Special Report

The Best Car Movies of All Time

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Cars and movies have been inseparable since both industries began in the early 20th century. A heart-pounding chase scene, an iconic vehicle, or just the freedom cars represent can make a movie a memorable experience.

To compile a list of the best movies about cars, drivers, motorsports, road trips, and related matters, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on ratings from IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, and Tomatometer and Audience scores from Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator,.

Chase scenes involving cars have been a staple of films since the industry moved to Hollywood, where outdoor filming became possible year-round, in the early 20th century. Some of them are of the adrenalin-rush variety as in “The French Connection” and “Baby Driver.” Others are on the zany side, like “What’s Up, Doc?” 

Cars have been symbols of rebellion, such as in the movies “Rebel Without a Cause.” They’ve also been the subject of riveting car-racing documentaries such as “Senna” and dramatic racing stories like “Rush” and “Ford v  Ferrari.” 

Click here to see the best car movies of all time

Certain actors have become associated with cars. Steve McQueen, who raced cars himself, was chased by hitmen on the streets of San Francisco in “Bullitt.” (These are the 50 best action movies of all time.)

On the subject of Steve McQueen, in “Bullitt,” he drove a Ford Mustang GT, which itself became an icon. (These are the world’s greatest classic cars.)

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

28. Rush (2013)
> IMDb audience rating: 8.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89%
> Starring: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde
> Director: Ron Howard

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Source: Courtesy of American International Pictures

27. Mad Max (1979)
> IMDb audience rating: 6.9/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 70%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90%
> Starring: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne
> Director: George Miller

Source: Courtesy of Batrax Entertainment

26. Locke (2013)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 72%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91%
> Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson
> Director: Steven Knight

Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Distribution Company

25. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.3/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 78%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91%
> Starring: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow
> Director: William Friedkin

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

24. What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91%
> Starring: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neal, Madeline Kahn
> Director: Peter Bogdanovich

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

23. Family Plot (1976)
> IMDb audience rating: 6.8/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 62%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%
> Starring: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris
> Director: Alfred Hitchcock

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Source: Courtesy of Must Käsi

22. Holy Motors (2012)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 71%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%
> Starring: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes
> Director: Leos Carax

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

21. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.2/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%
> Starring: James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird
> Director: Monte Hellman

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

20. Baby Driver (2017)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.6/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%
> Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm
> Director: Edgar Wright

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

19. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.6/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%
> Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins
> Director: John Hughes

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

18. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%
> Starring: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo
> Director: Nicholas Ray

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Source: Courtesy of FilmDistrict

17. Drive (2011)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.8/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 79%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%
> Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
> Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

16. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
> IMDb audience rating: 8.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 98%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%
> Starring: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal
> Director: James Mangold

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

15. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93%
> Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Imogene Coca
> Director: Harold Ramis

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

14. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.6/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93%
> Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston
> Director: George Miller

Source: Courtesy of Producers Distribution Agency

13. Senna (2010)
> IMDb audience rating: 8.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 95%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93%
> Starring: Reginaldo Leme, John Bisignano, Neide Senna
> Director: Asif Kapadia

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Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

12. Speed (1994)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.2/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 76%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94%
> Starring: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock
> Director: Jan de Bont

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

11. Trafic (1971)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 77%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95%
> Starring: Jacques Tati, Marcel Fraval, Honoré Bostel
> Director: Jacques Tati

Source: Courtesy of Vanishing Angle

10. Thunder Road (1958)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96%
> Starring: Jim Cummings, Kendal Farr, Nican Robinson
> Director: Jim Cummings

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

9. American Graffiti (1973)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 84%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96%
> Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat
> Director: George Lucas

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

8. Taxi Driver (1976)
> IMDb audience rating: 8.2/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96%
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
> Director: Martin Scorsese

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

7. Back to the Future (1985)
> IMDb audience rating: 8.5/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96%
> Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
> Director: Robert Zemeckis

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

6. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
> IMDb audience rating: 8.1/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97%
> Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
> Director: George Miller

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

5. Repo Man (1984)
> IMDb audience rating: 6.9/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 78%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98%
> Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter
> Director: Alex Cox

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros./Seven Arts

4. Bullitt (1968)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.4/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98%
> Starring: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn
> Director: Peter Yates

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

3. The French Connection (1971)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.7/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98%
> Starring: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
> Director: William Friedkin

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Source: Courtesy of Skouras Pictures

2. Highway 61 (1991)
> IMDb audience rating: 6.9/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100%
> Starring: Don McKellar, Valerie Buhagiar, Earl Pastko
> Director: Bruce McDonald

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

1. Grand Prix (1966)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.2/10
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88%
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100%
> Starring: James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand
> Director: John Frankenheimer

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