While this quarantine drudges on, here’s a few excellent car movies to keep you sane during the stay-at-home orders.
By now, you’ve probably exhausted just about everything on your favorite streaming service. Binging ‘The Office’ four times through is probably enough. We’re all car people here, what about something that revolves around the automobile? Here’s a list compiling some of the best car movies to watch during these stay-at-home days.
10. Rush (2013)
A gritty, glorified true tale of the battles between legendary drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, this film expertly defines some of the finer details of Formula 1. The cinematography is excellent and riveting, while the story obtains an exclusive grasp on reality thanks to its basis on truth.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 88%, Audience – 88%
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt) and Daniel Brühl (Niki Lauda)
Rent or buy on Amazon: Rush
9. Le Mans (1971)
More than a few representations of Le Mans have been brought to the silver screen, but this version is one of the best. The Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512LM star in the film and solidify their reputation as two of the best and most beautiful racecars ever created.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 67%, Audience – 80%
Director: Lee H. Katzin
Starring: Steve McQueen (Michael Delaney)
Buy on Amazon: Le Mans
8. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Possibly Will Ferrell’s best performance, Talladega Nights manages to effortlessly inject humor into the sport of NASCAR. The jokes are hilarious, the racing is actually very decent, and who doesn’t want to see Will Ferrell running up the 33-degree embankment in some whitey tighties? Prepare to laugh so hard that you’ll be crying out to Tom Cruise for help too.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 71%, Audience – 73%
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell (Ricky Bobby) and John C. Reilly (Cal Naughton Jr.)
Rent or buy on Amazon: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
7. Duel (1971)
The first of many masterpieces from Steven Spielberg, Duel is a real edge-of-your-seat film. Following a non-descript salesman driving an ordinary Plymouth Valiant along desolate desert roads, the antagonist soon enters the fray: a pissed-off Peterbilt. A frightening series of events builds up suspense and dread like no other movie on this list.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 88%, Audience – 84%
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Dennis Weaver (David Mann)
Rent or buy on Amazon: Duel
6. Furious 7 (2015)
While the newer Fast and Furious installments serve distaste on a silver platter for many fans (myself included), Furious 7 is the exception. While the new trend of ‘screw racing, we want explosions’ has taken the franchise over, this film incorporates enough cars to overcome that. Supercars, tuners and muscle cars thankfully get loads of screen time, while the Paul Walker tribute is one of the most heart wrenching moments I have ever seen. It’s a must see.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 81%, Audience – 82%
Director: James Wan
Starring: Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto) and Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner)
Rent or buy on Amazon: Furious 7
5. Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)
This movie ushered ‘Eleanor’ onto bedroom posters around the world, myself included. The movie itself is a rampage of fantastic action sequences, chase scenes, and burnouts. The mission: steal 50 cars by the end of the night. Impossible? You’ll see. The film is thoroughly exciting, and the car is one of the most gorgeous automobiles to ever grace a screen.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 25% (ignore this), Audience – 77%
Director: Dominic Sena
Starring: Nicolas Cage (Memphis) and Angelina Jolie (Sway)
Rent or buy from Amazon: Gone in Sixty Seconds
4. Baby Driver (2017)
Baby Driver is criminally underrated and is a must-watch. Boasting one of the best soundtracks in any movie, follow along with the unassuming red WRX as it sprints through some fantastic chase scenes. The action is styled to go along with the beat of whatever song is playing, gracing the film with a flow unlike any other car movie. While the star Subaru isn’t the fastest getaway car, it provides exactly what the movie’s bank-robbing cronies need.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 93%, Audience – 86%
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort (Baby) and Kevin Spacey (Doc)
Rent or buy from Amazon: Baby Driver
3. Grand Prix (1966)
The grandfather of nearly every movie on this list, Grand Prix pioneered how modern car movies are made today. Cinematographer Lionel Lindon essentially invented the booms, camera rigs and shot angles that now are a staple in movie making. The movie transpires during the 1966 Formula 1 season boasting real racecars and some cameos from famous names such as Graham Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill and more. Many regard it as the greatest racing movie of all time, even to this day.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 100%, Audience – 88%
Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: James Garner (Pete Aron)
Rent or buy from Amazon: Grand Prix
2. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Alright, hear me out. A lot of people aren’t fans of this movie for valid reasons; horrible acting, the plot is a mess, and it’s incredibly cheesy. But this movie really made JDM culture mainstream and look how large that niche is today. Tons of tuners attribute their passion to Tokyo Drift, and its easy to see why. The drifting culture was also brought to light and Formula Drift has become massive since then. The scope of influence on the car world this movie has had is monumental. Oh, and the beginning race between the Viper and the Monte Carlo? One of the best in the series. Do you want to see how a movie can influence an entire generation of car lovers? This is the one.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 37%, Audience – 69%
Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Lucas Black (Sean Boswell)
Rent or buy from Amazon: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
1. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
This truly is a masterpiece. Every aspect of this film is exceptional, from the acting, racing, and the story, which is once again aided by the fantastic basis on truth. The movie follows the triumphs and tribulations of Ford challenging Ferrari at the biggest race of them all: Le Mans. The pace is perfect and the driving is superb. This is a film every person with even the slightest interest in cars needs to watch. Truly, one of the greatest car movies of all time. Ah, to hell with that. One of the greatest movies ever made.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 92%, Audience – 98%
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Matt Damon (Carroll Shelby) and Christian Bale (Ken Miles)
Rent or buy from Amazon: Ford v Ferrari