These ten best movies about travel will make you wish you wish you weren’t stuck in front of your computer reading this article. Don’t call your travel agent until you’re done reading, though. That’s an order.
- “Lost in Translation.” Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson star in this story of a past-his-prime actor traveling in Tokyo who has a chance encounter with a bored newlywed left behind by her photographer husband. It is a bittersweet movie about two people making a brief connection in a foreign land, and it is our favorite movie about travel.
- “The Darjeeling Limited.” This film by Wes Anderson takes place in India, largely aboard its namesake passenger train. The cinematography is gorgeous and the characters are largely what you’d expect from a Wes Anderson movie, which we mean entirely as a compliment.
- “Easy Rider.” Many movies about travel take place in a foreign land. This classic from the ‘60s follows two bikers taking a road trip in the southwest U.S. It was a landmark movie, about as influential to cinema as Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” was to literature. Its tragic ending also marked an end to an era and a move away from the idealism of the ‘60s.
- “Y Tu Mamá También.” Easily the sexiest movie on this list, “Y Tu Mamá También” is a Mexican film about two teenage boys taking a road trip with an older woman. The three of them are far from chaste on this road trip. Like many threesomes, though, this one doesn’t end happily. The movie is beautifully shot and full of vibrant color, and it may make you consider finally booking that trip to Mexico you’ve been meaning to take.
- “Before Sunrise.” Our first film on the list to take us to Europe, “Before Sunrise” features a young Ethan Hawke and was directed by “Waking Life” and “School of Rock” director Richard Linklater. Not only is it a great movie about travel, it is also one of the best modern romantic movies we’ve seen.
- “Deliverance.” Not all movies about travel will make you want to call up your travel agent and book the next flight out of town. You will think twice about traveling to the Deep South after watching this classic movie from the ‘70s. In it, four guys travel to the remote Georgia wilderness to experience the wonder of nature. Instead, they experience sodomy at the hands of local hillbillies. If the sound of “Dueling Banjos” sends chills up your spine, you’ve probably seen this movie.
- “The Motorcycle Diaries.” It’s sort of like “Easy Rider”, except it ends in a communist revolution. The subject, after all, is famed revolutionary Che Guevara. This movie follows him as he travels through Latin America by motorcycle, making observations about its poverty and inequality that would lead him to become part of a revolutionary leader in Cuba.
- “The Vanishing.” First things first: we’re talking about the original Dutch movie here, not the awful American remake. The original was a masterpiece of suspense about a man trying to track down his lover after she is abducted from a gas station during their holiday in France. After watching this movie, you will probably never let your significant other out of your site at a gas station ever again.
- “Morvern Callar.” Morvern Callar is a young, Scottish woman who awakens one morning to find that her boyfriend has committed suicide. We all handle grief in different ways, and she handles it by lying about his disappearance, burying his body, and submitting his recently-completed novel for publication under her own name. The novel is accepted almost right away, and she uses the money to travel around Spain with her best friend.
- “Seven Years in Tibet.” Brad Pitt stars in this travel movie about a former Nazi turned mountaineer named Heinrich Harrer. It’s based on the true story of Harrer’s time spent traveling around Tibet and hanging out with the Dalai Lama. It is an epic film and a beautiful look at a part of the world not often accessible to outsiders.
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