The best movies with cars


How beautiful are cars in cinema? Indeed, they have always been protagonists in short films and films that have made history: here you can find the best movies with cars.

I thought of selecting some films where cars play a crucial role, often even without human characters! So, I present to you the profiles of the films we have chosen for you, to spend some time with the “right” movies. All that’s left is for you to sit back: there’s something for everyone, and for all ages.

Drive My Car

Drive My Car is a Japanese film directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, an adaptation of the short story by writer Haruki Murakami from the collection “Men Without Women.” The film won the “Prix du scénario” at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, the “Best Foreign Language Film” at the Golden Globes, and was nominated for four Oscars in 2023, including “Best Film” and “Best International Film,” although it did not win them.

If you can go beyond the lengthy 179-minute duration and a deliberately slow festival-paced rhythm, you will appreciate the story of playwright Yusuke Kafuku and his journey of accepting grief and death, all within a splendid red Saab 900 Turbo, contrasting with often gray or white settings. In addition to the Saab, which is the third protagonist, other Swedish cars, such as the no-longer-produced Volvo V40, and numerous hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexo cars, are recognizable, almost forming a cute Easter egg.

Gran Turismo

Certainly more lightweight in nature is the film Gran Turismo, one of the pleasant releases of 2023 in its genre. Not an unforgettable film, but lively and full of surprises nonetheless.

Inspired by a true story, it pays homage to Sony’s beloved racing game and stands out for its directorial choices that perfectly capture the style of the video game. If the goal was to make people want to play Gran Turismo, and I’m sure it was, Sony has succeeded admirably.

The Herbie Series

On Disney+, you can find the entire Herbie series, a film series that started in 1968 with “The Love Bug,” where the protagonist is the first racing Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own, always getting into trouble.

The series consists of six films: the first is followed by “Herbie Rides Again” (1974), “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” (1977), “Herbie Goes Bananas” (1980), “The Love Bug” (1997, TV only), and “Herbie: Fully Loaded” (2005), starring Lindsay Lohan, marking the return and final appearance of the famous Beetle in cinema. A unique feature of the series is that while Herbie remains the same, his driver is different each time, making these films very distinctive and original.

Cars

Staying on Disney+, this time we move to an animated film from Pixar, “Cars,” which features a world without humans and living beings, replaced by various types of vehicles with eyes, mouths, and the ability to speak. The uniqueness of the project lies in the transfer of human behaviors, vices, and virtues onto inanimate and functional entities, namely automobiles, trucks, forklifts, and so on.

The film would otherwise be the classic story of an overly confident star who must face the real world, made colorful and entertaining through the creative direction and animation solutions used to make that world truly believable to the viewer. It manages to please both young audiences and automotive enthusiasts, who can recognize cars of all kinds and eras.

There are two sequels: “Cars 2” (2011) and “Cars 3” (2017), both directed by John Lasseter. The second is very entertaining, traveling around the world: a nice touch is the concentration of all the stereotypes of various countries in the cars produced or designed in those countries. The third might be the least successful, but for those who love them, a marathon of all three chapters can be enjoyable. Disney+ also features all the CarsToon episodes, starring Mater, Lightning McQueen’s goofy tow truck best friend.

Baby Driver

Moving to Netflix, with a film more geared towards adults, “Baby Driver” is a gem that I think is unmissable, and I won’t reveal anything about it. It combines excellent direction, beautiful cinematography, a passion for music, and cars. The protagonist of this film is as far from the typical action movie hero with cars as can be, and that’s its winning card: an almost tragic hero – forgive the term – divisive and yet appreciated by some because they identify with him.

The entire film is based on music; the soundtrack chooses the protagonist, and it will delight many music enthusiasts who will enjoy the perfect synchronization between breathtaking actions, the young Baby’s expert maneuvers, and the music, in a harmonious and thoughtfully crafted choreography. The film lasts almost two hours and is excellent for experiencing something different from the usual without sacrificing adrenaline.

6 Underground

Still on Netflix but this time a production of its own, “6 Underground” can make you fall in love with it just for the fluorescent green Alfa Romeo Giulia that appears from the beginning, which was also a limited edition for a few months around the film’s release directed by Michael Bay (a pioneer in the genre) on the world’s most popular streaming platform. “6 Underground” certainly does not astonish with its plot, which may also be predictable: but we are talking about a film (and a genre) that is not aiming for that.

The film surprises with setting and almost perfect editing, which shows the director’s and editors’ skill in keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat for about two hours. There are also some rather brutal or splatter scenes (unfortunately or fortunately, there are few). Certainly an absurd film that did not particularly please the critics but, in my opinion, is perfect for a light evening, without commitments, and to disconnect the mind. And to travel a bit.

Fast and Furious

Both on Netflix and Prime Video, you can find the entire Fast and Furious film saga, including the 2019 spin-off “Hobbs & Shaw” and the animated series “Fast & Furious: Spy Racers” (only on Netflix).

There are two options: either have a marathon of all 10 films, including the latest one released in 2023, or rewatch the first three films, those splendid for the super flashy car decorations and the diverse plots. In any case, entertainment is guaranteed.

Ford vs Ferrari

Another film nominated for the 2020 Oscars is “Ford vs Ferrari,” and now available for streaming on Disney+.

The film is based on a true story and tells the birth of a legend like the Ford GT, and how it managed to secure the first place at Le Mans, even beating Ferrari (for a while). There are historical and beloved characters such as Carroll Shelby played by Matt Damon, accompanied by Ken Miles (Christian Bale), as well as Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) and Enzo Ferrari.

Logan Lucky

Unfortunately underrated, “Logan Lucky” is actually very entertaining and unexpected.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, who also handled the cinematography and editing, it tells the story of the three Logan brothers: Jimmy (Channing Tatum), Clyde (Adam Driver), and Mellie (Riley Keough), condemned to perpetual misfortune. To redeem themselves from their unsatisfying lives, they decide to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600, one of America’s most famous races.

Will they succeed? You can find out on Prime Video or Now TV!

Ferrari

Speaking of Enzo Ferrari, his biopic is currently in theaters, telling the story of his life, from his origins to becoming a global legend.

Directed by Michael Mann, Adam Driver plays Enzo Ferrari, with the typical flair of the Tale e Quale Show that Americans love so much. Worth watching, especially for the motorsport part that the Modena brand dominated for years.

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