There is something appealing about car movies – the thrill of a chase, the growl of an engine, or the elegance of a turn. In that spirit, here is a list (by no means exhaustive) of car movies I have enjoyed.
The film that helped to enshrine the 1968 Ford Mustang as an iconic car in cinema history, I was surprised at how good this film was on its own merits, apart from its famed car chase (starring Steve McQueen!). A slow, brooding sort of film that elects to show more than tell, Bullitt follows detective Frank Bullitt, a police lieutenant tasked to protect a witness for a weekend. Everything unravels from there in what feels like a lighter-than-most noire piece. 4.5/5
Gone in 60 Seconds
Something about Nicholas Cage movies tends to bring a grin to my face – there’s a goofy, charming undercurrent to many of his movies that I’ve yet to get burnt out on. In this heist film, Nicholas Cage plays Randall Raines, a top-notch car thief who is pulled back into the world of car heists to help a family member. 4/5
A glitzy, glamorous film based on the anime series of the same name, this movie has a apropos cartoonish-ness to it. Weaving backstory into inventive and seamless montages, Speed Racer tells the story of Speed, a talented driver who dreams of following in the footsteps of his older brother and becoming a legendary racer. Though not a film heavy on plot or character–and occasionally getting bogged down with exposition–Speed Racer manages to wring a lot of fun out of the movie’s many races. 3.5/5
The most recent of the films presented here, this was one of my favorite films of 2017. Combining great car chases with good characterization and a stylish soundtrack, Baby Driver checks all the right boxes for my movie tastes. Baby is a semi-reluctant getaway car driver, and Debra is a waitress at a restaurant. Nothing can keep these two souls apart, except maybe Baby’s career path as a getaway driver. The film centers around the question: can Baby get away from his life as a criminal to live a normal life? With car chases aplenty, this film never drags. 5/5
While there are a bunch of other great car movies I’ve yet to watch, this list gets you up to speed on my latest favorites. From Bullitt to Baby Driver, these films span a variety of genres (though mostly crime-related I suppose?) but have one thing in common: adrenaline-pumping car chases!