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Rush and Ford v Ferrari: Which is the Better Racing Movie?

Rush and Ford v Ferrari are two of the best racing movies. But in sports, only one can win. Which do you think should be hailed the winner?

As far as a racing movie should look like, Rush and Ford v Ferrari do it best. If you’ve only seen one of the two and loved it, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy watching the other.

But if you’ve seen both, you know that they are both great racing movies. But, we all know that in the world of sports, there can only be one winner.

So, which one of the two do you think should be hailed as the better movie?

Caution: Spoilers ahead!

Rivals vs. Underdogs

Rush tells the true story of Formula 1 champions James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Both fierce drivers on the track with completely opposing personalities, the movie’s plot is centered around their rivalry with one another in the 70s (were you team Niki or team James?)

Ford v Ferrari is also based on the true story of the automobile designer Caroll Shelby and racecar driver Ken Miles in the 60s.

Christian Bale and Matt Damon in racing movie Ford v Ferrari
Ken Miles (left) portrayed by Christian Bale and Caroll Shelby (right) portrayed by Matt Damon.

The film tells the story of how Shelby and Miles worked with Ford Motor Co. to beat the dominant Ferrari in the 1966 Le Mans in France. Unlike Rush, this movie was less about a rivalry and more about Ford as the underdog in the competition.

So which one stands better for you: a story about rivalry or one about an underdog?

F1 vs. Le Mans

As a racing movie, we have to talk about racing, right?

In Rush, Niki Lauda and James Hunt are both Formula 1 drivers, and in this racing category, there are several races throughout an entire season, where each driver and team gain points per race.

Scene from Rush

Throughout the story, Lauda and Hunt are shown battling it out on different racetracks from all over the world. The racing in this film helps to tell the story of their rivalry.

But in Ford v Ferrari, the major race at Le Mans only happens towards the end of the movie. Le Mans is an endurance race, also known as the 24 Hours of Le Mans because the whole race happens in the span of 24 hours.

Scene from Ford v Ferrari

It’s a lot of excitement jam-packed into one major race, very different from F1, so the functions and the looks of the cars differ too.

Which is your preference: F1 or Le Mans?

Combat vs. Speed

Finally, we have the meat of the movie: The racing scenes.

As we said, Rush is all about the rivalry between Lauda and Hunt. With that dynamic, in the scenes in Rush, there are a lot more close-combat race scenes.

Clips of the racing scenes in Rush.

In the scenes, you can see and almost feel the struggle that both drivers are experiencing as they try to maneuver their way around one another at top speeds. Plus, there’s that gnarly crash at the end.

But in Ford v Ferrari, the racing is shown in a different way. Driving for 24 hours, the racing in this movie is less about the close combat action and it’s more about speed.

A clip from the final race in Ford v Ferrari.

In their clips, the anticipation doesn’t come from battle on the track. It comes more from the time of the lap, how Ken Miles shifts between gears, and how he zooms past other cars effortlessly. It’s smoother, but the anticipation is just as high.

So which excites you more? Close combat racing or racing to get the fastest time possible?

Both movies clearly have all the best aspects we’d love to find in a racing movie, but as similar as they are, they are very different from one another. 

So with these three factors to consider, which movie was your winner?

Photos by Universal Pictures via YouTube screenshot, 20th Century Studios via YouTube screenshot.