10 Of The Best Car Chase Movies We've Ever Watched – HotCars

The thrilling car chase scenes alone make these iconic car movies worth a watch.
Car movies are basically action movies but with lots of driving involved. Instead of stunt fighting, these have stunt driving (think Mad Max or Speed Racer), or at least a bit realistic but thrilling driving (like races or chase scenes). Movies have always had an influence on the automobile industry. Cars like DeLorean DMC-12, Pontiac Trans Am, and Aston Martin DB5 are among the coolest cars to own thanks to their appearances in movies.
But it goes both ways, as many movies are famous because of awesome and gripping car chase scenes. Think about movies like Bullitt or The French Connection, the first thing we remember about them is the car chase scenes. When Baby Driver (2017) comes to the mind of an average gearhead, they'll instantly recall the first chase scene. Movies like Mission Impossible Fallout (2018) with the awesome bike scene in Paris, the vault theft scene in Fast Five (2011), or the underrated Chevelle SS chase scene in Jack Reacher (2012)have cool chase scenes, but that's not what they're known for. So we've compiled a list of movies that are famous for their car chase scenes if you want to spend a couple of hours watching one.
Baby Driver, as we mentioned, is an awesome movie if you're up for some good driving action. One of the highlights of the movie is the bright-red Subaru WRX STI doing crazy drifts and powerslides that it isn't supposed to. It's able to do that because the people in charge changed it to a rear-wheel drivetrain to allow the driving to be flashier.
And we are not complaining here, because the movie has some tight driving sequences in there. Overall, it may not be a perfect movie, and not for everyone, but if you appreciate a good car chase scene, you should definitely check it out once.
Related: Why Baby Driver Is a Flawed But Must-Watch Masterpiece Car Movie
Smokey and the Bandit is an action comedy movie at heart, but it's the scenes with the Pontiac Trans Am that lasted in our minds the longest after all these years. The chase scene in the middle of the movie, with the bridge jump, remains forever etched in gearheads' minds as an iconic movie scene.
Also, muscle car enthusiasts will know that the engine sounds you hear in the movie are in fact not from the Trans Am. The director Hal Needham thought that the sound of a 1955 Chevrolet Custom (seen in TwoLane Blacktop and American Graffiti) would serve better as the Trans Am didn't sound intimidating enough.
Taking place during the Vietnam War, a car delivery driver Kowalski (played by Barry Newman) bets that he could deliver this iconic 1970 Dodge Charger from Denver to San Francisco in less than two days' time. If you think about it, traffic wasn't so bad back in the day, so it was somewhat possible if one tried hard enough.
But that's when the trouble starts. Throughout his journey, Kowalski is chased by everything from police cars to a 1966 Jaguar XK-E and even a helicopter. Bad times for the lead hero, and good times for the viewers wanting a 1 hour and 39 minutes of thrills.
Related: Why The Vanishing Point Car Chase Was The Most Expensive In Hollywood History
20 years before the movie was made, the director of To Live and Die in L.A., William Friedkin, was going home one night and dozed off and found himself driving on the wrong side of the road. Ever since then, he wanted to somehow put that into a film, and he finally got to do it in this one.
In the movie, William Petersen and John Pankow's characters were chased by gangsters when Petersen's character got the idea to drive his Impala on the wrong side of the road to lose their chasers. The scene where he masterfully dodges the incoming traffic and gunshots from behind is epic and makes for great cinema.
The original Mad Max movies are among the best in the careers of both Mel Gibson and the filmmakers. The director of the original, George Miller, decided to double down and make a modern recreation, and boy did he hit the mark again.
The whole movie basically consists of awesome car chase scenes with some scenes in between just to fill the gap and make it more coherent. One of the best things that sets this one apart from other great car chase scenes is the visuals. A sand desert has seldom looked more vibrant and characterful in movies.
Related: Here's What Happened To The 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Vehicles

Jason Statham had been in a few movies before, but The Transporter (2002) cemented his place as an action star in Hollywood. After that, he started getting roles in action movies such as War, Crank, Death Race, and The Expendables.
Along with cool fights, the movie has some great driving involved, the lead protagonist is a driver, after all. The movie starts with Statham being a wheelman for a getaway after a bank robbery. You see Frank's (Statham) precise and efficient driving making the most out of his BMW 7 Series E38 735i on the streets of southern France. The chase scene builds up the character of the driver apart from being a visual treat, and that's why it's so memorable.
Related: 10 Coolest Cars Jason Statham Has Driven In Movies

Let's start with the fact that the director of this movie, John Frankenheimer used to be a former amateur race driver before he became a director. Suffice it to say that the guy knows a thing or two about cars going fast, and it shows in the quality and craftsmanship of the numerous chase scenes in the Robert De Niro masterpiece.
But, the final chase scene towards the end takes the cake here. They shot the scene throughout Paris and had up to 300 stunt drivers during filming. The lead characters are chasing a car containing something valuable, and the cars went as fast as 120 mph while filming!

There are lots of remakes and reboots of this one, but the original remains to best. Part of the reason why is the purity and authenticity of driving and stunts performed with cars. The Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie starrer may be more popular with the general public, but gearheads will undoubtedly enjoy the 1974 original more.
It also boasts perhaps the longest car chase scene in cinema, one that lasts roughly 40 minutes! The filmmakers wrecked 93 cars during filming the long chase scene. But in the end, such an amount of work and dedication paid off as it is one of the best car chase movies in history.
Related: The Story Behind The Original 1974 'Gone In 60 Seconds' Movie

Okay, we don't really need to say anything about this one. Steve McQueen is one of Hollywood's most popular car aficionados, and Bullitt (1968) is the answer to anyone that doubts that remark.
McQueen plays a cop who constantly chases bad guys in his 1968 Ford Mustang GT on the streets of San Francisco. The 10-minute chase after the hitman is the highlight of the movie, and it changed the way Hollywood approached car chase scenes from then onwards. It's simply the stuff of legend.
Related: 10 Coolest Cars Owned And Driven By Legendary Steve McQueen

If you think that the folks behind Bullitt choreographed the most realistic movie car chase scene ever, you'd be right. It's as close as it gets. But the one in The French Connection (1971) is not merely Hollywood movie magic. William Friedkin (the director) and Gene Hackman (the man behind the wheel) went for it without obtaining proper permits from the city.
Here, Popeye Doyle (Hackman) chases the bad guy to an elevated train. What ensues next is just pure immersion through dashcam footage and handheld camera work as Hackman zips through the city while almost hitting a woman with a stroller, and hitting other cars passing by in the process. Such a daring act would not be tolerated today, and what we have here is a one-of-a-kind car chase scene that will always have a certain edge over its competitors.
Ramya is a Computer Engineering graduate with a lifelong love of automobiles. Digs all types of cars but has a special place in his heart for Japanese and Italian two-seater sports cars.


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