Ford v Ferrari
It's the 1960s, and Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) has had it up to here with Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) and his fast, flashy car ways. He and cronies such as Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) and Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) are chapped, and they want to send a message to the world that Ford isn't just about family cars. They also want to win races and appeal to the younger demographic with Mustangs and the like. Enter Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), a former race car driver turned designer and salesman after a heart condition benches him. Ford hires Shelby to design and race a car that can beat Ferrari in races, mainly the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's a tall order, and it calls for a crazy guy behind the wheel and calling the shots in Ken Miles (Christian Bale), an English-born rule-breaker who can drive a car and instantly know what can be fixed on it to make the damn thing go faster. His lack of convention causes Ford to bristle, Shelby gets in the middle, and we have ourselves a gripping tale about racing technology, volatile friendships and corporate clashes. If you go to this film looking for glorious depictions of high stakes auto racing, you will not be disappointed. Director James Mangold (Walk the Line) films Ford v Ferrari in a way where you feel every gear shift, every hairpin turn, and every moment when a car can skid off the tracks and cause grave injury. In this sense, the movie is simply at the top of the auto movie genre. If you go looking for powerhouse acting, you won’t be let down either. Damon and Bale are otherworldly good as two pals who have no problem punching each other in the face on occasion, but always strain to have each other’s backs.