Welcome to Thursday Trailer Face-Off, a feature in which we cast acritical eye on two similar upcoming film releases, pitting them againsteach other across a variety of categories to determine which is mostdeserving of your two hours. This week: The Fifth Estate vs. Rush, two action-packed biopics featuring male rivalry and Daniel Brühl.PremiseDirected by Ron Howard, Rush focuses on the rivalry between British Formula One driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian Formula One Driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). With his long, blond locks and cocky demeanor, Hunt drives a bit and drinks a lot. He also seduces many pretty ladies, like Olivia Wilde and Nathalie Dormer. Lauda, on the other hand, takes himself much more seriously, returning to the tracks just weeks after a crash that nearly kills him. The Fifth Estate is also about the relationship between two men: hacktavists and Wikileaks founders Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl). They start of as friends as partners, but as their fame grows, the two grow apart and Assange loses sight of their original goal. Advantage: Rush
Risky BusinessProfessional racecar driving and investigative journalism are not for the faint of heart. The Fifth Estate trailer begins with four WikiLeaks members huddled around a computer, watching in shock as the US army fires on civilians. Twenty-three seconds into trailer and Assange and Domscheit-Berg have leaked the video and angered some important-looking people in the White House (Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, and Stanley Tucci). A minute later, and they’ve added a billion-dollar bank to their list of enemies. We know where this is going, and it’s going towards exile from the Western world. Rush‘s trailer begins with an equally serious tone, as thunder and revving engines queue a race scene between Lauda and Hunt; and it’s not long before we see Lauda’s car burst into flames. There’s obviously plenty of risk involved in racecar driving, but The Fifth Estate‘s cat-and-mouse chase between U.S. government officials and the WikiLeaks gang still dominates the news, and seems much more frightening and relevant for people living in a world where privacy is extinct.Advantage: The Fifth Estate
The Race to Be FirstHow far would you go to come in first, and is it really worth it? While being first is a rather daunting, endless battle in the 24-hour news cycle and can only lead to entire countries hating you, winning the Grand Prix in its ’70s heyday got you girls, Champagne, and fame. We’ll take partying in Monaco over hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.Advantage: Rush
The Leading ManBenedict Cumberbatch’s chameleon capabilities as an actor never cease to amaze us, and his portrayal of Julian Assange is no exception. With that stringy blonde hair and Australian accent, Cumberbatch is successfully unrecognizable as the WikiLeaks editor-in-chief and spokesperson. While we do enjoy Chris Hemsworth’s English accent, playing a beautiful blond man with impressive muscles is hardly stepping outside of his comfort zone.Advantage: The Fifth EstateDaniel Brühl Versus Daniel BrühlBetween his performances as Benedict Cumberbatch’s tech-savvy sidekick in The Fifth Estate and Chris Hemsworth’s racing rival in Rush, comparing Daniel Brühl is quite a tough decision. While his character in The Fifth Estate appears throughout the trailer, we’ve seen Brühl play an activist several times already. Brühl’s portrayal of Niki Lauda seems to be a more challenging role and a more integral part of the film.Advantage: Rush
Oscar ContendersEach film has great potential for achieving Oscar status: Rush is directed by Ron Howard, who has already won two Oscars, and everyone loves a good based-on-a-true-story political thriller. That said, pretty people who play pretty people in films rarely win Oscars (we’re looking at you, Hemsworth and Olivia Wilde), and The Fifth Estate is set to open at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is always a good sign.Advantage: The Fifth Estate
The VerdictWhile racing seems exciting, and we’re not ones to pass up a shirtless Chris Hemsworth, The Fifth Estate‘s all-star cast, compelling storyline, and political relevance make it the stronger choice.Winner: The Fifth Estate
Trailer Face-Off runs every Thursday. For more, click here.