Ranking the 15 best car racing movies ever produced and their ratings

Ranking the 15 best car racing movies ever produced and their ratings

Kenneth Mwenda
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:18 PM

Car racing movies are among the best in the film industry. Many of us enjoy racing films that feature fast cars or motorcycles and are about action, heists, or just plain racing. These films stand on a pedestal that will entertain you without being a blockbuster. And for that, you should look no further than Netflix's car movies.

Ranking the 15 best car racing movies ever produced and their ratings
The best car racing movies. Photo: @MarkChallenger1, AlexVorkov, @VoicesFTBalcony, @CinemaFBF. (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Movies provide us with one-of-a-kind experiences. At the movies, we enjoy the thrills of doing things we can't do in real life while immersed in a story in which the characters help us live the experience.

The best car racing movies

We have compiled a list of the ones you should definitely add to your Netflix queue. They all promise beautiful cars, compelling storylines, and an adrenaline rush that will leave you wanting more.

15. Hajwala: The Missing Engine (2016)

The 15 best car racing movies in 2022
Different images of the movie. Photo: @84flix_nl, @modoneflix, @novedadnetflixe. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

In this film, two team leaders, Khalid and Kehailan, compete in an insane competition. They are both car racing enthusiasts, but the challenge they are about to face will alter their lives forever. As we'll see later, the series' first instalment was a huge success when it debuted in the UAE. Regardless, in order to enjoy this film, you must keep an open mind and lower your expectations.

14. Initial D: Special Edition (2005)

Best car racing movies
One of the best Asian racing movies. Photos: @STARKILLXR. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

Rather than being set in modern-day Japan, if you set it in SoCal in 1964, throw in some Beach Boys music, and cast it with blue-eyed, blond-haired Anglos, it would be difficult to distinguish the two. At least in terms of plot and tone.

Initial D is a fantastically approachable film. Everything - boys with fast cars, rivals with fast cars, wary parents, and authority figures who turn out to be cool. Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Jay Chou, and Anne Suzuki are the main characters.

13. Grindhouse: Death Proof (2007)

Car racing movies on Netflix
The Grindhouse, Death Proof. Photo: @SnollygosterPrd, @Acoverity, @FANGORIA. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

Stuntman Mike, a psychopathic murderer and former Hollywood stunt car driver stalks and kills young women while driving his modified "death-proof" stunt cars. He can stage their deaths as deadly car accidents using this method.

Though he kills the first group of ladies in Austin, Texas, the second group in Lebanon, Tennessee, proves to be too much for him. Some of the women he targets are Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Zoe Bell.

12. Racing Dreams (2009)

Car racing movies based on true story
The Racing Dreams. Photo: @Luck_Video
Source: Twitter

To become a professional racing driver, you must not only have raw talent, but you must also begin racing at a young age. This holds true for all racing series. This film follows three extremely talented go-kart racers competing in the World Karting Association's National Pavement Series who have big NASCAR dreams. The racing action in this film is absolutely breathtaking.

11. Truth in 24 II: Every Second Counts (2012)

The good car racing movies
Truth in 24 II, Every Second Counts. Photo: @PeliculasRandom. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

The film chronicles the brand's tenth and arguably most emotional triumph with four rings at this sports car classic. Following the retirement of two Audi R18 TDI cars due to spectacular accidents, the remaining Audi fights a dramatic battle for overall victory with the three Peugeot 908 cars, which the Audi trio eventually decides in its favour by a narrow margin of 13 seconds. The film captures the entire drama of the fourth-narrowest running of the Le Mans 24 Hours into Audi Sport's team and breathtaking images.

10. Pegasus (2019)

Best car racing movies ever produced and their ratings
Pegasus movie. Photo: @boirappet, @plexandiptv. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

This film chronicles Zhang Chi's illustrious career in the Bayinbrook rally, which he won five times in a row. Zhang has had this fantasy since he was a child. Despite this, he loses his licence after engaging in illegal drag racing. The next five years of suspension will be devoid of adventure. Zhang obeys the law and constructs a book stand for his family. He does all of this without ever getting behind the wheel of the car.

9. 4 Latas (2019)

Best car racing movies
4L movie. Photo: @ElScriptcuenta, @pvjcb, @artplusmind1. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

Tocho, a rough, booze-fueled citizen of Bilbao, Spain, receives news that Joseba, an old friend, is dying in Timbuktu, Mali. Tocho travels by coach to France, where he engages another old friend, Jean Pierre, the owner of a vineyard, to accompany him on a trip to say goodbye to their beloved Joseba. Jean Pierre reluctantly agrees, and the two men proceed to ask Joseba's estranged daughter Ely to join them.

To their surprise, Ely reveals that her garage contains the old 1982 Renault that the three friends once drove across the Sahara Desert. She accepts their offer in exchange for another drive in the Renault from Spain to Timbuktu. However, men and the car are now older, and times have changed.

8. Ronin (1998)

Best car racing movies
Ronin. Photo: @joblocom, @raouldukescell, @Co2daveDe. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

Ronin, one of director John Frankenheimer's final films, is a fantastic heist film with some of the best car chase action you'll ever see on film. This old racing movie has pretty much everything you could want: a great plot, script, acting, cinematography, cars, and no lame romantic subplot thrown in for no reason.

It stars Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce, in addition to Robert De Niro. The plot revolves around a group of ex-special ops hired to steal a mysterious, heavily guarded briefcase while navigating a maze of shifting loyalties. The realistic car chases in Nice and Paris were praised in the film.

