Taking his life in his hands is an everyday occurrence for New York bicycle courier, Wilee, who has given up a career in law to live a life full of excitement and danger. When he takes a normal looking envelope from a friend, he is suddenly stopped by a man who wants it back but rules are rules and Wilee refuses to hand it over without his boss’ permission. Determined to get his hands on the envelope, the man chases Wilee all over the city and with aggressive drivers all around him, Wilee must use all his skills as a cyclist to survive and get the envelope to its intended destination.

Premium Rush (2012) – Director: David Koepp

Is Premium Rush appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 91 mins

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez, Michael Shannon

Genre: Action, Thriller


‘Premium Rush’ follows the exploits of several New York bicycle couriers and shows just how dangerous their day-to-day lives are. With careless and reckless drivers causing every job to become life and death, their bravery is admirable but also hard to relate to. By ut by making the cast very likeable, Wilee, and his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Vanessa, (played respectively by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez) helps gain some buy-in and ensures that the audience roots for them all the way through.

It is unfortunate that the movie struggles to decide how bad the antagonist, Bobby Monday, should be. In some ways his character is light-hearted but, by having dealings with the Chinese mafia, he is sometimes very violent. This makes for a confusing character that doesn’t have a great deal of depth.

Having a unique concept with a relatively small-scale danger, ‘Premium Rush’ manages to keep the excitement levels high so that the audience stay on the edge of their seats until the very end.


There are several scenes in the movie where Wilee has to make a quick decision about where to go. His thought processes are shown and he can see what is likely to happen depending on which route he takes. Most of these, show cars bumping into each other or him being pushed off his bike but one of these scenes is much stronger due to him going at a high-speed. He sees a man being run over by a truck, this is very graphic although no blood is seen. He also sees himself crashing into a baby’s pram and being hit by a car himself, which would cause him severe injury.

A man is badly beaten, his attackers use a large phonebook and a knuckle duster to hurt him. This scene is quite short, the victim loses a tooth and has a bloody mouth but does not otherwise get badly injured.

A man threatens a young woman and holds her roughly by the neck. She is clearly terrified of him and he tells her that he will ‘rip (her) throat out’.

One of the cyclists is badly hurt when they are hit by a car and it is clear that they have broken ribs. Another character deliberately hurts their chest, torturing them to get some information and the victim cries out in pain while their attacker tells them that they will ‘snap (your) ribs like toothpicks’.

A character is unexpectedly shot in the head, nothing graphic is shown on-screen but a small trickle of blood appears on their forehead. They then stumble around and talk a little before collapsing onto the floor, dead. This could be a quite distressing for kids.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the movie for parents is the sheer amount of bad language. It is mostly moderate cursing which is both frequent and unavoidable, some stronger words are used but they are infrequent.



‘Premium Rush’ is a thrilling and exciting movie that never loses pace from the fun beginning to the gripping finale. While the majority of the content of this movie should be appropriate for kids aged over 8, the amount of bad language means that we wouldn’t recommend it to kids aged under 12.

  • Violence: 3/5 (mostly vehicle collisions involving cyclists but this rarely results in serious injury or death. Some stronger involving the mafia)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (one character is relying on the package that Wilee has taken. She is often upset when finding out that it may not get to its intended destination on time)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (a male character asks a woman ‘when does Raj get to climb mount Vanessa?’)
  • Bad Language: 5/5 (in addition to the frequent cursing and blasphemy, two characters on different occasions hold up their middle fingers at others and one character refers to Chinese people by using the racist word ‘slope’)
  • Dialogue: 2/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of having a thrilling but dangerous job, protecting the people you love and care about, seeing a job through to the end and not allowing yourself to be intimidated by a stronger foe.

Words by Laura Record

Premium Rush (DVD + UV Copy) [2012]

New From: £0.67 GBP In Stock

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