Stuntman (2018 film)

Last updated

Stuntman 2018 poster.jpg
Original film poster, as released at the 2018 LAFF
Directed byKurt Mattila
Written byKurt Mattila
Produced by
  • Kurt Mattila
  • Eddie Braun
  • Steven Golebiowksi
CinematographyKeith Dunkerley
Edited byKurt Mattila
Music byJeremy Zuckerman
Distributed by
Release dates
  • September 20, 2018 (2018-09-20)(Los Angeles) [1]
  • July 23, 2021 (2021-07-23)(United States) [2]
Running time
CountryUnited States

Stuntman is a 2018 American documentary film, written and directed by Kurt Mattila. The events of the movie follow stunt performer Eddie Braun's recreation of Robert "Evel" Knievel's failed Skycycle X-2 jump over Snake River Canyon in Idaho. [2]


Originally released at the 2018 LA Film Festival in September of the same year by Endeavor Content, [3] [4] the film's wide-release was distributed by The Walt Disney Company through their Disney+ streaming service as a Disney+ Original on July 23, 2021. [2]


With no financial support from any industry, stunt perfumer Eddie Braun sets out to honor the legacy of his childhood idol, Evel Knievel. After the opportunity arises to jump the Snake River Canyon, Braun spends his life savings on his life-long dream. Enlisting the help of Scott Truax, the son of the original NASA rocket scientist who build Knievel's steam-powered rocket, the pair alongside the film crew experience and emotional journey unlike anything they've previously experienced. [1]



Initially announced in July 2018 as one of the featured documentaries at the year's Los Angeles Film Festival, [4] the official release date was confirmed later that September. Described as an action movie-documentary, the film portrays the 55-year-old's attempts to complete a stunt that his childhood hero failed. Created and directed by Kurt Mattila, Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia served as executive producers, along with Alexander Dervin, Julie Benson, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz, and Kelly Knievel (Evel’s son). The project was a joint-venture production with a partnership between Driven Pictures and Seven Bucks Productions.

Johnson stated, “I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing stunt performers over the course of my career, the entire stunt community is the backbone of our business." Garcia stated that the film is "a powerful experience that exposes the level of passion and fearlessness required by these invaluable stunt actors." Endeavor Content handled distribution at the film festival. [1]

In July 2021, following The Walt Disney Company's purchase of world-wide distribution, a new poster was released alongside the debut of the first official trailer. In comparison, Disney's version is concise and streamlined, while also not including the production details of the film as LAFF's did towards the bottom.[ citation needed ]


The film premiered at the 2018 LA Film Festival on September 23, 2018. [1] [3] [4] In June 2021, it was announced that The Walt Disney Company had purchased distribution rights and would be releasing the film as a Disney+ Original. [5] Stuntman is scheduled for a July 23, 2021 release date. [2]


Critical reception

According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of 7 critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 6.00/10. [6]

Dennis Harvey of Variety found the documentary film to be an "ambitious vanity" project that is "admirably accomplished," praised the tension across the movie, but stated the film lacks emotional depth. [7] Johnny Loftus of Decider called the project of Stuntman "admirable," complimented the revealing footage from the cameras on steam-powered rockets and board stunt vehicles, but said that the narrative is not emotional enough. [8] Jennifer Green of Common Sense Media rated the film 3 out of 5 stars, complimented the depiction of positive messages, citing perseverance, and praised the presence of positive role models, stating Eddie Braun promotes tenacity, modesty, and bravery. [9]


2018 Los Angeles Film Festival Best Documentary FeatureKurt MattilaWon [3]
Best FeatureNominated

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  2. 1 2 3 4 Baumgartner, Drew (July 16, 2021). "First 'Stuntman' Trailer Puts Daring Feats on Full Display in Disney+ Documentary". Collider. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 Criscitiello, Alexa (October 2, 2018). "Dwayne Johnson & Dany Garcia Film 'Stuntman' Wins The Audience Award At LAFF". Broadway World Los Angeles. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  4. 1 2 3 Warren, Matt (July 31, 2018). ""This is the 2018 LA Film Festival Competition Lineup. What—and How!—to Watch."" . Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  5. Palmer, Robert (June 3, 2021). ""Stuntman" Coming Soon To Disney+". What's on Disney Plus. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  6. "STUNTMAN". Rotten Tomatoes .
  7. Harvey, Dennis (July 21, 2021). "'Stuntman' Review: Retracing Evel Knievel's Rocket Trail". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  8. "Stream It Or Skip It: 'Stuntman' on Disney+, A Doc About One Man's Steam-Powered Daredevil Dream". Decider. July 26, 2021. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  9. "Stuntman Movie Review | Common Sense Media". Retrieved June 20, 2022.