The racing genre is one of the most popular sports genres in cinema. From biographies of real runners to illegal street racing, there is something for everyone. With NASCAR currently resorting to digital racing and postpone the real ones until May due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), here is a list of the best racing movies.
Cars, 2006 (G)
A Disney / Pixar family movie set in a world of anthropomorphic cars. Owen Wilson voices Lightning McQueen, a race car that gets lost on its way to compete in the Piston Cup championship, and befriends the residents of a small town called Radiator Springs. Paul Newman, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, George Carlin, and Richard Petty voice additional characters.
Days of Thunder, 1990 (PG-13)
Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) is a young racer who is fortunate enough to race in NASCAR. Trickle has a hard time getting used to the new competition at first. Also starring Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Nicole Kidman and Cary Elwes, this film produced by Don Simpson / Jerry Bruckheimer continued to launch Cuise’s young career. It was also there that he met his future wife Nicole Kidman.
Death Race 2000 / Death Race (R)
The 2000 version was released in 1975 and the remake (not 2000) was released in 2008. DR2K stars David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone while Death Race stars Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson as Frankenstein and “Machine Gun” Joe Viterbo, respectively.
Both take place in a dystopian America where high-risk races are used to appease Americans from riots. The difference is that the 2000 one is part of an intercontinental street race and the remake takes place in a prison with prisoners running for their freedom. The 2000 version is a campy film while the remake tries to stay more serious and grounded.
Ford vs. Ferrari, 2019 (PG-13)
The most recent film on this list, chronicling the story of car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Christian Bale) who team up to build a Ford GT40 in hopes of overthrowing the dominant Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Winner of the 2020 Oscar for Film Editing and Sound Editing.
Le Mans, 1971 (NR)
Steve McQueen plays Michael Delaney, a racing driver competing in the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans. Delaney came close to death in a practice session and is comforted by the widow of a friendly former rival and finds the courage to return to the race. car to participate in the race. Includes actual footage from the 1970 race.
Red line, 2009 (NR)
A sci-fi racing anime set in the distant future about a series of less-than-legal races across the galaxy. This anime was hand drawn from 100,000 images and lasted for seven years. It’s visually stunning and the musical score makes it a one-of-a-kind viewing experience.
Rush, 2013 (D)
Based on the actual rivalry between Formula 1 racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), particularly the 1976 season which saw Lauda seriously injured at the German Grand Prix before returning six weeks later to attempt to win the drivers’ world champion and prevent Hunt from taking his place as the best racer.
Speed race, 2008 (PG-13)
A live-action version of the popular 1960s manga and anime directed by the Wachowski brothers from The Maxtrix Fame. Emile Hirsch plays Speed, a young racing prodigy who hopes to become world champion.
Focusing heavily on GCI to film the film, Speed gets help with his Mach Five car from mom (Susan Sarandon), Pops (John Goodman) and his girlfriend Trixie (Christina Ricci) all while fighting Racer X (Matthew Fox).
Stroker Ace, 1983 (PG)
Burt Reynolds plays the eponymous Stroker Ace, a champion NASCAR driver. Despite being considered one of the best, he struggles with the shenanigans his new main sponsor puts on him, including dressing in a giant chicken costume to promote the fried chicken chain when he is off track.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, 2006 (PG-13)
Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is NASCAR’s best driver thanks to his friend and racing partner Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Riley) but his place at the top is compromised when Formula One driver Jean Girard (Sasha Baron Cohen) made the transition to NASCAR.
One of many comedic couples with Ferrell and Riley, Bobby must overcome what he perceives to be a crippling injury suffered during the race and watch his personal life crumble in front of him before returning to the track to try and win by him. -same.
Matthew Asher can be reached at 575-628-5524, [email protected] or @Caveman_Masher on Twitter. Support award-winning local journalism. Subscribe to Current-Argus today.