Best Movies About Cars
Movies about cars can be some of the most action-packed and visually appealing. If you’re looking for an adrenaline boost, here are some of the best movies about cars to check out.
I don’t know very much about cars, but I know this: they’re heavy, they’re complicated, men use them to overcompensate, and movies about them are usually pretty cool. There’s nothing like a good car chase on the big screen, so if you want to feel like you’re moving very fast in an expensive vehicle while you’re actually sitting on your couch covered in potato chip crumbs, here are some of the best movies about cars to add to your list.
Ah, Jason Statham, you beautiful English badass. There is no film you could make that a bunch of bros past their prime wouldn’t watch. The Transporter stars Statham as a driver for hire who will transport any cargo to any location, no questions asked, as long as he’s paid handsomely. (Insert lowbrow joke about how Statham himself is handsome.) When he agrees to drive a gang of criminals away from a robbery, complications arise. This successful film premiered in 2002 and was followed by two sequels, a reboot and a TV show.
Gone in 60 Seconds is a 2000 remake of a 1974 film of the same name. Cage stars as Memphis Raines (yes, seriously), a retired car thief who’s forced back into the game when his brother is in danger. Together with his crew, he’s tasked with stealing 50 cars in one night. This movie definitely gets the adrenaline pumping, because of the high-stakes crime, but also because Angelina Jolie wears at least one tank top in it.
Ah, Disney-Pixar, you perfect box-office success factory. You could kill a man in broad daylight, and I’d let it go because Toy Story has really stayed with me. Cars hit theaters in 2006, and even more impressive than its popularity is how many big-name actors provided their voices to the film. Owen Wilson stars as Lightning McQueen, but Cars also features Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Jeremy Piven, George Carlin, and Michael Keaton, to name a few. The plot centers around a big tie-breaking race that McQueen must compete in at the Los Angeles International Speedway. This is a light, kid-friendly alternative to the rest of the films on this list.
If you want to watch a George Lucas movie in which Harrison Ford appears but you just can’t think of any, try American Graffiti. This film follows a pair of best friends on their last night of summer vacation in 1962. On the eve of going off to college, they cruise around Modesto, California listening to rock and roll provided by a prolific radio DJ. This movie has the perfect mix of nostalgia and dangerous street racing you’ve been looking for.
More Jason Statham? Don’t mind if I do. The Italian Job is a 2003 heist film that also stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland and Edward Norton. A team of thieves plans to steal gold back from an ex-partner who betrayed them on a heist in Venice. Car chases and action sequences ensue.
Need for Speed was released in 2014 and stars Aaron Paul as a mechanic and underground racer. When he partners with a wealthy criminal, he’s double-crossed and sent to prison. Two years later, he decides to get his revenge by beating the man in a race. What is this relationship between cars and betrayal all about? We may never know.
I would pay money to watch Ryan Gosling nap, to be honest, but I highly recommend watching him in Drive. Gosling stars as a (surprise) mechanic who also works as a Hollywood stuntman. On the side, he’s a getaway driver—a really good one. He gets involved in a strange relationship with his neighbor, played by Carey Mulligan, and her ex-con husband, played by Oscar Isaac (who I would also pay to watch nap, for the record). Drive goes beyond the typical car movie; it’s very compelling, and it stays with you long after watching.
Talledega Nights is hilarious, obviously, because the Adam McKay- Will Ferrell- John C. Reilly trifecta couldn’t make a bad comedy if they tried. Ferrell stars as NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby, who rose to prominence with his best friend, Dale (Cal). But when a French driver threatens to knock Ricky out of first place, he’s put to the test. Even if you think NASCAR is overrated, you’ll enjoy this film.
Emilio Estevez stars in the 1984 movie Repo Man as Otto, a down-and-out youngster living in LA who takes a job with a company that repossesses cars. After that, things take a turn toward sci-fi weirdness, but this comedy has since become a cult film, so you should definitely check it out.
The film that started a hugely successful franchise, The Fast and the Furious hit theatres in 2001 and starred Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. Walker plays Brian O’Connor, a police officer who goes undercover to investigate street-racing and gets caught up in the underground scene. This movie basically introduced a generation to the car chase, so you should definitely see it if you haven’t already.
Finally, if you’re looking for something a little edgier, 1953’s The Hitch-Hiker will do the trick. Two friends pick up a hitch-hiker, which is always a mistake. Seriously, guys, don’t do this. He turns out to be an escaped convict who wants to kill them, because of course he does.
These movies will probably get you amped up enough to want to replicate some incredibly dangerous stunts in the parking lot of the nearest grocery store. I’m not saying you should do that, but I’m also not not saying it.