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American Flyers

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

John Badham

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Plot Summary

American Flyers takes you on the road for exciting world-class cycling competition as two brothers struggle to win a race and to regain the respect and affection they once shared. Achievement-oriented Marcus (Kevin Costner) is a nationally-ranked cyclist. Younger brother David (David Grant) is a drifter, content to cruise through life on a 10- speed. Time-and the painful events surrounding their father's death- have turned the siblings' differences into an open rift. So they try to bridge the gap by competing together in the Hell of the West, a grueling race through the Rocky Mountains. For the first time ever, the brothers train and race side-by-side...while each privately confronts a nagging fear: the congenital ailment that struck down their father could just suddenly strike one of them. Writer Steve Tesich, and Academy Award winner for his bike-racing opus Breaking Away, now captures the sport's excitement on an even larger scale.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 19
  • Fresh: 12
  • Rotten: 7
  • Average Rating: 5.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: The performances aren't bad, but they aren't good enough to give the film the heft it doesn't otherwise have. – Vincent Canby, New York Times, Aug 4, 2008

Fresh: A pleasant, straight-down-the-road, cliche-ridden ride. – Wally Hammond, Time Out, Aug 4, 2008

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

ITunes.....What about Breaking Away!

Thanks for making American Flyers available, but come on iTunes, how about making Breaking Away available, for crying out loud, it won an Academy Award.

Best Movie Ever

I am a bike racer, and I have to say that this is my favorite movie ever. The soundtrack is great, the camerawork is interesting sometimes, and you go away from it feeling great. If you are a bike racer, or if you just enjoy great movies, you need to see this!

Nostalgic for the '80s? Or the midwest? I.E. Colorado?

I don't know, maybe it's just because I saw this as a kid in my basement in a suburb of Denver, or maybe because I like cheesy movies from the '80s, but I still really love American Flyers. It's interesting to see Kevin Costner, still a couple of years from mega stardom, playing a character not far removed from his usual movie self...confident, domineering and somewhat ornery. It makes me wonder what happened to David Grant, who fits the bill as the more wistful younger brother. Still, I think, plot cliches aside, there's a lot to have fun with watching American Flyers. John Badham, who's also directed some legitimate classics in Saturday Night Fever and War Games, knows how to combine fun character moments with larger, popcorn movie sequences. Some find the synthesized score cheeseball, but I find it endearing and well-matched to the equally well-filmed bike races. The movie's sort of the equivalent of an AOR radio station with a big Journey power ballad in the middle. While it doesn't actually include "Don't Stop Believin" on the soundtrack, it could, and it makes sense this came out the same year as the wrestling opus "Vision Quest." Bottom line, if you're able to put yourself into that 1985 frame of mind, or just like any movie about cycling, or like me, you were a 12 year-old Rocky Mountain suburbanite when this hit theaters, then throw on REO Speedwagon, chug a lug a root beer, and put this one in. Or if you prefer more critical kudos with your cycling or '80s fare, then yeah, catch Breaking Away, or Back to the Future. As for me, every few years, I'll take me some Badham movie butter, chuckle at Costner's moustache, and even get a little misty-eyed at the theme song. Speaking of which, props to the director for including Chris Isaak, Creedence Clearwater Revival and ZZ Top on the soundtrack...and to all the viewers out there, anyone know what happened to Rae Dawn Chong?

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American Flyers
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1985

Customer Ratings