The Best Car Racing Movies Of All Time

To paraphrase the late great novelist Ernest Hemingway, auto racing is the only real sport… all the others are just games.

It’s why Hollywood has often attempted to replicate its exciting adrenaline-charged drama on the big screen, whether it’s on the downtown streets of Los Angeles, the sharp corners of the Formula One circuit, or the deadly closed track of a privatized prison.

Of course, you don’t have to be a fanatical wheel warrior to enjoy all of its exhilarating twists and turns – the car racing movie can take on many different forms. From blockbuster franchises and screwball comedies to compelling documentaries and gripping biopics, not to mention an animated kids favorite, these 10 fast-paced films have all pushed the pedal to the metal in their very own unique way. So if you feel the need, the need for speed, then sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride!


It’s safe to say that critics weren’t particularly enamored with The Cannonball Run when it arrived in cinemas in 1981. Roger Ebert described it as an “an abdication of artistic responsibility at the lowest possible level of ambition,” poor Farrah Fawcett picked up a Worst Actress nomination at the Razzie Awards and even Burt Reynolds attempted to distance himself from the film, later claiming he only did it as a favor to his director friend Hal Needham.

But the broad comedy, which sees an all-star cast (that includes Dean Martin, Roger Moore and Jackie Chan) compete in a cross-country race based on a real-life ’70s competitive event, proved to be far more popular with the general public, grossing over $72m to become the sixth most successful film of the year. Sure, it’s not exactly the height of sophistication, but it’s the closest thing that cinema’s come to a live-action Wacky Races.

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