22 Greatest Car Chase Movies Ever Made

22 Greatest Car Chase Movies Ever Made

22 Greatest Car Chase Movies Ever Made

When you think of car chase movies, who springs to mind: Steve McQueen or Michael Caine? Gene Hackman or Burt Reynolds?

The majority of car chase movies tend to feature some serious A-list talent, but we’d like to focus more on the real stars of those scenes, the car. From McQueen’s super-tight Ford Mustang in “Bullitt” to the stripped-down Dodge Charger in Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof”, these vehicles undoubtedly made the scenes what they were.

But which movie has the best car-chase scene in history? Well we’ve pondered over hours of classic car chase footage to bring you the definitive 22 greatest car chase scenes of all time.

#22. The Fast and the Furious (2001)

An undercover cop infiltrates an underworld subculture of Los Angeles street racers looking to bust a hijacking ring, and soon begins to question his loyalties when his new street racing friends become the prime suspects.

This cops and robbers street racer features cameos from ome seriously customized old-school cars including a Honda Civic, Toyota Supra and a Mazda RX7 -- though if you look closely, a retro Dodge Charger too.

#21. Quantum of Solace (2008)

Daniel Craig’s second outing as the UK secret Agent has Bond pitting his Aston Martin DBS against two equally sleek Alfa Romeos as they chase along the banks of Lake Garda. Cue explosions, wreckage, and the usual Bond coolness.

#20. The Transporter (2002)

Jason Statham puts his BMW 7-series to the test as the cool calm wheelman extraordinaire Frank Martin. The French police are little match for Frank as he takes them on a jolly trip through the cramped boulevards of Cannes -- mostly in reverse gear.

#19. Bad Boys II (2003)

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence do their best to avoid gun fire, flying cars and a runaway boat in this intense freeway chase sequence. Fun Fact: The Ferrari 550 Maranello used in this scene was owned by Director Michael Bay.

#18. Dark Knight (2008)

This awesome action sequence from The Dark Knight sees Batman up against armored trucks, bazookas and even helicoptors as he deals with Heath Ledgers chilling yet hilarious Joker.

#17. The Rock (1996)

Cage and Connery battle it out on the streets of San Francisco leaving a path of destruction and derailed trams in their wake.

Kid On Motorcycle: Hey man, you just f***ed up your Ferrari.
Stanley Goodspeed: It’s not mine.

#16. The Seven-Ups (1973)

This scene from classic 70s cop movie “The Seven-Ups” sees the NYC detective squad chase their way through the crowded city and out onto the country freeway. A must see movie really.

#15. Cannonball Run (1981)

A wild, illegal, and popular cross-country car is organized, and the eccentric entrants will do anything to win, including low-down, dirty tricks.

#14. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

This standout scene from Matrix Reloaded features 14 minutes of driving insanity made up of live-action footage, stop-motion effects and a whole host of ingenuous CGI that truly makes for a gripping 21st Century car chase.

#13. Smokey And The Bandit (1977)

What car chase list would be complete without a mention of the epic black 1977 Trans Am?

#12. Gone In 60 Seconds (1974)

The original Gone In 60 Seconds features a whopping 40 minutes of car chases, with this Mustang (Eleanor) verse police car chase definitely being a stand-out scene.

#11. The Italian Job (1969)

This scene from The Italian Job is arguably the most famous car chase ever filmed. With guest appearances from a Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Jaguar E-Type and the Mini Cooper S, you’ll be whistling the theme song for days.

#10. Mad Max II: The Road Warrior (1981)

This final chase scene puts Mad Max and his ragtag gang of gas station attendants against the leather clad minions of Lord Humungus. Epic destruction ensues.

#9. The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourne series definitely offers some good car chase scenes to choose from, but for us, the first movie pips the rest as Bourne takes to the streets of Paris outrunning countless Police cars in an old banger of a Mini.

#8. Duel (1971)

Steven Spielberg’s directorial debut sees traveling salesman David Mann battling against a demonic 18 wheeler hell-bent on seeing the salesman crash to a fiery death.

#7. To Live and Die in L.A (1985)

To Live and Die in LA is centred around L.A. branch Secret Service Agent Chance who obsessively hunts for counterfeiter Rick Masters -- the guy responsible for the murder of his former partner and mentor.

This freeway car persuit saw atleast 50 cars sacrificed for this car chase masterpiece.

#6. Vanishing Point (1971)

Kowalski works for a car delivery service. He takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to San Fransisco, California. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the car there in less than 15 hours. After a few run-ins with motorcycle cops and highway patrol they start a chase to bring him into custody.

#5.  Death Proof (2007)

Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is a former Hollywood stunt race car driver who targets and kills women with his “death-proof” stunt car. Thanks to Quentin Tarantino we finally get to see a car chase involving a woman tied to the bonnet of a car. Seriously, awesome.

