Ford v Ferrari Movie Review (2024)

Parents Say: age 11+ Ford v Ferrari Movie Review (1) 31 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

  • Positive Messages

    a little

    Movie is partly about loyalty, with one friend trying to stand up to powerful authority figures to defend and protect another friend.

  • Positive Role Models

    a little

    Carroll Shelby is a bit of a blowhard and isn't above the occasional dirty trick, but he's brave enough to stand up to powerful men, tries his best to defend and protect his friend. He's portrayed as a hero, a racing champ with hordes of young fans. Ken Miles, while also a racing champ and a good dad, is an otherwise explosive, bad-tempered character, not much of a role model.

  • Violence & Scariness


    Cars crash and explode. Characters on fire. Characters die. Characters get into a fight -- punching, wrestling, etc. Fits of anger/violent tantrums.

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  • Sex, Romance & Nudity

    very little

    Married couple flirts briefly.

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  • Language


    Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "horses--t," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "jackass," "dumbass," "pr--k," "piss," "goddamn," "damn," "hell," "whor*s," "wanker," "buggered," "screw you." Uses of "oh my God/by God." Cultural slur ("greasy wop").

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  • Products & Purchases

    a little

    Coca-Cola mentioned. Racetrack corporate sponsorship includes Budweiser, Coppertone, Good Year, etc.

  • Drinking, Drugs & Smoking


    Prescription pills taken for heart condition. Background smoking.

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  • Parents Need to Know

    Parents need to know that Ford v Ferrari (also known as Le Mans '66) is a fact-based racing drama about events leading up to and including the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, it's briskly paced and entertaining enough to appeal even to nonracing fans. But it does include car crashes, explosions, drivers on fire, and people dying. Characters also fight, punch, and wrestle, and there are some violent temper tantrums. Language is fairly strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. Era-appropriate brands are seen around the racetrack (Coppertone, Good Year, Budweiser, etc.). One character takes prescription medication for a heart condition, and there's some background smoking. A married couple flirts briefly. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.

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Ford v Ferrari

Community Reviews

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  • Parents say (31)
  • Kids say (41)

age 11+

Based on 31 parent reviews

marybethc1 Adult

November 29, 2020

age 10+

Exciting movie with good messages

My son, husband and I just watched this and really enjoyed it! Themes are friendship, perseverance, family and ingenuity. I felt the cussing was pretty minimal. The only thing I had to explain to my son was the poor behavior of the Ford guy who tried to undermine the driver.

May 16, 2020

age 10+

One of the Greatest movies ever made

Incredible movie! It’s a winners movie! Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles both at different times throughout the movie demonstrating a winners mentality. It’s a beautiful story about how two friends teamed up to do what many thought was impossible. The relationship they have with each other is incredible to watch and events throughout the movie show the great faith that they had in each other. It also well represented Carroll shelbys amazing talent and ability in communicating with people and how he was able to turn a what seemed terrible situation into the best situation they could possibly be in by changing peoples perspectives which is a great example of a winners mentality.

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What's the Story?

In FORD V FERRARI, race car driver Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) wins the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans race but is forced to retire due to a heart condition. Meanwhile, at the Ford Motor Company, Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) proposes that the company start making race cars as a way to improve their image with younger drivers. An attempt to partner with Ferrari goes south, so Ford hires Shelby to build their car. Shelby, in turn, hires Ken Miles (Christian Bale), a talented but volatile driver, to help work out the bugs. Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) puts executive Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) in charge of the racing division, and Beebe immediately sets out to get rid of Miles. But Miles and Shelby have an ace up their sleeve: They actually have the talent to win races and have their sights set on the 1966 Le Mans. Nevertheless, Beebe has one last weaselly plan.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:

Parents say (31):

Kids say (41):

This enjoyable fact-based racing movie runs a little long, but it manages to keep up a good, breezy pace, focusing more on pure entertainment than on trying to be dutifully "important." At the heart of Ford v Ferrari are two fine performances by Damon and Bale, whose characters forge a touching friendship that's based more on small gestures than on big demonstrations. Miles is a show-off, but Bale makes him seem real, with relatable worries and outrages. And Damon clearly enjoys his clever, quick-witted character, who still somehow makes genuine connections. Just as good is playwright Letts as the stern, rocky second Henry Ford; he's reduced to terrified screaming and joyful tears when Shelby takes him for a high-speed ride in his new car.

At the wheel, director James Mangold gives Ford v Ferrari the crisp, confident energy of his best genre films, Logan and 3:10 to Yuma (the latter of which also starred Bale), without letting it drift into the stodgy, awards-bait seriousness of his previous biopic Walk the Line. Ford v Ferrari is so simple and classic that it could have been sent here directly from the early 1960s. Perhaps its most niggling flaw is Lucas' slimy, one-dimensional villain character, who acts out of pure selfishness. But the racing sequences are impeccably timed, with thundering, thrilling sound design that could convert newbies into hard-core racing fans. Still, the movie's best achievement is the sly way it depicts the central friendship, largely unspoken but still surprisingly tender.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

  • Families can talk about Ford v Ferrari's violence. How does it compare to what you might see in an action movie? What are the consequences? Do you think some people really watch racing just for the crashes?

  • Does the movie glamorize racing? How exciting does it look? How dangerous?

  • Are Shelby and Miles role models? They're both champions, but they're also complex people with weaknesses and dark sides. Does this make them bad people?

