Car movies, contrary to what is often believed, did not start with the Fast and the Furious. But the value that Fast and Furious adds to this genre is too great to ignore. Car movies were more about track racing before Fast and Furious. At the same time, these films were often inspired by real life.
With the introduction of Fast and Furious‘s street racing culture to the cinema world, car movies have also progressed in this direction for a long period of time. In this content, we bring together the best car movies, from street racing to action-packed productions, track racing and documentaries. If you’re ready, let’s take a closer look at our list of the best car movies all together.
20) Days of Thunder (1990) | IMDb: 6.0
- Director: Tony Scott
- Cast: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall
Days of Thunder, one of the serious car movies of the 90s, stands out with its racing scenes as well as Hans Zimmer’s legendary music. Our lead character, Cole, has a lot of experience in the American racing series World of Outlaws. But the real problem of the young racer is that he never manages to break his shell.
Cole’s luck is starting to turn around as a result of being invited to the NASCARteam by the great Chevrolet dealer Tim Daland. The reason the film received mixed reviews is largely due to the fact that the film did not catch up. Days of Thunder, which is normally planned to have 5 months for editing, has to be edited in only 5 weeks.
19) Death Race (2008) | IMDb: 6.3
- Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
- Cast: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson
Death Race is a remake of the 1975 science fiction racing film Death Race 2000. In the film, the world is experiencing an overpopulation as a result of excessive industrialization and consumerism. The human race is also in an ethical collapse. In the middle of this terrible dystopia, death races are held in the prison full of notorious criminals. In the movie, we watch the struggle of Jensen Ames, who unintentionally takes part in this event where criminals race to their death.
18) Need for Speed (2014) | IMDb: 6.4
- Director: Scott Waugh
- Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots
Need for Speed games were heavily inspired by the Fast and the Furious movies for a period. Need for Speed, the first movie in the original title of the series, is an adaptation of the game Need for Speed: The Run. In the movie, street racer Tobey participates in one of the biggest underground races, The DeLeon, for the sake of revenge. Tobey has 48 hours to complete the race, which takes him from one end of the country to the other.
17) Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) | IMDb: 6.5
- Director: Dominic Sera
- Cast: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi
Gone in 60 Seconds is the first of the films that heralded the Fast and the Furious appearance. Randall “Memphis” Raines, a former car thief, is rolling up his sleeves for one last job in the movie, which does not call Fast and Furious with car action scenes.
Memphis has 48 hours to save her brother, who has fallen into the wrong hands. Our lead role has to steal a series of classic and sports cars during this time. We are embarking on an exciting adventure with Memphis, which is trying to bring its old team together for this job, with beautiful cars.
16) Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) | IMDb: 6.6
- Director: Adam McKay
- Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a parody of many racing movies before the 2000s, notably Days of Thunder. Of course, the fact that the movie is a parody does not prevent us from finding almost everything we look for in a car movie. Talladega Nights, which meets our need for speed with fast cars and exciting races, takes us to the skies of the NASCAR tournament with talented racer Ricky Bobby.
15) Le Mans (1971) | IMDb: 6.8
- Director: Lee H. Katzin
- Cast: Steve McQueen, Siegfried Rauch, Elga Andersen
Le Mans is one of the films that best reflect the racing community of the period. The movie, which is one of the first productions that comes to mind when it comes to car movies, has little dialogue and quite a lot of racing scenes. Almost a documentary, Le Mans tries to tell this famous 24-hour race from beginning to end through a single driver. The vehicle driven by Steve McQueen in the movie is the legendary Gulf-Porsche 917K.
14) The Fast and the Furious (2001) | IMDb: 6.8
- Director: Rob Cohen
- Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez
We actually need to consider Fast and the Furious as a series. But the stead of the first movie will always be different for many car lovers. Fast and Furious, which combines underground racing culture with a high-dec story and successful actors, was an unprecedented film at the time of its release. The series, which continues today, is unfortunately no longer an underground racing series. However, when we look for high-action car movies, the Fast and Furious series is still the first door we knock-on.
13) Taxi (1998) | IMDb: 7.0
- Director: Gérard Pires
- Cast: Samy Naceri, Frédéric Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard
The first Taxi, made in 1998, is one of the indispensable car films of those who grew up in the 90s. Daniel, who works as a pizza courier in the movie, quits his job and becomes a taxi driver. The legendary 1997 model used by Daniel Peugeot 406 is not as ordinary as it seems from the outside.
Because, thanks to its notable developments, the vehicle becomes a complete street racing car with the push of a few buttons. One day, when police officer Emilien, who is terrible at driving, asks Daniel to catch criminals, our leading role gets the opportunity to showcase all his driving skills.
12) Cars (2006) | IMDb: 7.1
- Director: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft
- Cast (Voice): Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman
When car movies became popular again, it never occurred to anyone that a film consisting entirely of cars would be made. Disney’s animation Cars, consisting entirely of cars, managed to make us fall in love with it at first glance with its magical world where only cars reign. Cars, which has managed to bring together popular car models from famous racing tournaments from all periods, manages to steal the hearts of car enthusiasts of all ages.
11) Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) | IMDb. 7.2
- Director: Monte Hellman
- Cast: James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird
Two-Lane Blacktop is one of the most popular road movies of US cinema. The film tells the story of two young racing enthusiasts who are touring the famous Route 66 with a “sleeper” Chevrolet 150. One of these young people, the famous musician James Taylor, plays the Driver.
Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson takes on the role of the mechanic. These two young people embark on an existential journey where they meet car enthusiasts like themselves. The main story of the film is the race that will last until Washington, where two young people make a race with a man who is nicknamed GTO after the Pontiac GTO car he drives.