#4. Ronin (1998)

Robert De Niro plays an ex-CIA op who along with a few other intelligence agents are hired to seize a mysterious briefcase. This lengthy hunt weaves through the compacted streets of picturesque Nice, France, and includes one of the most dramatic and memorable car chase scenes of the last 20 years. Watch out for De Niro’s facial expressions, priceless.

#3. The Blues Brothers (1980)

This iconic scene from The Blues Brothers shows Jake and Elwood as they’re chased in a police car, by police cars through a shopping mall.

#2. Bullitt (1968)

In arguably his most famous role Steve McQueen is Frank Bullitt, a San Francisco detective working to solve the murder of a mob witness. Enjoy.

#1.  The French Connection (1971)

William Friedkin’s gritty police drama portrays two tough New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France. During the surveillance and eventual bust, Friedkin provides one of the most gripping and memorable car chase sequences ever filmed.

So, what did you make of our top 22? Think you can do better? Leave us a comment below and let us know what scenes are most deserving in your eyes!

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18 Comments

  1. Scratcher says:

    Agree the muscle car chases show better and sound better. #1 split three ways and I can never pick one over the other; Bullitt, Dirty Mary, Vanishing Point)
    3 wicked cars!!!!!!!!

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  2. Dirty mary, crazy larry is my favorite also what about Mcq with john wayne?

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  3. Tony Krabill says:

    Add my votes for “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry” and “What’s Up, Doc?”. I like the rest of the list, though. The obvious classics, plus some I forgot about, and some I need to see or watch again.

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  4. What about the Gumball rally? The Cannon ball run was a cheesy version based on the original.

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  5. Horrible list. But ANY list that features QUANTUM OF SOLACE as worthy of any title other than “total piece of crap” isn’t worth the time of day. That movie’s chase scenes are all edited into slices of film that last less than 1-2 seconds in length. You cannot tell who is who or where they are in relationship to eachother or anything. That is one of the worst examples of action movie making ever assembled. It’s box office drop from CASINO ROYALE was proof of that. You need to show the cars (real cars too not CGI enhanced ones) and the work that the stuntmen are doing to be any good. It would be like editing a gymnastics routine with MTV style quick cuts so that you miss the beauty of it. Terrible movie (and terrible list) because of that. Stuntwork has died out now due to CGI and insurance costs. There are so many great car stunts/chases from the 60s to the 80s (with a few 90s films) that it is inexcusable to have so many post 2000 films on this list. They all contain computer monkeyed garbage.

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  6. This is an excellent list, but I would have to add the chase scene in The Island towards the top. Almost all of it is entirely real, and awesome too. Minority Report and The Fifth Element could deserve an honorable mention maybe.

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  7. Not sure if I’d call it a “chase” but George Clooney”s demo derby in the plaza in “The Peacemaker (1997)” has some hot driving.

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  8. Dirty Deeds (2002, not 2005) through the back alleys of 1960′s Sydney, Australia.

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  9. Dirty Deeds (2002, not 2005) features a GM Holden car chase in the back alleys of 1960′s Sydney, Australia. “Go! F*ckin’ go!” Well, at least one of the cars is a Holden. The other looks to have had its badges removed for some reason.

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  10. check out postman pat our kids love the way he throws that van around

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  11. I agree with the comment about Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. How can this one be overlooked? It should be #1 on the list. A quality movie with great acting, star actors and the best car in the world, the 1969 Dodge Charger 440.

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  12. Dewayne McCarrell says:

    Gone in 60 seconds should be at least in the top 3,if not #1!

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  13. Bill Hickman was perhaps the greatest wheel-man known in Hollywood. He is the guy who drove in the French Connection and of course Bullet!

    Also, does anyone remember an old movie made for television in the mid 70′s where either Paul Newman, James Franciskus, or Christopher George is in a chase scene driving a 68 Shelby mustang and jumps a small river-gorge?

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  14. CountryBoy207 says:

    how about Dirty Mary Crazy Larry?
    that ranks up there with vanishing point and gone in 60 seconds

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  15. Forgot to mention: Bill Hickman also did stunt driving work on “Vanishing Point.” Incredible!

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  16. I was watching “The Seven-ups” clip and noticed that the bad guy driver is the same guy who plays the hitman in “Bullitt.” Then I looked him up on IMDb and saw that he also did stunt driving for “The French Connection.” He even did stunt driving in Bond films. Who knew?

    So tell me, where would your list be without the incredible stunt driving of the late Bill Hickman (1921-1986)? A tip o’ the hat to you, mate!

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  17. Great list! I agree with most of your choices, but am surprised that you left off “The Gumball Rally” (1976) which featured a host of fantastic and highly desirable sports cars racing cross country. Of course the icing on the cake is seeing an original 427 Cobra and an original Ferrari Daytona Spyder racing hard along the open freeways and in the L.A. river. Hard to imagine treating these über-valuable cars this way in today’s world, but things were different back then.

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  18. Tony Redman says:

    I definitely think the chase scene in “What’s Up Doc?” deserves to be on the list as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw3391SiKRk

    Tony

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