Top 10 Movies for Car Lovers

Written by Aaron Cameron

Films where the real star is the car is, these movies are calling all petrol and gear-heads featuring motor vehicles that race, chase, and perform mad stunts! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Movies that car enthusiasts can't get enough of. But what will speed to our top spot? Will it be the Formuala 1 based on real life masterpiece Rush, the Seventh Fast and the Furious entry rise to the top, or is the Classic Bullitt still unbeatable? Watch to find out!

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These are the must-see films that will get your engines revving. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movies for car enthusiasts.

For this list, we’re looking at movies that get car buffs excited. Whether they feature racing, road trips, or just a nice display of classic cars, we’ve made our choices by balancing how good the movie is compared to how much it speaks to your average gearhead.

#10: “Drive” (2011)

This dark thriller about a mysterious Hollywood stunt driver-slash getaway driver scored big at its 2011 Cannes Film Festival screening. Standing out thanks to its stylish direction, captivating imagery, ethereal music, and performances by Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks, it has also been called a “tribute to the genre of car films.” While “Drive” has a lot going for it on its own, the car-centric plot, fantastically staged chase scenes and the combination of a five litre Mustang and a Chrysler 300 in the same sequence is enough to get most car buffs drooling.

#9: “Le Mans” (1971)

This film depicts the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the world's oldest endurance race. Although a dud at the box office, the Steve McQueen film has since gained a cult following mainly for its authenticity. And in fact, the film gained this authenticity by using the actual Le Mans circuit and actual footage of a real race shot from a car actually in the race, with appearances from actual drivers and actual racing cars. Much of the race footage was shot from a Ford GT40 and features a Porsche 917 as well as a gorgeous Ferrari 512 in all their glory. It doesn’t hurt that McQueen himself was a racing aficionado who was determined to capture the most accurate racing footage possible, which he most definitely did.

#8: “Ronin” (1998)

As if the idea of Robert De Niro kicking ass and taking names in France wasn’t exciting enough, director John Frankenheimer went and made it even better. While the film admittedly spends most of its time on the team of ex-special ops trying to steal a mysterious briefcase, the car chase scenes through Nice and Paris, all filmed live, have been noted as some of the best of all time. Considering there were over 2000 extras, 300 stunt drivers, and appearances by a Mercedes SEL, a vintage and overpowered Benz W116, an Audi S8, BMW 535i, a Citroen XM and a variety of Peugeots, to name a few, there can be no doubt that this action thriller deserves a place on our list.

#7: “Death Proof” (2007)

No definitive list of car flicks can be complete without Quentin Tarantino’s homage to the exploitation, muscle car films popular in the 1970s. Combining action, horror, comedy, and revenge in a way only Tarantino could, the film stars Kurt Russell as a psychopathic stuntman who murders young women through car “accidents” using a car that he believes is “death proof.” Although not one of Tarantino's biggest hits, the flick still lands on our list as a worthy tribute to the golden age of car cinema due to its breathtaking car sequences, jaw-dropping crashes, and an appearance by a beautiful 1970 Dodge Challenger.

#6: “The Italian Job” (1969)

Although the 2003 remake has garnered some favorable reviews and features some pretty drool-worthy cars, we’ve set our sights on the British original that blew the doors off the genre. Starring Michael Caine as the head of a crew of criminals trying to pull off a monumental heist in Italy, the film features some classy cars from the turn of the decade, including an orange Lamborghini Miura, an Aston Martin DB4, Jag E-Types and a black Fiat Dino coupé. Of course, car lovers will enjoy what the film is best known for: its climactic car chase scene involving a trio of stylish Mini Coopers.

#5: “Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000)

Don’t get us wrong; the 1974 original has definitely got a few tricks up its sleeve, but when it comes to gorgeous automobiles, the remake has got them…and then some. Featuring a stunning Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage in fine form, and a pedal-to-the-medal plot, the real beauties here are the fifty expensive cars master thief “Memphis” Raines must steal to save his brother’s life. Beginning with a 1999 Aston Martin DB7, as well as an exquisite DB1 and ending with a 2000 Volvo V70R, the cars are dreamy to behold, but none so much as the prized Eleanor- a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 which received a star title credit in the movie.

#4: “Vanishing Point” (1971)

With heart-pumping action, dangerous stunts, a chase across post-hippie America, and a white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T loaded with a 440 Magnum, car movies can’t get much better than this surreal gem. Referenced in multiple songs, television shows, and even video games, the epic chase between the police and mysterious driver Kowalski has since captured the imaginations of film directors from Quentin Tarantino to Steven Spielberg. There are enough revving engines, car crashes, and racing sequences in this cult classic road movie to appeal to vehicle lovers of any age and from any background.

#3: “Bullitt” (1968)

You can’t officially call yourself a gearhead unless you’ve watched this seminal car-lover’s classic. Featuring the macho Steve McQueen in all his McQueeniness, a 1969 Ford Mustang 390 Fastback, and a Dodge Charger 440 Magnum, the film became a critical and box office smash and resulted in a cult following from fans of the genre. The crowning achievement of this dramatic thriller, however, is undoubtedly the chase scene through the streets of San Francisco, called one of cinema’s most exciting and all time best. It has been extensively copied, parodied, and referenced to in a sequence that has set the standard for all car chase scenes to come after.

#2: “Rush” (2013)

Arguably the finest professional racing flick of all time, this tense and thrilling film brings to life the fierce rivalry between Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt in 1976. A far cry from the safer vehicles of today, drivers back then were daredevils; there was no such thing as roll cages, aerodynamics usually worked against you rather than for you, and high-speed crashes were usually a death sentence. This Ron Howard film captures the danger of F1 racing back in the day brilliantly and gives us sequences that make us grimace, wince, and squeal with anxiety and anticipation.

Before we race to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Repo Man” (1984)
- “Two-Lane Blacktop” (1971)
- “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977)

#1: “Furious 7” (2015)

Is there any more enjoyable and exhilarating movie for the modern car enthusiast than the seventh entry in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise? We’d have to argue that there is not – or that at least, it’s very unlikely. Although credit must be given to the original 2001 film, “Furious 7” perfects the formula for the car movie: it’s got real stunts, real crashes, and real driving. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the action sequences are perfectly orchestrated, and that it features some of the prettiest cars imaginable, including an ultra-rare and ultra-expensive Lykan HyperSport, a Bugatti Veyron, a 2014 Maserati Ghibli, and classic Aston Martins, Chargers, Plymouths, and more.

Do you agree with our list? Which car movies get you drooling? For more engine-revving top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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