A glossy, superficial biopic set in a historical context that begs for more, Race can at least claim to be one of the two best movies ever made about Olympic hero/Hitler-embarrasser Jesse Owens.
A wallpaper-thin but sentimentally effective hagiography.
The bare necessities are there, the performances are competent, and there are some strong moments but Race suffers from a lack of ambition. It's too safe and that quality mutes its impact and limits its ability to be more than a history lesson.
Race is the most timid, lackadaisical movie that could have been made out of potentially classic material.
Where is Owens in all of this? By the end of Race, we don't know much more about him as an individual than we did when the movie began.
Race follows the pattern of so many other sports biopics in which it's white patronage that makes black triumphs possible.
A handsomely mounted drama about a pivotal moment in the life of track star Jesse Owens ...
Race wants to end, unsurprisingly, on a note of uplift-but for a film with so much dark, unexplored potential, it's an unsatisfying finish line to cross.
Hopkins films all the races with suitable �lan - since Owens was a sprinter, accomplishing his feats in a matter of seconds, they are relatively easy to dramatize - but you don't leave the theatre with much understanding of how he did it.