1. Senna (2011)
“The best decision is my decision!”
This documentary tells the story of the handsome, soft-spoken Brazilian triple time Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna who died in an official competition at just 34 years old. It details his lifelong quest for perfection on and off the track and the legacy he has since left behind. The racing sequences are often heart-stopping and heart-breaking. It’s the perfect profile of a man who proved that there was no other way for him to live life, than on the extreme edge.
2. Rush (2013)
“Happiness is the enemy”
Directed by Ron Howard, Rush shows the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Pre-race trash talk, superb chase scenes and sexual tension round out this classic.
3. Drive (2011)
“There’s a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don’t need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window.”
The “Driver” drives for hire and he has no other name. His life is driving, every day, every night. And the context doesn’t matter: he can be at the wheel of a getaway car, running from police pursuit and outsmarting pursuers, or a stunt driver for action flicks. Nothing matters as long as he’s driving. Ryan Gosling’s sincerity and charisma carry the film into the homerun category.
4. Bullitt (1968)
Walter Chalmers: “Frank, we must all compromise.”
If the sight of the iconic 1968 Ford Mustang GT roaring through the streets of San Fran doesn’t make you drool, then you are reading the wrong article. This crime drama has everything, including one of the most famous car chases in film history, one that has been copied many times, but hardly ever bettered.
5. Vanishing Point (1971)
“Patiently. That’s the only way to wait for somebody”
One of the greatest car chase films ever made, Vanishing Point is an existential examination of the human condition under the auspice of metaphor. Everything serves as metaphor for life and its problems: the car, the road, the landscape. The soundtrack keeps perfect pulse with the twisted plot of the film - one that car chase aficionados and fans of counterculture flicks alike will enjoy.
6. Gone in 60 Seconds (1964)
“I should have read my horoscope this morning.”
Forget Nicolas Cage’s remake. This ’70s classic is where the real cars can be found, and stolen. Maindrian Pace and his team have to steal 48 cars for South American drug lord, and the topping on the cake, a 1973 Ford Mustang called “Eleanor.” Chases, crashes, drama and action in the only way Hollywood in the ’70s knew how. As the trailer states, “You owe it to your car to see this!”
7. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
The Max Max franchise has entirely transformed the post-apocalyptic genre with vivid stunts and far-too-real special effects foreshadowing a dire future. The action sequences are a given - superb. It’s the extras that make this film absolutely stand out. From the editing to the music and sound design to the emotionally rich, complex characters, Fury Road isn’t one to miss.
8. Rubber (2010)
“Oh, God, the kid was right. The killer is a tire.”
Not exactly a car-chase movie, but this French comedy about a tire that comes to life and attempts to kill people just weird enough to make the list. It premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival to resounding positive reviews.
9. Days of Thunder (1990)
“If you’re from California, you’re not a Yankee. You’re not really anything.”
Directed by Tony Scott, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, with music by Hans Zimmer and starring Tom Cruise, Days of Thunder was destined to be a classic action movie. The on-track scenes are loud and fast and exciting. Off-track, Robert Duvall delivers a sensitive and honest performance and Tom Cruise does, well, what Tom Cruise does best.
10. The Italian Job (1969)
“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”
Forget the remake. This 1969 comic crime caper sees Michael Caine has his gang attempt to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam. It has humour, 60’s glamour and one of the best car chases in film history, immortalizing the beloved Mini Cooper. You will not regret taking a trip down memory lane for this classic.