Why does Hunt turn to sex, alcohol, and smoking when he's feeling victorious? Does the movie glamorize these things? Are there any realistic consequences?
  • What's the difference between "likable" Hollywood characters and the characters shown in this movie?
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