Run time: 152 mins
James Mangold helms this star studded biography of the revved-up rivalry between two automotive titans, Ford and Ferrari.
Unlike 2013’s Rush, which covered the personal rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Nikki Lauda, this film sides racers against corporate suits. At its centre are two eminently reliable actors. Matt Damon, as race-car-champion-turned-car designer Carroll Shelby, and Christian Bale, as a hot-headed former tank commander Ken Miles.
When Shelby is hired by Ford to create the car that will defeat Ferrari at the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, the Ford GT, it becomes apparent that the only person who can drive it is Miles. Together, they form a partnership that sees them take on the giants of racing, and the Ford Motor Company itself.
For a sports movie to work for more than just the fans, it has to have drama off the pitch, track or field, with characters to root for, personal demons and a good underdog. Le Mans ‘66 duly obliges. Rarely does such muscular studio entertainment kick into higher, faster and more surprising gears than this. (Research Chris Coetsee)