Ferrari Movie Review: Adam Driver Gives His Best Performance in the Devastating Return for Michael Mann

Ferrari Stars Adam Driver and Penélope Cruz and is Directed by Michael Mann

Review: Ferrari is much more than just a visual spectacle. It’s a meditation on the corrosive nature of unchecked ambition, all guided by the hands of Michael Mann and featuring career-best performances by Adam Driver and Penélope Cruz.

adam driver in ferrari film michael mann 2023
Adam Driver in Ferrari (2023)

Considering he hasn’t made a movie since Blackhat in 2015, Michael Mann‘s long-awaited return to the big screen, Ferrari, is incredibly succinct and satisfying. It’s a scorching melodrama that burns with the intensity of its titular character’s relentless ambition. This isn’t anywhere near a sugarcoated biopic; it’s a raw, unflinching exploration of Enzo Ferrari’s inner demons, where the pursuit of automotive excellence takes a brutal toll on personal relationships and those around him.

Adam Driver delivers his best performance as Enzo, a man consumed by a fiery hunger for victory. His chiseled features become battlegrounds etched with grief, regret, and a chilling obsession with control. Driver navigates Enzo’s complex emotional landscape with masterful subtlety, making him a tragic figure at the helm of his own self-inflicted torment. In the wrong hands, not only does Ferrari not work, but Enzo becomes a cartoonish, overly characterized portrait of the actor playing him. Adam Driver’s performance is so mannered and natural, despite going through quite the transformation to look like the Ferrari president.

Penélope Cruz, as Enzo’s long-suffering wife Laura, emerges as a formidable counterpoint. Her quiet steely determination is a force to be reckoned with, reminding us that Enzo’s victories come at a steep price for those closest to him. Shailene Woodley, though her accent unilaterally falters, adds another layer of emotional complexity as Lina, Enzo’s hidden family in his shadow that causes much of the familial turmoil in the movie.

Michael Mann is a maestro of visual storytelling, and Ferrari continues that sentiment despite the director reaching 80 years in age. The film pulsates with a kinetic energy, whether it’s the sweat-soaked roar of the racetrack or the dimly lit tension of family dinners. Every frame is meticulously crafted, drawing us into Enzo’s world of high-octane stakes and simmering resentments.

Reviews for Films like Ferrari (2023)

But Ferrari is much more than just a visual spectacle. It’s a meditation on the corrosive nature of unchecked ambition. Enzo’s quest for greatness isolates him, pushing him to the brink of self-destruction. The film doesn’t shy away from the ethical compromises and personal tragedies that fuel his success, forcing us to grapple with the darker side of the “great man” narrative. Without diving into spoilers for the film, the movie culminates in a sequence that is truly terrifying and reckons with everything that came before it. Michael Mann puts to screen one of the most devastating moments I’ve seen in a movie in years, one that’ll stick with me for the foreseeable future.

Despite its somber tone and gruesome imagery, Ferrari still isn’t devoid of hope in small doses. There are fleeting moments of tenderness and humanity that flicker beneath the surface of Enzo’s hardened exterior. These glimpses make his ultimate tragedy all the more poignant, leaving us with a sense of empathy for the man consumed by the very engine he created.

Ferrari may hold a few slight flaws, like an out of place Shailene Woodley or a lack of cohesion in time and space (particularly in the first half), but it’s still a welcomed return for one of the industry’s great filmmakers. Ferrari won’t just hold me over until the inevitable Heat sequel coming years into the future, but now I may just be willing to wait even longer and sit with this one if need be (but please, Mr. Mann, don’t make us wait forever).

Best New Movie

Genre: Drama, History, Thriller

Watch Ferrari (2023) on VOD here

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Ferrari Movie Cast and Credits

ferrari movie 2023


Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari

Penélope Cruz as Laura Ferrari

Shailene Woodley as Lina Lardi

Patrick Dempsey as Piero Taruffi

Jack O’Connell as Peter Collins

Gabriel Leone as Alfonso De Portago


Director: Michael Mann

Writer: Troy Kennedy Martin

Cinematography: Erik Messerschmidt

Editor: Pietro Scalia

Composer: Daniel Pemberton

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