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Ford v Ferrari | 2019 | PG-13 | – 2.5.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Ford v Ferrari” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some language and peril.” The evaluation includes a couple of kissing scenes, discussions of sex used to sell cars, and cleavage revealing outfits; several high speed racing sequences with some crashes on tracks and roadways that leave vehicles in flames with implications of death or injury of the drivers; and at least 2 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”

An American car designer (Matt Damon) and a British mechanic and driver (Christian Bale) develop the famous Ford GT40 Mark II in 1966 to beat the indomitable Team Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Also with Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone and Ray McKinnon. Directed by James Mangold. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Italian with either translators or English subtitles and a few Italian phrases are spoken without translation. [Running Time: 2:30]

Ford v Ferrari SEX/NUDITY 2

 – A man and a woman kiss briefly in two scenes and in a third scene they dance to slow music, embrace, and kiss for several seconds in a long shot. A man and a woman are shown in bed under covers (they are clothed) and no sexual activity occurs.
 A few slides show women wearing thin-strap tops that reveal bare shoulders and cleavage; a man presenting the slides says soldiers in 1945 came back to America and had sex to produce the Baby Boomers, and now sex helps sell cars. A man says racecars are sexy.
 Three women wearing bikinis are seen from the waist up for a few seconds revealing cleavage and bare abdomens. In two scenes, a woman wears short-shorts, baring her legs to the top of her thighs. A blurry image of a cartoon pinup girl shows her from the waist up, with a strapless top that reveals cleavage. A billboard includes a female toddler seen from the back with bare buttocks revealed by a dog pulling down her sun-suit panties.

Ford v Ferrari VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – A man test drives a race car in the desert on a winding track, the brakes fail and in a long shot, the car erupts in smoke, slides off the road with smoke trailing, and explodes into a ball of smoke in a clump of brush; men run to the car, shouting as the scene ends with the driver’s preteen son staring in horror from the viewing area (we later hear that the driver died).
 A man test drives a new race car at high speed, the brakes fail, and he hits a barrier, and the car erupts into flames and smoke as his wife and young son see the accident; men run and shout, carrying a fire extinguisher, pull the driver out of the car, we see soot on the driver’s face and the scene cuts to the driver with a bandage around his elbow as another man explains to the son that the fire suit prevented serious injury.
 A flashback from the race driver’s perspective through the windshield shows him moving at high speed on a rainy, foggy night on a difficult road course and at a pit stop in close-up; we see gasoline ignite on the car’s hot surface, flames cover the back of the driver’s fire suit from collar to feet and he jumps away as men pat the flames out and he is uninjured, but cursing, and yells, “Am I on fire?” while men shout, “No” and he jumps back in the car and continues the race.
 In several race scenes, we see high-speed car wrecks with vehicle damage after screeching tires and twisting metal (we do not see the drivers). Four or five times, one or two cars at once slam into a wall, smash loudly, and flames and smoke erupt; the cars remain smoldering on the side of the tracks as the race continues. In one scene, two cars wreck into a wall, another car skids around them and smashes into the wall, and a fourth car hits the third car, bending the frame; all four vehicles are smashed loudly and disabled with smoke erupting from the first two cars. Three cars slide off a track in different directions and stall. We see from the driver’s perspective as a car slides across his field of vision, slams into a wall loudly and catches fire, flips over its long axis twice, bounces twice and lands on its roof both times, as the car breaks into four smashed pieces (we do not see the driver). We see several sequences on racetracks where cars reach speeds of over 200 mph, with loud engines and rough riding.
 During a 24-hour race, a car’s driver’s door will not stay closed on the first lap, but a man slams it closed with a mallet at a pit stop, the car’s brakes fail but the driver makes it to the pit for replacement brakes as another team owner objects and another man curses and argues with race officials until the brake change is accepted as legal. During a race a driver’s engine blows, creating large amounts of smoke and disabling the car; pairs of cars scrape each other, often slide off the track and some of them return to the race, while others stall out and we hear squealing tires, loud engines, and some screeching of twisting metal.
 Throughout the film, a man exhibits a quick temper, shouting and throwing things: he throws a wrench at a man, misses, and loudly breaks the windshield of his own car, which he races with only a partial windshield. In a sequence on a residential sidewalk, a man says to another man, “I will put you in the driver’s seat at Le Mans if you just shut your mouth,” and the first man punches the other man in the nose (we do not see blood), the punched man tackles him, causing him to drop a bag of groceries, and the two men wrestle and choke each other, one man slaps the other with a loaf of bread as the other man raises a trash can lid for protection and the first man punches the lid and shouts in pain saying, “You broke my finger” (we don’t see the injury); the men eventually tire and curse at each other.
 A man argues with a pushy executive several times and in one scene, the first man throws a tin cup of coffee across a racecar’s pit in anger and then slams the executive against a wall, chokes him and releases him. A man says about replacing a driver, “We can set up Doris Day behind the wheel if all you wanna do is lose!”
 A physician tells a man that a valve in his heart is shot and he has to retire from auto racing, and the patient argues briefly and then agrees; outside, he speeds in his car, makes a fast U-turn, and drives recklessly down a street, causing people to shout and pull cars to the curbs to avoid collisions. A man becomes tearful remembering his friend who died; the man gets into his car, cries briefly, starts the car and drives fast down a residential street, swerving and forcing another car off the road. A woman driving a station wagon with her husband in the front passenger’s seat argues with him, shouts, and begins speeding on a two-lane road; she passes several other vehicles unsafely, swerves back and forth, and drives fast into corners without braking until her husband shouts many times before she ditches the car into a soft shoulder and shouts at him. A customer at a mechanic’s garage argues with the owner, gets in his car, and speeds away, nearly stalling several times. A man takes over a four-seat plane from the pilot, banks, and flies low over a crowd, scaring the other two passengers, who curse and shake.
 A man closes all the blinds in a factory office, locks another man inside, and leaves as the captured man shouts and pounds on the walls until he breaks a glass panel in the door, shattering glass onto the floor; another man locks the exit into the factory and the captured man shouts again and when he is released he sees his boss being driven in a high performance race car at nearly 200 mph on a winding track with a 720-degree turn and after an abrupt stop, the boss collapses into tears, and then laughs. A man throws a pack of lit firecrackers out a window onto a sidewalk behind three women who turn at the popping sound and shout curses at the man as they leave.
 In the 1960s, the Ford company is represented as being full of bickering, in-fighting, and corporate politics among its management and workers; executives consider workers lower class people, to be kept away from the public eye, and an executive says a mechanic and car designer is not the right image for Ford and will say the wrong thing in public and another man becomes angry and berates the executive.
 A man tells his young son to pull his finger, and the man makes flatulence noises with his mouth. A man says that uninitiated people riding in a racecar for the first time usually soil themselves.

