'Premium Rush': What the Critics Are Saying

Premium Rush
Sony Pictures

The reviews are in, and critics seem to enjoy Joseph Gordon-Levitt's action-thriller film.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a risk-taking bicycle messanger on the streets of New York City in Premium Rush, an action-thriller directed and co-written by David Koepp.

Many movie critics agree that the film, which also stars Michael Shannon and Dania Ramirez, is a fun and enjoyale end-of-summer flick.

VIDEO: Premium Rush Trailer

Premium Rush currently holds a score of 76 percent on RottenTomatoes.

Read below for some of the reviews from the top critics:

The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore writes that, "A quick pace and always-enjoyable lead Joseph Gordon-Levitt will please moviegoers," adding, "he sets aside much of his boyish charm to play a character who relies less on wit than nerve. As he hurtles down New York streets, the actor's alert eyes are as vital in conveying the kinetic geography as is Mitchell Amundsen's camera, and Koepp's occasional time-outs -- stopping action to visualize possible routes through vehicle-and-pedestrian chaos before settling on the least hazardous one -- are effective in getting us on Wilee's hyper-perceptive wavelength."

Betsy Sharkey from Los Angeles Times says of the movie, "Basically, a story like this boils down to getting from Point A to Point B without getting killed. The challenge is how to make the obstacle course interesting. In this, writer-director David Koepp and his frequent writing partner John Kamps have, as the saying goes, put it all on the screen. In fact, the screen becomes a scene-stealing player."

As for Gordon-Levitt's performance, she says, "The actor has the ability to emotionally unhinge himself right in front of you, and he makes Monday fearsome even at a distance," adding, "the guy on the bike and the bad cop prove to be a combustible combo. Who knew a bike ride could be so thrilling?"

The New York Times' Manohla Dargis points out that, "Premium Rush provides just about all the late summer air-conditioned relief you could hope for. It’s buoyant dumb-fun, a ticking-clock thriller about a New York bicycle messenger who has to get from here to there without being taken out."

STORY: 'Premium Rush's' Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez on Stunts, Stitches and Shooting in New York (Q&A)

However, Dargis notes, "There are digital cars and occasional passers-by scattered amid the remarkably clean streets of New York — as well as a lot of interstitial Google-map-style sections that zoom out for an aerial view and in for the street view — but most of the imagery is analogue. The movie tries hard to look real."

Gabe Toro from Indiewire criticizes the film, saying, "There’s something refreshingly low-fi about rubber against the pavement of the world’s greatest city, and for a moment you forget that Premium Rush is a big, dumb, studio star attraction."

Toro writes that the film's ending "stinks of reshoots, a disastrous denouement that suggests the production quickly ran out of money and time."

USA Today's Claudia Puig says that " David Koepp's stylistic flourishes work, such as Wilee's multiple split-second visions of the outcome of any given maneuver. These energetic 'what-if' scenarios recall the rapid-fire editing of the seminal 1998 German thriller Run Lola Run."

Puig concludes, "Gordon-Levitt spends nearly the entire movie on his bike, which makes for dynamic sequences through the compressed landscape of traffic-choked streets. Despite far-fetched plot points — such as a flash mob of bike messengers ready to rumble and thwart evil — it's easy to get caught up in this life-or-death two-wheeled slalom."

Premium Rush opens Aug. 24.