Action movie fans just got a treat with the release of the latest installment in the long-running Fast series, Fast X. The movie brings back all of everyone’s favorite characters, from Vin Diesel’s Dom to Charlize Theron’s villainous Cipher, and adds new cast members Brie Larson as mysterious spy Tess and Jason Momoa as the film’s principle villain, the Joker-like Dante.
If you’ve seen Fast X and are craving more high-octane action, don’t fret. There’s a wealth of similar action movies involving cars, corny one-liners, and impossible feats of death-defying stunts on a variety of
The Need for Speed (2014)
The Need for Speed might seem too obvious a choice for Fast X fans to watch, but sometimes, the obvious choice is the best one. Based on the successful PlayStation video game series, this 2014 movie centers on former race car driver Tobey Marshall, who is framed for the vehicular death of a close friend in a race. Having served his sentence, Tobey is out for revenge and enters a winner-takes-all race where his friend’s killer, Dino, is competing for the grand prize. Multiple car races ensue, along with betrayals, romances, and a killer climactic chase sequence along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Listen, The Need for Speed is not a good film; it’s full of plot holes, and the camera is way too active at times. But it’s a fun movie to laugh at, and the car chases are genuinely exciting. Plus, the cast is stacked, with Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul as Tobey, Dominic Cooper as the nefarious Dino, and Michael Keaton, Entergalactic‘s Kid Cudi, Dakota Johnson, and Oscar winner Rami Malek backing them up.
The Need for Speed can be rented or purchased at digital vendors like Prime Video.
Death Race (2008)
Described by Nathan Lee of The New York Times as “legitimately greasy, authentically nasty, with a good old-fashioned sense of laying waste to everything in sight,” Death Race is a Fast movie in sci-fi clothing, a ridiculous action romp that’s violent, mean-spirited fun. A remake/prequel to 1975’s Death Race 2000, the film, set in a post-apocalyptic future, stars Deckard Shaw himself, Jason Statham, as Jensen Ames, a husband and father who is framed for the murder of his wife. Sent to a maximum security prison, Ames is forced to compete in car races to gain his freedom.
Statham is at his stoic best here, emoting primarily through snares and glares and looking badass doing it. The supporting cast, which includes Fast franchise co-star Tyrese Gibson, John Wick: Chapter 4‘s Ian McShane, and respected theater actress Joan Allen, all dig their teeth into the pulpy story and make this B-movie worth watching. The highlights, of course, are the car races, which are filmed with an intensity and chaotic precision that elevates Death Race into that rare stratum of remakes that are actually pretty good.
Death Race is streaming on Starz.
Ford v Ferrari (2019)
Ok, Ford v Ferrari isn’t exactly a traditional action movie. It’s more dramatic and grounded in realism, which makes sense since it’s based on a true story. But just because its racing scenes are realistic doesn’t make it any less of an action movie. Ford v Ferrari stars Air‘s Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby, a retired race car driver who is tasked by the Ford Motor Company to find a diver capable of beating automobile rival Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans car race, considered the most prestigious race in the industry. He hires Ken Miles (Christian Bale), a hot-tempered English driver who tests Shelby’s patience and risks death in his pursuit of glory.
If this seems like just another ordinary racing movie like, say, Tom Cruise’s 1990 film Days of Thunder, you’d be wrong. While Ford v Ferrari delivers in capturing the heat and intensity of international car competition, it stands out for taking the time to develop both Shelby and Miles as complex, compelling characters. As Shelby, Damon gave one of his best performances, but it’s Bale who is never better as the mercurial family man Miles. These two share an interesting, almost brotherly dynamic, not unlike the one shared by Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in the first seven Fast movies.
Ford v Ferrari is streaming on Hulu.
Baby Driver (2017)
Baby Driver understands a fundamental rule of cinema: cars and music share the same sense of rhythm, and if the right director can bring them together onscreen, it can be magic. Edgar Wright is that director, and with Baby Driver, he made a movie that hums as sweetly and satisfyingly as any retro GTO. Like all Fast movies, Baby Driver is about cars and crime. The title character is a professional getaway driver, whose cherubic face masks an impressive skillset behind the wheel. He’s roped into pulling a bank heist, which, of course, goes wrong. Double-crosses abound, while Baby tries desperately to not get killed so that he can pursue a romance with a shy waitress.
If the plot sounds a bit familiar, that’s because it’s been used dozens of times before in the last 50 years. The plot’s not the point; the film’s pleasures are in its style and craftsmanship, particularly when Wright stages his chase scenes and action sequences with a giddiness that is just as vibrant as his work in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Amid all the chaos, there’s a certain sweetness to the movie that makes it irresistible. It’s perhaps the first and only action movie that has the rhythm and appeal of an old-school movie musical, only with more blood and bullets.
Baby Driver can be rented or purchased at digital vendors like Apple TV+.
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Gone is 60 Seconds was released in the Golden Age of great Nicolas Cage movies, three years after Face/Off and Con Air and one year before the first The Fast and the Furious movie. You can see Fast‘s DNA in Gone, which utilizes the same concepts that the Vin Diesel franchise has perfected, and done to death, over the past two decades: car chases, heists, and the importance of family. The plot is pretty simple: Cage has to rescue his younger brother from being killed by a ruthless British gangster. How? By stealing 50 cars in 72 hours and delivering them to the gangster.
The deep bench cast knows exactly what they are in, pure hokum, and proceeds to have a blast. Angelina Jolie, deep in her edgy “I drink my lover’s blood” era, is strong and alluring, and the male supporting actors, which includes Robert Duvall, Giovanni Ribisi, Will Patton, Delroy Lindo, Vinnie Jones, Scott Caan, Timothy Olyphant and Master P(!), all feel right at home and could’ve been in a Fast movie or two in an alternate timeline. Best of them all is, of course, Cage, who lords over the movie with his now trademark intensity and oddball coolness that only the man who ate live cockroaches in Vampire’s Kiss and romanced Cher in Moonstruck could deliver.
Gone in 60 Seconds is streaming on Paramount+.
- 7 best action scenes in the Fast & Furious franchise, ranked
- All the villains in the Fast and Furious movies, ranked from worst to best
- I loved Netflix’s latest hit The Night Agent. Here are 5 more shows just like it.
- 5 great Christian Bale movies you should watch
- ‘Make a move, and the bunny gets it’: The lost art of campy action movies