10) Grand Prix (1966) | IMDb: 7.2
- Director: John Frankenheimer
- Cast: James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand
The Grand Prix, one of the best car movies of the era in which it was released, takes us on a journey into the world of 1966 Formula 1. The Grand Prix, which won 3 Oscars, including Best Editing, was also highly appreciated with its racing footage featuring actual Formula 1 racers.
The fictional aspect of the film, it deals with the dismissal of the pilot named Pete Aron, who was expelled from his team. Pete is kicked out of the Jordan-BRM team after causing an injury to his teammate. But for Pete, this is not the end of the road. Returning to the tracks with the Japanese team Yamura, our pilot also begins to have an affair with the wife of his friend Stoddard, whom he injured.
9) The 24 Hour War (2016) | IMDb: 7.2
- Director: Nate Adams, Adam Carroll
- Cast: Charlie Agapiou (Himself), Mario Andretti (Himself), AJ Baime (Himself)
Ford v Ferrari is not the only film about the famous Ford and Ferrari war of the 1960s. The 24 Hour War is a documentary about how Ford broke the Ferrari monopoly in the Le Mans races. In the film about the relentless struggle between these two famous car manufacturers, many well-known names from the racing world come together to reveal the unknown aspects of the event.
8) Italian Race (2016) | IMDb: 7.3
- Director: Matteo Rovere
- Cast: Stefano Accorsi, Matilda De Angelis, Paolo Graziosi
Italian Race is a racing movie that also touches on the life of legendary Italian rally racer Carlo Capone. In the film, we watch the story of the promising young GT racer Giulia De Martino, full of drama and speed. Coming from a family that has achieved great success in car racing, Giulia confidently climbs the steps of the racing world with her father Mario. Until the former rally champion, his new drug-addicted older brother, returned. Having to work together, these two try to become a family again. At the same time, on the track, fierce rivals will haunt the brothers.
7) Baby Driver (2017) | IMDb: 7.6
- Director: Edgar Wright
- Cast: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm
Baby, whose reputation exceeds its age, is one of the best and fastest drivers in the criminal underworld. Having become an escape driver for bank robbers and having crossed paths with crime bosses whom he never wanted to meet, Baby manages to get out of even the most complicated situations when he puts his headphones on and turns on the music list.
But in life, things don’t always go as we expect. Because Baby is forced to work on a heist plan doomed to fail. He will need some driving skills to get himself out of this situation. Baby Driver, which is an interesting car movie with its subject and plot, is a production that will make those who are looking for a different taste quite happy.
6) Drive (2011) | IMDb: 7.8
- Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
- Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Drive tells the Driver’s story, a stuntman in Hollywood who has tremendous driving skills. Driver earns his living by participating in robberies thanks to his sharp driving skills. This order of the driver is disrupted one day when he agrees to help his neighbor Irene. Driver’s decision turns his life upside down. Driver, who finds himself on the target list of Los Angeles’ most dangerous people, has to show all his driving skills to save himself.
5) Revolution Cars (2008) | IMDb: 8.0
- Director: Tolga Örnek
- Cast: Haluk Bilginer, Taner Birsel, Charles Carroll
We generally do not think of Turkish production when car movies are mentioned. But the Cars of the Revolution, released in 2008, is a film that can attract quite a lot of car enthusiasts, although it does not contain high-budget racing scenes. Revolution Cars, which is also a true period film, takes place right after the 1960 coup.
Cemal Gürsel, who became the president after the coup, instructs 23 engineers from TCDD to produce domestic cars. The team has only 130 days to produce the car named Devrim. This is how the difficult production process begins for the team struggling with impossibilities and politics.
4) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) | IMDb: 8.1
- Director: George Miller
- Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Mad Max: Fury Road, which should be the next stop for those looking for a different car movie experience, is becoming the most interesting car movie on our list. Fury Road, the latest film in George Miller’s post-apocalyptic Mad Max franchise that has been afloat since the 1980s, hosts a huge car racing scene. This scene, in which hundreds of cars are used, took weeks to shoot, brings together the most interesting post-apocalyptic cars you’ve ever seen.
3) Rush (2013) | IMDb: 8.1
- Director: Ron Howard
- Cast: Daniel Bruhl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde
Rush, in which we took a short journey towards the Formula 1 skies of the 1970s, brings to the silver screen the rivalry between the two master pilots of the period, James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Competing for the Ferrari team, Niki loses the first place to his arch-rival James due to an accident at the German Grand Prix. When the Italian Grand Prix arrives, Niki Lauda returns to the track. From this point on, an exciting fight begins between Niki and James that will last until the end of the season.
2) Ford v Ferrari (2019) | IMDb: 8.1
- Director: James Mangold
- Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal
Ford v Ferrari, which handles the eternal competition of two well-known car brands that are not very known, is also the winner of the Oscar awards for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing. Ferrari has won every Le Mans race since 1958. This success adorns the dreams of Henry Ford, who wanted to enter the racing world at that time.
Ford, who wanted to buy Ferrari but could not, found the solution by producing his own racing car. Ford recruits car designer Carroll Shelby and racing driver Ken Miles to its team. The task of these two names is to produce a racing car that will beat Ferrari. The model that came out after the sleepless nights of this duo is none other than the legendary Ford GT40.
1) Senna (2010) | IMDb: 8.5
- Director: Asif Kapadia
- Cast: Ayrton Senna (Archive), Reginaldo Leme (Voice), John Bisignano (Voice)
It tells about the training of Brazilian trade Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. This is the most emotional production on our list. In the documentary, we witness the challenges faced by Ayrton Senna, the most significant driver of the time as the champion for three consecutive years, both on and off the track. Senna, who successfully covered the period until the accident in which the master pilot lost his life in the Italian San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, offers the opportunity to know the legendary pilot more closely.
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