10 Must-See Car Chases from Blockbuster Movies

10 Must-See Car Chases from Blockbuster Movies

An action movie isn't complete without a car chase. Unfortunately, their prevalence can make them seem boring and repetitive after a while, especially when you have one movie directly copying another. Where are the unique car chases? Where are the ones that make your heart pound and your palms sweat? If you're looking for the cream of the crop when it comes to glass-shattering, back-breaking and oil-dripping car chases, here are just 10 of the best examples in cinematic history.

1. Fast Five (2011)

The Fast and the Furious team is no stranger to crazy car chases that defy the laws of nature, but they outdid themselves with Fast Five, the fifth movie in the series. After attaching two gigantic steel vaults to the backs of their Dodge Charger SRT-8s, franchise heroes Dom and Brian drive them straight through the bank wall and into the streets of Rio de Janeiro. As they're chased by cops and criminals, swerving through traffic and scattering pedestrians as they go, they use their precision driving skills to hurl the vaults at their pursuers like pinballs. They brake and the vaults go flying forward; they turn and the vaults sideswipe their enemies. It's a truly boggling series of events, but that's what makes it so incredible to watch. No one flips a middle finger at gravity the way that The Fast and the Furious does.

2. The Blues Brothers (1980)

A classic car chase from a time when brown sedans were the height of cool, The Blues Brothers follows two partners in crime as they flee from the cops by crashing into a shopping mall. Amidst the sounds of breaking glass, blaring sirens and shrieking shoppers, they destroy just about everything in their path as they go from one end of the building to the other. It's a gleeful kind of carnage, and a jazzy soundtrack celebrates their demolition as they bump over mannequins and do doughnuts around the splinters of a vendor kiosk. The cops are no match for them, and somewhere in the middle of the chase they wind up in a flipped vehicle with their hands over their eyes and a desperate desire for it to be over. Meanwhile, the brothers quip "lots of space in this mall" as they slam into the glass entrance of another jewelry store.

3. Cellular (2004)

You can be forgiven for forgetting about Cellular, a cringe-worthy movie starring Chris Evans before he beefed up and Kim Basinger before she realized that she had the star power to refuse such films. Its one redeeming feature was the extended car sequence between Evans and the entire city of Santa Monica. As a desperate stranger struggling to find a kidnapped woman who randomly dialed his number, he's tethered to his phone while stealing cars, busting through roadblocks, driving through construction zones and robbing tech stores for chargers. It's a very creative sequence for such a mediocre movie, and with a ticking clock counting down the hours of the kidnapped Basinger, it's fueled by a real sense of panic as well. The next time you're in the mood for a nail-biter, give Cellular a try.

4. Wanted (2008)

Is there anything sexier than an upside-down woman firing a handgun through the busted-up windshield of red Dodge Viper? That's a rhetorical question, of course. In Wanted, Angelina Jolie inspires a whole new generation of fantasies when she becomes the protector of a hapless office worker being chased by assassins. She throws him in the Viper and takes him zig-zagging through the streets of Chicago at 90 mph while dodging cops, shooting at bad guys and bursting through roadblocks and water barrels as necessary. The pièce de résistance is when she lays upside down on the Viper's hood to fire bullets at their pursuer while the car is still going full speed. Now that is devotion to cinematic excellence.

5. The Bourne Identity (2002)

A Mini Cooper might not seem like the ideal vehicle for a high-speed car chase, but it's the one that Matt Damon uses to escape the clutches of nefarious villains in The Bourne Identity. You could even say that the small size of the car is what enables his flight to freedom. As he's chased through the streets of Paris, he navigates his vehicle through everything from narrow alleyways to busy crosswalks, and at one point he even drives it down a steep stone staircase like it's nothing more than a skateboard. It's hard to imagine a bigger car having that kind of maneuverability, so maybe Bourne was in the exact model that he needed to be in. It's an unusual chase with an unusual car, but then again, Bourne is an unusual guy.

6. The French Connection (1971)

A trembling camera follows the action of The French Connection long before shaky cams were cool. It also explores the world around the car chase with a level of detail that other movies can't hope to emulate; as Gene Hackman's character chases a hijacked train in his old-school Pontiac LeMans, we see the train rumbling across the tracks from below and whizzing past wide-eyed pedestrians when it passes crowded intersections. What was the secret to obtaining these money shots? They filmed the car chase around a real neighborhood in Brooklyn and not a closed-off or digitally-recreated area. These effects were real, and they're the reason that The French Connection is still revered as an elite action movie more than 40 years after its release.

7. xXx (2002)

Another high-octane stunt pulled off with a combination of sweat, adrenaline and the raw power of Vin Diesel's biceps, xXx opens with a fantastic sequence where Diesel's character steals a sleek red convertible from a hard-nosed senator. As he's chased across a bridge by wailing police sirens, he delivers a lecture to the senator via hand-held video camera ("don't be a dick, Dick") and then drives up a ramp and off the bridge. For a moment, all action is suspended as the car falls in slow motion through a gorgeous blue sky. Then Diesel pulls a parachute; the car crashes into the ground and explodes on impact; the soundtrack pumps hardcore muscle music as Diesel lands safely and jumps into a friend's car. Just another day at the office for old Vin.

8. Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)

Despite its status as a relic from the '70s, Gone in 60 Seconds still features one of the biggest and most ambitious car chases in movie history. It lasted 34 minutes in total and destroyed 93 cars in real life, and it caused a number of accidents, injuries and near-misses on set, some of which were even included in the final cut. It's probably to be expected that everything was ramped up to 11 in a film about car thieves, but it's still impressive, especially when you watch the full 34 minutes and marvel at the sheer amount of havoc that was wreaked. Don't bother with the remake, however. If you want serious action where cars are crushed under terrifying tons of flying metal and sparks, the original is the way to go.

9. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

It's a little unfair to include Mad Max: Fury Road in a list of amazing car chases since the entire two-hour movie is an extended car chase. We'll play it safe, however, and stick with just one epic mechanical battle between insanely modified vehicles with cuckoo-crazy drivers. As a bunch of sharp-edged, crudely-made cars breathe fire into the deserts of this dystopia, one driver decides to pick a fight with another by throwing spears, fireballs and deranged lunatics at her ride. The results are as crazy as you'd expect, and that's just one of the many high-speed, high-concept ideas that make Mad Max such a one-of-a-kind movie.

10. Bullitt (1968)

Last but certainly not least, the single greatest car chase in cinematic history is the one from the '60s classic Bullitt. Steve McQueen takes us on a mad, exhilarating chase filled with sharp turns, screeching brakes and the deep rumbling of his Ford Mustang's engine as he revs and revs to outpace the two hitmen chasing him. Another notable aspect of the scene is the first-person perspective as McQueen yanks his steering wheel and checks his rear-view mirrors; it puts us right in the driver's seat with him, sucking in our breath at narrow misses and seeing the sidewalks rise and fall as he jumps hills. For all that movies, have progressed since 1968, there will never be another car chase as iconic as this one.

These are just 10 of the most jaw-dropping car chases to come out of Hollywood. There are many more, of course, especially when you look further back in Vin Diesel's filmography. But these should be enough to quench your thirst for speed, horsepower and property damage.

Get Car Financing With Good or Bad Credit

get approved quickly get in touch with us