Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Action, Comedy, Sport
Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole
#1 NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby stays atop the heap thanks to a pact with his best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton, Jr. But when a French Formula One driver, makes his way up the ladder, Ricky Bobby's talent and devotion are put to the test.
Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights' mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner's circle.
  • Sony Pictures Releasing Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 04 Aug 2006 Released:
  • 12 Dec 2006 DVD Release:
  • $148.2M Box office:

All subtitles:


The "Anchorman" of the Nascar movies!8/10
Here is the review my wife and I wrote for cincity2000.com

Talladega Superspeedway. For those unfamiliar, it is NASCAR's biggest and fastest race track, and the setting for the latest Will Ferrell comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. I'm no fan of professional racing, but I do know funny. Put Will Ferrell in the driver's seat of a stock car, cast John C. Reilly (so wonderful in Chicago) as his best friend, and pit Sacha Baron Cohen (best known as Ali G.) as his rival and you can be almost guaranteed a good movie.

Here's the deal…Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is born in the backseat of a souped-up Chevelle. His motivation in life is given to him when he is ten years old by his alcoholic father: "If you ain't first, you're last." This mantra carries him to the pit crew of a losing race team. When he's given the chance to finish a race, Ricky shows that there isn't much he won't do to win. Teamed with his best friend Cal Naughton, Jr. (Reilly) they become 'Shake and Bake' and go on to NASCAR super-stardom. Ricky has the perfect life. A sexy wife, a family, riches. Enter Jean Girard (Cohen), a flamboyant Frenchman who begins to unravel Ricky's perfect world by beating him on and off the track. Ricky is forced to deal with his own fears. And a cougar.

What's this, you say? A Comedy? Sounds more like the 'feel good' movie of the summer! Perhaps I failed to mention that Jean Girard is a gay married man (Andy Richter plays his husband in a decidedly underwritten role) who sips espresso while he races. Or that Ricky and his wife Carley (the hot Leslie Bibb) have two delinquent sons named Walker and Texas Ranger. And how about the cougar? Oh, I know I mentioned the cougar! All this and more mixes together very well under the comedic eye of Adam McKay, who wrote (along with Ferrell) and directed.

Talladega Nights takes the whole All-American-Dream concept and makes it funny. It's Rudy with belly laughs. Better yet, it's the Anchorman of car racing, which makes sense since McKay did that movie, too. A lot of the scenes felt improvised, but by seasoned professionals. And with a great cast that included Gary Cole and Amy Adams, the jokes were constant and seamless. From an extended dinner grace addressed to 'tiny, baby, Christmas Jesus' to Molly Shannon's portrayal of the drunken wife of the team owner, the movie never failed to make you laugh. As an added bonus, this movie also has some great action. The race sequences were very believable and the crashes were amazing.

To be completely fair, there were moments when some of the scenes dragged a little. And some characters you will not like as much as others. But all in all, an enjoyable, laugh out loud experience for anyone 13 years and up. Shake and Bake, baby!
Great Lampoon of NASCAR- Best Comedy of 20068/10
This movie does something that is rarely done successfully done, pokes fun at the modern NASCAR circuit. Without detailing all the gags, this is pure fun which doesn't offend the tastes too often. Will Farrell is patently absurd as Ricky Bobby & the support he receives in this film from the entire cast is excellent. Gary Cole is very solid as Ricky's dad, & so is Jane Lynch as his mom. Amy Adams is solid too. In fact, the entire cast including John C. Reilly seems to have been fit into their roles like gloves.

Sasha Cohen comes off better in this as Ricky Bobbys French nemesis than he does in even Borat. He is used perfectly & fits his role really well. The story line works really well as the evolution from speed too shake & bake too magic man & me helps keep the film focused on something besides the jokes. There is just enough plot to hang the jokes on.

The script is lots of fun with references to lots of things besides NASCAR & Sex (which is all too often the only thing done as comedy today). This film proves that outrageous is much better than sex when done right as comedy. Thank goodness this is much better than the ill conceived BETWITCHED Farrell did in 2005. This film is really an excellent showcase for everyone involved. If your a NASCAR fan, you should even get some extra fun out of this one.

Get ready for the checkered flag Ricky Booby, this film is a winner all the way.
Pure Funny!9/10
I was lucky enough to be at a premiere in Chicago for this movie and it was pure fun entertainment. I am not a nascar fan and I love this movie. First off let me say that most of the scenes that they show in the previews are not in the movie, or are at least altered from the trailer version. The characters are extremely funny. John C. Reily and Will Farrell make a perfect red-neck match in this comedy. They play off each other and you can tell that they must have had a blast making this movie. The scene where they are saying grace around the table will, in my opinion, go down as one of the funniest scenes ever. I rank this movie right up there with other will Farrell greats like Old School, Wedding Crashers and Anchorman. So, whether you are a will Farrell fan or not, if you just enjoy fun movies that will have you laughing out loud from start to finish, than you should definitely go check this movie out when it comes out. I will be the guy in the front of the line waiting to get my ticket to see this movie again. A+
Sharp & Stupid9/10
It's a pretty funny movie. You could tell Will Ferrell and Sacha Cohen (aka Ali G) and John C. Reilly all had the opportunity to improvise lines and riff on one another, and all three were pretty good.

Ricky Bobby's kids were given some choice lines and nailed home some great (albeit loud and aggro) deliveries. Amy Adams is totally hot. The dad role was well-played. The car action was money and you couldn't quite tell when it was CG and when it was recreated action, so that was good. They did it right.

The overabundance of seeded advertising was acknowledged in the film's dialogue and concretely addressed at the end of the movie (when Ricky Bobby goes sponsorless0 but it was still kind of annoying. I just can't understand how Hollywood blockbusters need more money. They could do the same movie without the extra $$ I think, but in this particular movie, set as it is with NASCAR, it certainly fits in the world we see on screen if there is rampant, colorful advertising.

So it's a good movie, a lot of gut laughs, and not unlike Dodgeball or Anchorman or the like...
Long Overdue NASCAR Parody8/10
You still get plenty of fast paced action, muscle cars, and massive car crashes. You just get to laugh a lot too.

Will Ferrell really doesn't get enough credit for his acting. As mindless as it seems, he still manages to make it believable. You have to keep in mind it's usually during over-the-top parodies, so it's supposed to be carefree and with complete disdain, yet he still manages to make it intelligent most of the time (at least in this film), so the result is far more than simple fart and gross-out type jokes.

He also had the benefit of writing this film, cast members like John C. Reilly and Sasha Baron Cohen, and a focus for the film in deep need of parody. NASCAR has been long overdue.