  • Why do you think there's so much advertising associated with racing? Does seeing a brand's logo at the racetrack make you want to seek out a specific product?

  • Could Henry Ford II be considered a bully? How does Shelby handle him? What other ways are there of dealing with bullies?

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 15, 2019
  • On DVD or streaming: February 11, 2020
  • Cast: Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Caitriona Balfe
  • Director: James Mangold
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: Cars and Trucks
  • Run time: 152 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: some language and peril
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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Ford v Ferrari Movie Review (2024)


Is the Ford v Ferrari movie accurate? ›

Many details in the Ford vs. Ferrari movie are true and give us a glimpse into the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari back then. Details in the movie include Ford's determination to win the 1966 Le Mans after half a decade of Ferrari dominance.

How much was $200 a day in Ford vs Ferrari? ›

When Ken tells his wife he's been offered a salary of $200 a day (plus expenses) she is stunned. There are many ways to measure the value of money in the past. Adjusted for the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index from 1965 to 2019, this amount would come to $1,620.

Is Ford vs Ferrari a good movie? ›

Ferrari is an absolute winner, with memorable performances from its cast, and my favorite Mangold picture thus far. For me, it is one of the best of the year, and as far as car movies go, one of the best ever made, and miles away from a disappointment.

What happened to Leo Beebe? ›

He died June 30, 2001, in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, at the age of 83. Beebe had a varied career, including positions as a businessman, philanthropist, educator, and executive.

What parts of Ford vs Ferrari are not true? ›

Factual errors
  • Ken Miles' winning margin in the 1966 Daytona 24 Hours was 8 laps over the second Shelby entered Ford. ...
  • In real life, Enzo Ferrari sold 50% of his company to Fiat S.p.A. in 1969, not in 1963 after declining Ford Motor Company's buyout offer.

Did Shelby really bet his company? ›

Did Carroll Shelby place a bet on Ken Miles winning a race? No. Carroll Shelby would never gamble Henry Ford II his whole fortune so Ken Miles could race at Le Mans. Ford's right-hand man, Leo Beebe (played by Josh Lucas), opposed Ken Miles's dangers on the track.

Did Ken Miles win Le Mans? ›

British-born Ken Miles was a gifted race car engineer and driver. Through his work for Carroll Shelby, Miles got involved in Ford's GT racing program. Miles won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1966, and he placed second at Le Mans. Miles died in a crash while testing Ford's J-Car later that year.

Did Ford build a car that beat Ferrari? ›

Ford Motor Company returned to Le Mans for a rematch with Ferrari in 1967. While Ford bested the Italians with the GT40 Mark II in 1966, this time it fielded an all-new car. Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt piloted a Ford Mark IV around the Circuit de la Sarthe for 24 brutal hours.

Did Ford try to buy out Ferrari? ›

In 1963, Ford Motor Company Vice President Lee Iacocca proposes to Henry Ford II to boost their car sales by purchasing Ferrari, dominant in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Owner Enzo Ferrari uses Ford's offer to secure a deal with Fiat that allows him to retain ownership of the firm's racing team, Scuderia Ferrari.

Is Ford vs Ferrari hit or flop? ›

The release of Ford v Ferrari in 2019, which received critical acclaim and commercial success, may have hurt the box-office performance of Ferrari due to perceived similarities.

Why didn t he win in Ford vs Ferrari? ›

As reported by Manney, and as seen in photos, Miles intentionally braked at the finish to let McLaren pass at the checkered flag signifying the finish taken at about 50 mph. It was also suggested that McLaren might have blipped his throttle and gained about three feet.

Why didn t Ford win in Ford vs Ferrari? ›

Ultimately, the Ford team couldn't figure out how to make the cars stay firmly on the tarmac, let alone run continuously for 24 hours, two musts for a win in Le Mans.

Were Shelby and Ken Miles friends? ›

Fateful Encounter and Mutual Respect

Miles' profound knowledge of mechanical engineering and devotion to pushing the boundaries of race car performance led to a long and iconic friendship.

Was Ken Miles a good driver? ›

Did Ken Miles win Le Mans? Between 1958 and '63, Miles won 38 of 44 races he entered, also driving part-time for Sunbeam distributor Rootes. He was swiftly picked up by Carroll Shelby to test and race the Cobra – a partnership that was immortalised on screen in the 2019 movie Ford vs Ferrari.

Did Ford tell miles to slow down? ›

Several months later, sharing the drive with Denny Hulme, Miles was leading the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in the #1 car, but Ford Motor Company executive Leo Beebe, desiring a publicity photo of three of Ford's cars crossing the finish line together, instructed Miles to slow down, which he did.

Did Ford really cross the line together? ›

And Ford executives orchestrated that “dead heat” PR stunt finish that cost Ken Miles the win. From Wikipedia: “… With the field covered it was now that Leo Beebe, Ford racing director, contrived to stage a dead heat by having his two lead cars cross the line simultaneously.

Did Ken Miles ever win Le Mans? ›

Ken Miles did not win the Le Mans race. He came very close in 1966 when he co-drove a Ford GT40 with Denny Hulme, leading the race until the final moments. However, due to a controversial decision by Ford, they finished in second place behind Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in another Ford GT40.

Do they still race 24 hours at Le Mans? ›

24 Hours of Le Mans, probably the world's best-known automobile race, run annually (with few exceptions) since 1923 at the Sarthe road-racing circuit, near Le Mans, France. Since 1928 the winner has been the car that travels the greatest distance in a 24-hour time period.


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