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Documentary, Biography, Sport

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

The critical consensus

Flawed and reluctant to dig too deep, but also a lyrical, haunting and nerve-wracking portrait: the thinking man's true-life Top Gun (with cars).

****(*)Total Film, 25/05/2011

Fittingly, it maintains a propulsive momentum from the start, and the decision to avoid any interview segments, which would have disrupted its gripping flow, is one of the director's smartest moves.

*****Philip Concannon, The Skinny, 30/05/2011

Ambitiously constructed, deeply compelling, thrilling and in no way only for those who like watching cars drive in circles. A worthy paean to a true talent.

****(*)Dan Jolin, Empire Online, 30/05/2011

Only feels like half the story. Would definitely watch the 10-hour TV miniseries, though.

***(*)(*)Matt Bochenski, Little White Lies, 02/06/2011

The immediacy of the approach is exhilarating and, as we approach the inevitably tragic ending, undeniably emotional.

****(*)Steve Rose, The Guardian, 02/06/2011

To emerge unmoved is just about inconceivable.

*****Tim Robey, The Telegraph, 02/06/2011

The film has undeniable dramatic poke, but a noticeable absence of critical detachment.

***(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 03/06/2011

Illuminating study of a tragic boy racer.

****(*)Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 03/06/2011

Glorious celebration of a remarkable man.

Paul Greenwood, Evening Times, 02/06/2011

What this remarkable and accessible film ultimately does is celebrate genuine talent by reminding us what it looks like in its purest form, away from the circus of celebrity.

*****Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 04/06/2011

The cinematic qualities of the late Ayrton Senna won't come as a surprise to F1 fans, but for the rest of us this extraordinary documentary is a revelation.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday, 05/06/2011

There are aspects of Senna’s life that are left untouched here but that is a small reservation about such a dynamic and captivating documentary.

****(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 03/06/2011

Plays more like a dramatic biopic than a feature-length doc.

****(*)Miles Fielder, The List, 28/06/2011

Features about Senna

Senna: Come drive with me

Asif Kapadia, The Guardian, 31/05/2011

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

Dominion, Edinburgh from Friday November 4, 2011, until Thursday November 10, 2011. More info:

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