The 10 best movie car chases highlight speed, tight turns, and vehicular destruction, not to mention a few pedestrian casualties here and there. One of the hardest action staples to coordinate and film, these ten movies set the standard for how to do it right.
- “The Transporter” (2002) While not the longest movie car chase on the list, the chase in “The Transporter” is one of the most clever. Clocking in at roughly five minutes, The Transporter makes every second exciting with an array of crafty maneuvers and slick escapes.
- “The Cannonball Run” (1981) Similar to “Vanishing Point” and “Gone In 60 Seconds”, “Cannonball Run” is essentially one long car chase of several teams vying to win a cross-country road race. The race from New York to Redondo Beach, California, was based on a real-life contest organized by the movie’s screenwriter, and it is definitely one of the best movie car chases.
- “Vanishing Point” (1971) The car chase in “Vanishing Point” tells the tale of Kowalski, a car delivery driver. Kowalski is assigned the task of driving a 1970 Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco. Kowalski is tailed by the cops almost the entire journey, turning what should have been a 15-hour trip into a three-day epic. Run-ins with bikers and racers to boot catapults “Vanishing Point” into one of the best movie car chases.
- “The Blues Brothers” (1980) Infamous for its car chase sequence beneath the Chicago elevated train tracks, “Blue Brothers” also has an incredible “auto body” count: Scores upon scores of police cruisers bite the dust as the Brothers evade the law, with the total carnage clocking in across 100-plus miles of highway during their “mission from God.”
- “Gone In 60 Seconds” (1974) Including one of the longest movie car chases, this film treats viewers to a 34-minute chase across Long Beach, California. If that wasn’t enough, almost 100 cars were trashed during the action sequences.
- “Bullitt” (1968) Containing the best car chase of any movie up until then, “Bullitt” is Steve McQueen wreaking havoc on the streets of San Francisco in a super-muscled Mustang. Still one of the best movie car chases more than 42 years after its release.
- “The French Connection” (1971) The movie that stole the title of best movie car chase from “Bullitt”, the chase in “The French Connection” was a pastiche of masterful editing that helped it collect five Oscars.
- “The Italian Job” (1969) How do you spruce up a movie car chase? Make the cars smaller and able to drive through traffic jams and buildings. That’s what the original “The Italian Job” did, highlighting the versatile Mini Cooper in one of the hippest car chase movies.
- “The Road Warrior” (1981) Like “The Blues Brothers”, the chase in “The Road Warrior” takes up the last act of the film. Featuring a young Mel Gibson as a renegade leader of a peace-loving clan in post-apocalyptic Australia, the ensuing road battle with a nomadic gang of killer bikers makes for one of the most riveting movie car chases.
- “Ronin” (1998) One of the most realistic movie car chases, “Ronin” raised the bar for future chases. Incorporating close to 300 stunt drivers for certain scenes, it was a technical challenge that director John Frankenheimer oversaw himself. It didn’t hurt that Frankenheimer used to be an amateur race diver.
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