Senna (2010, 106 minutes, PG-13) 4 out of 5 stars

Recommended documentary about Brazilian Ayrton Senna, who won three Formula One racing championships before his death at age 34.

This got good reviews, but I was somewhat skeptical. I have no interest in car racing (I didn’t even know the distinction between Formula One and NASCAR prior to seeing this), and was figuring I would find it pretty dull. The first 15 or so minutes did little to allay those fears, but by the end, I was sitting there white-knuckled with my hand covering my mouth. It is very gripping material and presented very effectively.

Senna must have had a video-camera on him close to 24/7 for most of his career because there’s tons of behind the scenes coverage the viewer is presented with from the Formula One circuit in the 80s and early 90s. Senna was an interesting man and a very aggressive driver, to the point where he was suspended for 6 months for causing multiple accidents in Formula One events. His fierce rivalry with opponent and sometimes teammate Alain Prost is fascinating and makes the Ricky Bobby/Jean Girard tug of war seem tame.

The movie succeeds in not only shining a light on Senna, but also shining a light on the general Formula One scene. I’ll never be a fan of watching race car driving, but I’ll be damned if the movie doesn’t present it in an interesting and compelling fashion.

It also has to be said that the on-car camera footage that is shown from the Formula One races is a million times better than any car chase you’ve ever seen in an action movie. Amazing how fast these guys are driving and how quickly they need to respond.

Highly recommended.

4 out of 5 stars


About denmcg

I love movies and love sharing them with friends and family. I found myself constantly giving recommendations (sometimes solicited, sometimes not- ask my Dad) so thought why not do a movie review blog? Every year there are tons of great movies that go under-seen, and what I'll do here is let you know which ones you should check out and what ones you should leave unseen. In my experience, movies in the foreign, indie, and documentary genres most typically go under-seen, so those are the reviews you'll find most prevalent here. You'll also find some older films reviewed, that when released were hits, but over time have seen their visibility wane. I'll try to update the site every weekend, and feedback is welcome, whether it's on a review, a movie I should check out, or on the site itself.
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