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 these movies.
If you’re looking for a movie with more car-related substance, 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 July 2020.
The Rover (2014)
Set in the Australian outback a decade after an apocalypse that turned society upside down, The Rover tells the tale of a man tracking down the thieves that stole his only possession: His car. It’d be reasonable to assume the vehicle in question is a British-made Rover, but the title is a reference to the character played by actor Guy Pearce. The car he’s trying to track down is a Holden Commodore. This movie isn’t as car-focused as some of the other titles on this list because it’s not about a race, a brand, or a specific model, but the big sedan is woven into the plot.
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)
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.
Apex: The Story of the Hypercar (2015)
While the sports car has been around for over a century, the hypercar is a relatively new breed of machine. The definition of a hypercar varies depending on who you ask, but the Bugatti Chiron, the Porsche 918 Spyder, the Ferrari LaFerrari, the McLaren P1, and anything made by Koenigsegg are all undisputed members of the club. As its name implies, this documentary dives into the history of the automotive industry’s most elite segment.
The 24 Hour War (2016)
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.
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