There’s nothing quite like a good car movie. Even the cheesiest ones get your blood pumping as soon as that key turns and the engine roars. Everyone’s got their own list of favorite car movies, including me. Here are my favorite car movies of all time, ranked.
- The Transporter
Jason Statham will transport anything for you, no questions asked, in this 2002 action movie, until his package turns out to be a woman. This whole series is filled with big, sexy German cars, mind-blowing car chases and some of the coolest action driving on the big or small screen.
Statham’s character’s favorite cars in the first movie include the BMW 7 Series E38 and a Mercedes W140, and the sequels are full of Audis and even one Lamborghini.
Ok, it’s more of an alien robot movie than a car movie, and it’s not even a good movie, but you have to admit — there are some really amazing cars in this franchise. Some of their choices pissed off a lot of diehard Transformers fans, myself included, but what they did with the cars was absolutely stunning.
Optimus Prime is, of course, a classic Peterbilt tractor trailer, but Jazz’s Porsche was replaced with a fun little Pontiac Solstice, and Bumblebee, sweet little Bumblebee, was changed from a yellow Volkswagen Beetle to a sleek Chevy Camaro.
- The Italian Job
How many Mini Coopers were sold when The Italian Job came out? This heist movie also has some of the most fantastic chase scenes in cinema. It doesn’t matter if you watch the original version that came out in 1969 or the remake, there is no shortage of cars, chases, or awesome plots. Watching Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron load up those Minis with gold always puts a grin on my face.
- The Fast and The Furious
The movie that launched a thousand sequels, and YouTubers, the first Fast and the Furious movie is still just as good as it was when it came out. The first movie introduces us to Dom Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, and his car-family.
Dom’s 1970 Charger is one of the most beautiful cars in the movie, and it breaks my heart every single time to watch it get trashed. The whole movie is peppered with mind-blowing races and modified Hondas and Acuras.
- Death Race
It’s entirely possible that I’ve got too much Jason Statham on this list, but Death Race has some of the most awesome car modifications this side of the Mad Max universe, which I’ll get to in a minute. Prisoners race in deadly, no-holds-barred races to earn their freedom. If someone dies during the race, well, that’s just good television.
Everything from the Ford Mustang GT to a Dodge Ram to a Buick Riviera shows up on the track, modified to be the most deadly thing on four wheels. It’s no Oscar winner, but Death Race is definitely one of the most fun car movies on this list.
- Gone in 60 Seconds
Gone in 60 Seconds has one of the most iconic cars in Hollywood’s history — Eleanor, a lovingly restored 1967 Mustang Shelby Cobra driven by the movie’s protagonist. The plot of the movie involves stealing 50 cars to save the main character’s brother, but, to pull it off, they have to steal them all in one night.
The list of cars ranges from classic Bentleys and Stingrays to modern Fords and Cadillacs, each one stunning in its own right. This is the ultimate car lover’s movie.
As a kid who loved cars, Stephen King’s horror story, Christine, scared me to death. A possessed killer car was the perfect thing to strike fear in my heart, especially when it was a stunningly beautiful car like the 1958 Plymouth Fury that King wrote about.
There were a couple of facts that didn’t match up with the actual car, like Christine being referred to as a 4-door when the model from that year only came with 2 doors, but it doesn’t take away from the sheer terror I felt as a kid watching this movie.
It might be a kid’s movie, but Cars has a lot of amazing vehicles and tons of Route 66 history. It also has Easter eggs that shouldn’t be passed up. Many of the locations shown in the film are inspired by locations that lie along Route 66. The cars themselves are based off some of the most interesting cars in history.
Doc Hudson, voiced by the unparalleled Paul Newman, is a 1951 Hudson Hornet, while Lightning’s love interest Sally is modeled after the Porsche 911 Carrera. It’s a great move to get your kids interested in cars or racing, but even if you don’t have kids, it’s definitely worth two hours of your time.
- Mad Max: Fury Road
Oh. My. Goodness. I can go on for days about the stunning cinematography and heart-pounding stunts that make up the latest entry in the Mad Max series. This entry pits Max, played by Tom Hardy, against Immortan Joe and his imperators.
Max himself drives a 1974 XB Ford Falcon Coupe that makes a brief appearance in the beginning of the film before being hijacked by the War Boys. Furioisa’s war-rig is Frankenstein’s monster, part Chevy Fleetmaster and part Czech Tatra.
I can talk for days about that sandstorm scene or the Doof and his flame-throwing guitar — that actually threw flames! — but we’ll just leave it at that.
- The Blues Brothers
You can’t write a list of car movies without including the one that held the world record for most cars destroyed on screen. The sequel beat that number, but we’re not talking about that one here, or anywhere. The Blues Brothers is considered a one of the greatest American car movies, and is also my favorite movie of all time.
Sure, you’ve got a Bentley and a Jaguar that show up on screen for a while, but no one remembers those. It’s the Bluesmobile that everyone loves and the wanton destruction left in its wake.
Did I miss your favorite car movie? I probably did. There are about 30 others that could easily have made the list. I’m always looking for good new movies to feed my love of cars, so feel free to comment with your favorite!