Car Movie Enthusiast Reviews

Ranking

Title and Review
Racers, The: 1955.

Kirk Douglas as a Italian racer. One of his worst films. In this period, many leading male stars thought they needed to make a car racing film. Good scenes in Europe, poor film otherwise.

  Racing Scene, The: 1969.

Documentary about James Garner's racing team over the course of a year,

Race with the Devil: 1975.

Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit. Two families touring Texas in their motor home are pursued by satanic followers - including an entire town of them led by a corrupt and satanic Sheriff. Really terrible film, we know that Texas is a great place and that the only corrupt officers of the law are in Georgia. Don't waste your time on this one.

  Reckless Age, The. 1958.

See Dragstrip Riot, the original release name.

Red Line, 1996.

Chad McQueen (Steve's son). Obscure TV movie, has to do with a master auto thief. It's also got Dom DeLuise in it (of Cannonball fame) - so it's suspect.

Lots of other B-grade stars you'd recognize: Jan-Michael Vincent, Corey Feldman.

This was a USA TV movie, and is now available on DVD.

Redline, 2007.

Utterly forgettable impossible-stunts racing. Stars Nathan Phillips, who crashed a Ferrari Enzo belonging to the film's Executive Producer while promoting the film at Irwindale Speedway in California. Apparently no talent for driving or acting.

Red Line 7000: 1965.

James Caan and George Takai. A typical 60s-era melodrama/racing film. Oddly, it was directed by Howard Hawks. It's been compared to Grand Prix, but is in actuality very silly.

Repo Man. 1984.

A true cult classic, with some social commentary and a science-fiction ending. Centers on the car repossession business and the characters in it.  A must-have!

  Rendezvous: 1983

We had searched for this for years and finally found a copy of it. It's only 9 minutes long, and it took 49 bucks to order the copy originally. Fortunately, it's now available from Amazon.com. And it's a lot of fun.

This is an actual real-life documentary, shot from the front window of a Ferrari as it is driven at top speed through the streets of Paris. Why? It's just a stunt, although the surprise ending will reveal the driver's reason for haste.

 

Return to Macon Country: 1975.

Don Johnson, Nick Nolte (his first film). Another one of those films that portrays the south as it apparently was in the 70s: drag races down back country roads, sex, the Law, and lots of violence. Shown regularly on TNN.

  Riding in Cars With Boys:

Chick flick, avoid at all costs. Has nothing to do with cars!

Road House: 1989.

Patrick Swayze. Ben Gazzarra is a corrupt rich guy who controls a small southern town (would you believe this plot if it was set in a small northern town?). Lots of fist fights. Gazzarra uses his monster truck to destroy a Ford dealer owned by one of the good guys.

2nd Tier! Roger and Me. 1989

(Documentary). Michael Moore's firsthand view of the farce that is GM. Well written, many rewards. This will give you an alternate perspective on blue collar life. Absolutely a must-have! Now are you ready for his "Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint"?

As if you needed another reason to dislike GM, here's one more!

This is the true story of GM Chairman Roger Smith, and the massive loss of jobs in the eighties. It's also a very grim story of people trying to stay alive in economic hard times, and the blunders that GM and the city of Flint commit after the layoffs. You won't believe it.

Probably the best work of Moore, before his politics-inflamed 15 minutes of fame ended.

 

1st Tier! Ronin. 1998. 

A John Frankenheimer film (and that alone would make it a must-have for your collection). Covert mercenaries must recover a mysterious case, with unknown contents. DeNiro, ex-CIA (or is he? - see the alternate ending) engineers the heist.

A John Frankenheimer film (and that alone would make it a must-have for your collection). Covert mercenaries must recover a mysterious case, with unknown contents. DeNiro, ex-CIA (or is he? - see the alternate ending) engineers the heist.

A great many car chases, including one in the purpose-built (with nitrous!) Audi A8 the team uses for the initial heist attempt. All done in the classic Frankenheimer visual style that we've seen in his other films. Excellent plot, moves forward very well. I've seen it several times and always enjoy it.

A must-have for any car movie enthusiast!

1st Tier! Rush. 2013.

If you had seen Ron Howard interviewed at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, you would have seen a passionate and an enthusiastic fan of Formula 1 talking about the drama and excitement he hopes to catch in his new movie “Rush“. Rush is the story of Niki Lauda and the 1976 crash that nearly ended his life, as well as the extensive rivalry between he and driver James Hunt. As our readers know, Lauda suffered extensive and disfiguring burns at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, an event he initially protested because of the dangerous safety conditions on the 23 kilometer circuit. Despite lapsing into a coma, he returned 6 weeks later to the Italian GP. An incredible act of sheer willpower and persistence.

This is a very serious and meticulously crafted film, with care taken to get the story and technology right and an estimated budget of $65M USD. Most of the cars used came out of private collections, ensuring accuracy.

Here is the first featurette of the film, which is just starting post-production work now for release in 2013. With footage from the film, and interviews with Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt), Daniel Brühl (Kicki Lauda), and others.

This is clearly going to be one of the greatest racing films ever made, perhaps the greatest, with emotional levels approaching - but not exceeding – that of Senna.

And we’ll forgive Ron Howard for his earlier car films Eat My Dust (where he starred, with a plot that was basically “Opie gets laid”) and Grand Theft Auto (where he also starred, but more importantly made his Directorial debut). Of course there is also his role in American Graffiti. Not a standout role for him, but nonetheless part of movie history.