Following the disappointment of The Dilemma, there was little fanfare for Ron Howard's latest movie: a biographical flick about the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauder during the 1976 motor racing season.

Daniel BruhlChris Hemsworth [L] And A Disapproving Daniel Bruhl [R] In 'Rush.'

Set against the backdrop of the golden age of the sport, though also one of its most dangerous periods, Rush tells the tale of the handsome English playboy Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and his methodical, relentlessly driven opponent Lauda (played by the outstanding Daniel Bruhl).

With a slick supporting cast including Olivia Wilde, Rush certainly looks the part. "'s based on a true story and it's centered around the 1976 Formula One race season. It operates on so many different levels that I really need to use the medium, in pre-production, production and post-production, to try to immerse the audiences in that world," Howard told, adding, "...while Peter Morgan has written the script, and it's emotional, funny and character-driven, first and foremost, I think that the sense of the time, the place, the world, the speed and the danger of it. [makes the movie]"

Chris HemsworthA Scene From Ron Howard's New Movie 'Rush'

With Howard behind the camera and a fast-paced script to work from, Rush was always going to be visually striking though something more surprising is the almost unanimous critical respect it has garnered.

"Working from a very clever script by Peter Morgan (The Queen), Mr. Howard doesn't pick sides. He lets two distinctly abrasive characters rub up against his viewers, chafing them into gear," said the Wall Street Journal.

"I've seen Brühl in several German-language films, and I'm not surprised that he's perfect as the monomaniacal Lauda, but Hemsworth is the revelation here," wrote of the movie's lead actors.

Watch the Rush trailer:

"Fine filmmaking, a smart, visually engorged, frequently thrilling tale of boyish competition - inspired by a true story. At heart it's "Amadeus" on wheels, only this time Salieri is the Austrian," said the New York Post.

"Brilliantly captures the exhilaration that comes from facing death head-on. It's also an ode to joyous rivalry," added USA Today.

Nobody - and we mean pretty much nobody - is talking about Rush for any of the major awards this year, but Howard for a directing nomination? Bruhl for supporting actor? Don't bet against it. 

Rush hits theaters in the U.S. on Friday (September 27, 2013) after topping the box-office in the UK.

Daniel Bruhl RushDaniel Bruhl Eyes Up The Competition In 'Rush.'