Days of Thunder

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Videos & Photos

  • Trailer 1

Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

The Top Gun team of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, and superstar Tom Cruise reunite for this excursion into stock-car racing that incorporates the vroom and rumble of deafening car engines with a rehash of the same elements that worked so effectively in Cruise's Top Gun, The Color of Money, and Cocktail. Cruise plays stock-car driver Cole Trickle, a young fireball on the Southern stock-car circuit who has loads of talent but no conception of how to channel that talent in to racing success. When Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) commissions veteran stock-car racer Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall) to built a car and hires Cole to drive it, Harry must instill in Cole his philosophy of winning and teach him how to channel his raw talent into success -- or, as Harry puts it, controlling something that's out of control. Cole immediately comes into conflict with the circuit's star driver, Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker), and their hijinks on the track causes them to smash up their cars and lands them both in the hospital. Because of his injuries, Rowdy is forced to withdraw from the circuit competition. With no rival to torment, Rowdy becomes Cole's supporter and friend, while Cole revs up his motors for Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman), the attractive brain specialist who supervises Cole's recovery from the crackup. Cole's health is restored, and he begins to race again, chastened and hanging onto Harry's every word. Cole appears to have centered himself for success, but in an orgasmic grand finale, Cole must compete against Russ Wheeler (Cary Elwes), a dastardly driver who not only wants to see Cole defeated but permanently disabled.~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

Cast

  • Tom Cruise
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Tom Cruise
  • Robert Duvall
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Robert Duvall
  • Randy Quaid
  • Cary Elwes
  • Michael Rooker
  • Fred Dalton Thompson
  • John C. Reilly
  • J.C. Quinn
  • Don Simpson

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • Cars designed specifically for the movie officially raced at Phoenix and Darlington, with Greg Sacks driving Cole Trickle's City Chevrolet in both races. Bobby Hamilton drove Rowdy Burns' Exxon car at Phoenix, while Hut Stricklin drove it at Darlington. None of the cars finished their races, but Hamilton did lead his race for five laps before an engine failure.
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Goofs

  • While racing at Phoenix (a flat track), footage is shown of a high banked track.
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Quotes

    • [Cole is being searched by a female trooper who notices he has an erection]
    • Female Trooper: Looks like we found something.
    • Male Trooper: What's that?
    • Female Trooper: A concealed weapon.
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

75

And Cruise is so efficiently packaged in this product that he plays the same role as a saint in a Mexican village's holy day procession: It's not what he does that makes him so special; it's the way he manifests everybody's faith in him.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
75

Days of Thunder, the latest Tom Cruise movie, which is a flimsy but nonetheless compelling story of a hot-shot amateur race car driver who wants to make it in the big-time world of championship stock car racing. Good writing by Robert Towne and a host of strong supporting performances complement the on-the-track visuals of director Tony Scott in giving us a sense of the leap of faith that is required by drivers at this level. [29 Jun 1990, p.C]

Metacritic review by Gene Siskel
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
63

Days of Thunder relies on charm, loud noise and a few racing sequences to print money with Cocky's visage on the bills: there can be no suspense because there can be no possibility Cocky will lose. [29 Jun 1990, p.C1]

Metacritic review by Jay Scott
Jay Scott
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)