Best car films to help you get through lockdown
With the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions across the U.K, we are all going to be spending a lot more time at home.
To help get us through this difficult time – and with the help of my fellow car enthusiasts over at Snickety Gearbox – we’ve compiled a list of 20 of the best car films to help get through the lockdown.
Quick links to the list of car films
1. The Italian Job (1969)
The quintessential British caper film of the 1960s, The Italian Job is a flashy, fast romp that chases a team of career criminals throughout one of the biggest international gold heists in history. Michael Caine is Charlie Croker, a stylish robber and skirt-chaser just out of British prison.
2. Ronin (1998)
A freelancing former U.S. Intelligence Agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by the Irish and the Russians. Starring Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård & Sean Bean.
3. Le Mans ’66 (Original Title Ferrari vs Ford) (2019)
American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. Starring Matt Damon & Christian Bale.
4. The Cannonball Run (1981)
High jinks and hilarity ensue as daring drivers team up for an illegal cross-country road race that they’ll do anything to win. To get coast to coast, they’ll race against the clock and the law. No speed is too fast or trick too dirty.
Starring Burt Reynolds, Sir Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr & Jackie Chan to name but a few of the all star lineup.
5. Senna (2010)
The story of the monumental life and tragic death of legendary Brazilian motor-racing Champion, Ayrton Senna. Spanning the decade from his arrival in Formula One in the mid 80’s, the film follows Senna’s struggles both on track against his nemesis, French World Champion Alain Prost, and off it, against the politics which infest the sport.
6. Rush (2013)
Rush is the fast-paced, action-packed and exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivals the sport of Formula One has ever witnessed – James Hunt versus Niki Lauda.
7. Vanishing Point (1971)
Thrills, spills and a handful of pills. It all adds up to one of the most spectacular car chases in motion picture history! Kowalski, the last American hero, sets out to prove that he can drive from Denver to San Francisco in just fifteen hours. Along the way, he meets an old prospector, a snake worshipper, a nude woman on a motorcycle, and a blind D.J. who “sees” danger ahead in this super-charged, action-packed adventure!
8. Smokey and The Bandit (1977)
Burt Reynolds is The Bandit, hired to run a tractor trailer full of beer over state lines in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff, resulting in one of the wildest series of car chases and crashes ever filmed!
9. Love the Beast (2009)
What if you were a Hollywood movie star with an obsession for cars and racing? You would probably read every script with even the tiniest link to the subject matter, in the hope that you could tell a great car story of the likes of “Grand Prix”, “Le Mans” or “Mad Max”. Then one day you happened to open your garage door and sitting there, right in front of you, was the film you had been searching for. This is what happened to Eric Bana and this time around, the co-star is his very own Ford GT Falcon Coupe- THE BEAST
10. The Driver (1978)
A corrupt police detective is obsessed with capturing a getaway driver in this clever and compelling thriller about two single-minded men with bleak lives who must outsmart each other. The car chases are breathtaking and the climax terrific in this thrilling cat and mouse game.
11. Herbie Rides Again (1974)
The living Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie, tries to help an old woman prevent a property developer from building a skyscraper on her land.
12. Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)
Down on their luck, racers Larry and Deke steal from a supermarket manager to buy a car that will help them advance their racing chances. Their escape does not go as planned when Larry’s one nightstand, Mary, tags along for the ride. They get chased by the cops, who deploy everything from 426 Hemis to helicopters to stop Larry’s Dodge Charger.
13. Mad Max (1979)
In this inventive, violent action movie, the chase sequences are brilliant and the stunts terrific. Mel Gibson plays a mean and moody heroic cop, out to avenge the brutal murder of his family by rebel bikers in a post-apocalyptic future.
14. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
As we mentioned above, the original Mad Max film from 1979 is a great film, but so is the updated version here from 2015, so we had to include this one as well.
The story slightly changes in this version. It’s still a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but this time a woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler, searching for her homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.
15. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
A retired master car thief must come back to the industry and steal fifty cars with his crew in one night to save his brother’s life.
16. Two Lane Blacktop (1971)
2 men drag-racing across the U.S., in a ’55 Chevy. Dennis Wilson’s the mechanic, James Taylor’s the driver.
17. A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story (2020)
The life of five-time Formula One world champion Juan Manuel Fangio. The first official documentary.
18. Drive (2011)
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbour in this action drama.
19. McLaren (2017)
The story of Bruce McLaren, the New Zealander who founded the McLaren Motor Racing team. A man who showed the world that a man of humble beginnings could take on the elite of motor racing and win.
20. Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019)
From the producer of ‘Amy’ and ‘Senna,’ this documentary series goes one step further into the world of Formula 1, meeting the families, teams, and drivers behind the visors.