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The best car movies on Netflix right now

Cars appear in most movies, but the ones in which they get a starring role are few and far between. They’re normally treated as appliances, like the fridge the bad guy stores food in, or as props added to the set a few minutes before they’re set on fire. You won’t learn anything about cars or car culture from those movies.

If you’re looking for a movie with more car-related substance, though, there are several good options, including action flicks and documentaries. Here’s the spoiler-free list of the best car movies you can stream on Netflix in August 2020.

Senna (2010)

SENNA - Official Trailer

This documentary covers the life and career of one of the greatest F1 drivers in the history of the sport. Ayrton Senna was a national hero in his home country of Brazil and won three F1 championships before tragedy struck. Even if you don’t watch F1 racing, this documentary is a fascinating story of a race car driver like no other.

Drive (2011)

Drive - Movie Trailer (2011) HD

This action-packed, R-rated movie portrays Ryan Gosling as a man with an unusual amount of talent behind the wheel. He lives in Los Angeles and regularly works as a Hollywood stunt driver, but his skills quickly catch the attention of gangsters in need of a getaway driver. Gosling’s character ends up finding out easy money isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

Shelby American (2019)

Shelby American: The Life of Carroll Shelby

We suggest streaming Shelby American if you’ve watched Ford v Ferrari and are eager to learn more. This documentary zooms out of the bitter rivalry between Carroll Shelby and Enzo Ferrari to look at the broader picture. Shelby didn’t always build race-winning cars; he raised chickens to support his family, raced cars made by his future competitors, and suffered from serious health problems at a relatively young age. Archive footage of men like Zora Arkus-Duntov and Henry Ford II makes Shelby American one of the most comprehensive documentaries about this larger-than-life Texan.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019)

Formula 1: Drive to Survive | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes of an F1 race? This docuseries follows drivers, managers, and team owners throughout the F1 racing season. It provides an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what life is like for teams inside the F1 paddock. If you don’t watch F1 racing, this might change your mind. 

The 24 Hour War (2016)

The 24 Hour War Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Documentary

The 24 Hour War was directed by Nate Adams and Adam Carolla, the same men responsible for Shelby American. It takes another look at the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari but it shows it through a different lens. It’s a documentary, not a Hollywood blockbuster, so the overall tone is less sensational and more matter-of-fact. Both movies are worth watching if you’re interested in one of the greatest conflicts ever to emerge from the world of racing.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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