Rush tells the story of Formula One drivers James Hunt, a risk taking playboy Brit, and Niki Lauda, a calculated, conservative Austrian, and their heated rivalry which culminated during the racing season of 1976. Following another dubious big budget Dan Brown prequel, an ill-begotten Vince Vaughn/Kevin James comedy outing, and a return to nettlesome narration in the serial format, Ron Howard proves he still has what it takes as a major director in this return to good old-fashioned filmmaking. Working again with writer Peter Morgan, with whom he shared his last great success in Frost/Nixon, Howard tells an exciting story, little known on this side of the pond, that begins as popcorn fun, turns serious, and keeps the audience on the hook the entire way. Chris Hemsworth is commanding as Hunt, Daniel Bruhl turns in an odd, offbeat and totally winning performace playing Lauda, and the film is interspersed with enthralling racing sequences. It does goes on a tad too long, and a subplot involving Olivia Wilde as Hemsworth's wife is a liability, but following a putrid summer of mega movie clunkers, it was nice to see a movie reliant on its characters and fundamental moviemaking know how.