Ford v Ferrari LANGUAGE 5

 – At least 2 F-words, 1 possible obscene hand gesture, 33 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 39 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for Italians, name-calling (sons of whores, second-best losers, beatnik, lounge act, obnoxious, ridiculous, abomination, deviant, jackass, fat, pig-headed, lump of lard, smug, nuts, idiotic, worthless, bag of squirrels, big ugly factories with little ugly cars, Girl Scout), exclamations (shut-up, shut your mouth, up yours, stick it where the sun don’t shine, we’re getting it up the tailpipe), 8 religious profanities (GD), 9 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, By God, God). | profanity glossary |

Ford v Ferrari SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man swallows a pill from an unmarked prescription bottle in four scenes. We see three empty beer bottles on a counter and a bottle cap beside a man’s pillow as he sleeps, several men and women at a party hold beer bottles (we do not see anyone drinking), a man and a woman sip from bottles of beer in a mechanic’s garage, five men hold beer bottles and two of the men sip the beer, a drunken man stumbles and sings off key, a man at a race track at night holds a beer bottle and does not drink it, a man pours a short glass of Johnny Walker and sips it, someone holds a glass of scotch, a table at an auto show holds mixed martinis, and a man pours a short glass of vodka in his home and does not drink. Several men in a reporter’s booth at a race smoke cigarettes, a few men on a pit crew smoke cigarettes at a race, a woman has an ashtray near her at home with a cigarette smoldering but she does not smoke it, a couple of men in an office smoke cigarettes, and two men smoke cigarettes at a business meeting.


 – Ford and Ferrari car companies, rivalries, dangerous professions, safety, the 1960s, competition, money, power, greed, ego, maintaining an image, class differences, aggression, anger, violence, corporate rivalry, misogyny, corporate exploitation of human labor, friendship, death, grief, loss.

Ford v Ferrari MESSAGE

 – Overcoming opposition, politics, and exploitation in the Ford Company, Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles developed the only American car to win at Le Mans.


Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.

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