As you likely already know, we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and it’s taking its toll almost every major country. Throughout the world, citizens are being urged to self-quarantine and practice social-distancing. Essentially, everyone should be staying home and leaving the house as infrequently as absolutely possible. In fact, not leaving the house at all, nor seeing anyone outside of immediate family, is ideal.
However, that can be mind-numbingly boring for many. Most people are looking to Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ to fill the void, as they sit at home all day. Which is why we’ve curated some of the best car-related movies for you to watch so you can get your car fix without having to leave the house.
The Italian Job
The original Italian Job, not the abomination with Mark Wahlberg, is one of the great all-time car movies. It’s easily one of the most iconic, thanks to its epic car chase through Italy, featuring classic Minis and the always-awesome Michael Caine. It’s quite old, having debuted in 1969, so its pacing can seem a bit odd by today’s standards but it’s absolutely worth the watch.
All movies featuring Jason Statham are guilty pleasures, as they’re usually not excellent as far as movies go (although, The Bank Job and Snatch are most excellent) but are enjoyable nevertheless. The Transporter is no different, as it’s obnoxiously over-the-top but in a fun, light-hearted way. It also features an absolutely awesome car chase with an E38 BMW 7 Series in the very beginning. Fun fact: The Transporter is what got me into BMWs back when it came out and I was twelve or thirteen years old.
Maybe I’m a bit biased, because I’m a huge Edgar Wright fan, but Baby Driver is on my short list of all-time great car movies. There are a few car chases in it, all featuring different cars, and they’re all outstanding. The opening scene featuring a getaway chase in a Subaru WRX is one of my absolutely favorite car chases of all time. The movie features great car chases, a kick-ass soundtrack and is just a good movie in general. That last bit is important because it’s not often car movies are actually good movies.
The story of the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, during the brutal era of ’70s Formula 1, is a must-see. Sure, it has its historical inaccuracies and there will always be die-hard motorsport fans that poke holes in it, but it’s a great watch nevertheless. Ron Howard directs, Daniel Brühl plays Niki Lauda and Chris Hemsworth plays James Hunt, so you’re getting some quality movie-maker power. It also has some excellent driving; both F1 and road cars. Plus, it’s great story and a good movie.
Mad Max Fury Road
Mad Max Fury Road might not feature a single real-world car throughout its entire run-time. Despite that, the entire movie is one epic car chase. Not only is basically just a single, blood-pumping thrill ride, it’s done using almost all practical effects, with very little CGI. Oh and it features Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy. Need I say more?
Fast and Furious Franchise
Personally, I really couldn’t care less about the Fast and Furious movies. I haven’t seen one since they ripped a bank vault out of a building and pulled it through the street with Dodge Chargers. They’re absurdly over-the-top, entirely unrealistic and are more action-movie than car-movie nowadays. Yet they still draw massive audiences. People still love watching them and, if you like cars, there’s a good chance you will too. There’s also five hundred and forty nine of them, so they can keep you busy for awhile.
Pixar’s Cars (1,2 and 3)
If you have kids (or if you don’t), Pixar’s Cars movies are great. They’re fun, lighthearted and feature some very cool animated racing. The main character’s name is Lightning McQueen and is voiced by Owen Wilson and the first one has Paul Newman. So you can watch it with your kids and you both can enjoy it.
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Okay, so this one isn’t actually a car movie but it does feature one of the best car chases in recent memory. Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt, kicking ass in an E28 5 Series through the streets of Paris is must-see TV. It’s also a really good action movie and worth a watch in its own right.
Obviously there are a great many movies I’ve left off this list. It would be impossible to list them all. So if there are some that you like but aren’t on the list, leave them in the comments below so other readers can have some more suggestions. If not, check these movies out and, remember, stay inside, stay away from people, have a nice cold pint and wait for all this to blow over.