Rated 4.0

Screenwriter Peter Morgan turns his talents to the politics of celebrity and the psychology of high-speed risk-takers via the storied rivalry of world-class Formula One auto racers—Niki Lauda from Austria and James Hunt from Great Britain—on the 1976-77 Grand Prix circuit. Both men are extraordinarily gifted auto racers, both are from wealthy backgrounds, and both seem obsessed with defeating the other. Beyond that, they are two entirely different types of competitive males. Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl) is cold, intense, socially withdrawn, brilliantly analytical, mathematically precise; Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) is handsome, energetic, charming, relentlessly outgoing, and reckless in appetite and impulse. These contrasts are a little bit too pat, but director Ron Howard and his actors bring them out with an attractive zest that is made all the more interesting by hints of rueful regret and half-hidden desperation. The end result is brisk, smart, fast-moving entertainment. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated R.