7. Love the Beast (2009)

Top car racing movies
Love the Beast. Photo: Love The Beast. (Modified by author)
Source: Facebook

The film follows Eric Bana's first car, a 1974 Ford XB Falcon Hardtop that he bought at the age of fifteen for A$1100. Eric explores the central role that fixing and racing this car has played in his life and the lives of his friends in this film. He describes it as "like a campfire for me and my friends."

Jay Leno, Dr Phil, and Jeremy Clarkson weigh in on the emotional attachments that some people form to automobiles. The News Wheel named it one of the best automotive documentaries in 2015.

6. Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Is the Ford vs Ferrari story true?
Ford vs Ferrari. Photo: @unstatesman, @CinemaFBF, @Qaafhsa, @crescentcinema. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

Is the story about Ford vs Ferrari true? It is, in fact, a car racing movie based on a true story. It was about the automotive visionary Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles, who were tasked by Henry Ford II with creating a new automobile capable of finally defeating the dominant Ferrari in the 1966 Le Mans World Championship.

Ford v Ferrari had its world premiere on August 30, 2019, at the Telluride Film Festival and was released theatrically in the United States on November 15, 2019, by 20th Century Fox. It was named one of the ten best films of the year by the National Board of Review, and it received four nominations, including Best Picture, and won Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing at the 92nd Academy Awards.

5. Børning 3: Asphalt Burning (2020)

The best car racing movies ever produced
Asphalt Burning. Photo: @ozgurilgin, 25afkan5, @VoicesFTBalcony. (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

The asphalt is burning, the tyres are turning - at breakneck speed - and in tuned cars, it travels from Norway's Trollstigen mountain road through Sweden and Denmark to Germany's Nürburgring, where Roy (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) must win a race or lose his fiancee Sylvia (Jenny Skavlan). A bet was made on the wedding night by the crazy car enthusiast with Roy's challenger Robin (Alexandra Maria Lara), who likes the beautiful bride.

Roy meets tough adversaries (Henning Baum, The BossHoss) and hot chicks (Ruby O. Fee) on the absurd and turbulent road trip, but soon the police (Milan Peschel, Peter Kurth) are after him as well. But that's not all: Roy has to deal with two namesakes (Kostja Ullmann), the import hit Wencke Myhre, and a dead corpse in the trunk, all while his car mysteriously disappears. But Roy refuses to give up because "the race isn't over until it's over."

4. Senna (2010)

Car racing movies based on true story
Senna. Photo: @WesternOverlord. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

Asif Kapadia's film depicts the life and death of Brazilian motor racing champion Ayrton Senna. The film was produced by StudioCanal, Working Title Films, and Midfield Films and was distributed by Universal Pictures, the parent company of the latter two production companies.

The story follows Senna's Formula One career from his debut in the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix to his death in an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, with a focus on his rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost. It is entirely based on archival racetrack footage and home video clips provided by the Senna family rather than on retrospective video interviews, and there is no formal commentary.

3. Wheelman (2017)

The best car racing movies ever produced
The wheelman. Photo: @NVProfoundFilm, @plexandiptv. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

What would you do if you were driving a getaway vehicle with your daughter in danger and the gang on your tail? This is the fate of Frank Grillo as he fights to stay alive and return to his daughter.

The Wheelman investigates the case of stealing from a gang following a bank robbery. A mysterious caller communicates with the getaway driver, instructing him to take the money and leave the men behind. This, however, does not sit well with the man who planned the robbery.

As expected, the Wheelman faces retaliation from the gang while being pursued by an unknown biker. Nonetheless, there is a sense of betrayal in the air.

2. Drive (2011)

Top car racing movies
Drive. Photo:@vvslwo, @hothorrorqueen. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

The top car racing movie was written by Hossein Amini and is based on James Sallis' 2005 novel of the same name. Ryan Gosling plays an unnamed Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver in the film. He quickly develops feelings for his next-door neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan), and her young son, Benicio. When her debt-ridden husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac), is released from prison, the two men participate in a botched million-dollar heist that puts everyone involved in danger. Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, and Albert Brooks also appear in the film.

1. The Italian Job (2003)

Best car racing movies ever produced
The Italian Job. Photo: @MarkChallenger1, ButterflyRive3r. (Modified by author)
Source: Twitter

If you enjoy movies about car racing, The Italian Job is one of the perfect car racing movies you should watch. Professional safecracker, John Bridger's team is preparing to steal $35 million in gold bullion from a safe in Venice from Italian gangsters who stole it weeks before. The team consists of Rob, Steve, Charlie Croker, Lyle, and a wheelman.

Despite the fact that the heist is successful, Steve betrays them as they drive towards Austria with the bullion. He takes it with another crew and murders John. To protect the others, Rob drives the van over the bridge into the water, using air tanks from the heist to stay alive. Steve abandons them for dead.

A number of great racing films have been widely acclaimed around the world. Some of the films we have not included are Vanishing Point, Two-Lane Blacktop, Bullitt, Christine, and any of the Fast and Furious franchise entries. We simply decided to leave them because they are currently unavailable on Netflix and are far too common among people.

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Kenneth Mwenda photo
Kenneth Mwenda
Kenneth Mwenda is a business and sports writer with over five years of experience. At Sportsbrief, he contributes to writing biographies and listicles.