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Like Gran Turismo? Then you must watch these 5 movies

This weekend marks the release of Gran Turismo, the action drama based on the racing video game series from PlayStation. In this “insane true story,” Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) is one of the best Gran Turismo players in the world. Because of his video game prowess, Jann and a select group of individuals are selected to become professional race drivers at the GT Academy under the training of Jack Salter (Violent Night‘s David Harbour).

Training is a rude awakening for Jann and the other amateur drivers as their gaming skills do not transfer to the real world. However, Jann eventually rises to the top of his class and receives a chance to drive in actual races. Jann’s story in Gran Turismo is one of inspiration, determination, and fast cars. Are you looking for similar films to watch? Check out these five movies to watch that are similar to Gran Turismo.

Days of Thunder (1990)

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise stand beside one another in Days of Thunder.
Paramount Pictures

Believe it or not, there was a time when Tom Cruise played other characters besides Ethan Hunt and Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. In 1990, Cruise played hotshot driver Cole Trickle in Tony Scott’s Days of Thunder. Cole is one of the best open-wheel racers in the country. Realizing he cannot compete with the top cars, Cole switches to stock cars in NASCAR. Like Jann’s troubles in Gran Turismo, Cole feels like an outsider in his new sport, culminating in a heated rivalry with veteran racer Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker).

After the two drivers are injured, they eventually bond and become friends, with Rowdy serving as Cole’s mentor in the sport. The racing scenes in Days of Thunder are tremendous thanks to Scott, an action icon. Loud, flashy, and over-the-top, Days of Thunder is excellent fun if you appreciate overindulgence.

Stream Days of Thunder on Showtime.

Rush (2013)

A driver sits on his car while another driver stands next to him in Rush.
Universal Pictures

Rush is one of the most underrated sports movies of the last 20 years. It stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Hunt, a British driver for McLaren, and Lauda, an Austrian driver for Ferrari, formed a bitter rivalry in the mid-1970s as they fought to win the F1 championship.

Hunt and Lauda’s rivalry reaches a boiling point after the latter suffers a devastating crash that threatens his career and life. Directed by Ron Howard, Rush is an invigorating depiction of what it takes to be a champion and the sacrifices that must be made to achieve greatness. The racing sequences are terrific, but the performances from Hemsworth and Brühl are even better.

Stream Rush on Netflix.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari.
20th Century Studios

Next up is Ford v Ferrari, James Mangold’s Oscar-nominated drama about 1966’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. For years, Scuderia Ferrari was the dominant racing team at Le Mans, having won five Le Mans titles since 1960. The Ford Motor Company tasks Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), the owner of Shelby American and the 1959 Le Mans winner, to build a car and team to defeat Ferrari.

Shelby enlists Ken Miles, the fiery British racer, as his driver. Ford v Ferrari brilliantly captures the sights and sounds of racing, resulting in well-deserved Oscar wins for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing. Sports films work best as underdog stories, and Ford v Ferrari encapsulates the human element in underdogs Shelby and Miles to create a compelling drama.

Stream Ford v Ferrari on Hulu.

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Two men look out of a car in The Fast and the Furious.
Universal / Universal Pictures

Before saving the world from nuclear warfare, The Fast and Furious franchise cared about adrenaline, fast cars, and street racing. The first film, The Fast and the Furious, is the most grounded of the franchise. It exists in the real world, where car crashes lead to injuries and gunshots result in death. This sense of realism makes The Fast and the Furious one of the best entries in the Fast Saga.

Paul Walker stars as Brian O’Connor, an undercover police officer who infiltrates the underground world of street racing to investigate a group of hijackers. Brian’s investigation leads him to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), one of the best street racers in the city. Thanks to realistic racing scenes with emotional stakes, The Fast and the Furious is the Fast film that most relates to Gran Turismo.

Stream The Fast and the Furious on Netflix.

Need for Speed (2014)

Two men talk in front of a car in The Need for Speed.
Universal Pictures

Since Gran Turismo is based on a video game, it’s only fair to include another film adaption of a popular video game, 2014’s Need for Speed, which is adapted from the racing series from Electronic Arts. Aaron Paul stars as Tobey Marshall, a mechanic struggling to make ends meet. As a former race car driver, Tobey participates in illegal street races for money.

However, one of the races goes awry when Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) frames Tobey for murder, sending him to prison. Released after two years, Tobey is hell-bent on revenge, so he enters a high-stakes race in San Francisco to defeat Dino. However, getting to the race proves difficult as Tobey must avoid cops and Dino’s bounty hunters, all while traveling at high speed.

Stream Need for Speed on Showtime.

Editors' Recommendations

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
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