Although the true story behind Gran Turismo is unique, the movie is far from the first to tell a story about the world of professional racing. In the long history of Hollywood, plenty of major movie stars have set their sights on the world of racing, whether those stories are set in America or elsewhere in the world.
While some of those prior movies were based on true stories like Gran Turismo, that certainly wasn’t the case for all of them. What makes the movies on this list so great, though, is that, whether they’re true stories or not, they understand both the thrills and dangers of racing perfectly.
Wait, what’s an Adam Sandler basketball movie doing here? Hustle is similar to Gran Turismo in the sense that it tells the story of an unlikely prospect trying to find success in a hugely competitive sport. The film follows Adam Sandler, a basketball scout who becomes set on proving that an unproven prospect from Spain can be a star in the NBA.
It’s a grounded, gritty film that offers Sandler a chance to deliver a truly great performance, and it also features a slew of fun performances from actual NBA legends. Hustle follows fairly traditional sports movie beats, but the movie works because it has a real sense of the stakes for its characters.
Hustle is streaming on Netflix.
Telling another true story, this time of the intense rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1970s, Rush is about two men who are pushed to the brink of total insanity inside of their sport for totally different reasons.
Rush is honest about the dangers of racing, and about how reckless both of these men were in their pursuit of all-time greatness. Thanks to some of the best direction of Ron Howard’s career, though, and great performances from Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth, Rush is thrilling, captivating, and maddening in equal measure.
Rush is streaming on Netflix.
It wouldn’t be a racing movie list without a Fast & Furious movie. While this eventually became a story about a group of friends who drive cars and are also super spies, The Fast and the Furious spends a lot of its time grounded in the world of street racing.
Telling the story of an undercover cop who infiltrates a street racing gang that is also behind a string of robberies in Los Angeles, the movie is in some ways ridiculous, but is also reflective of the dangers and thrills that come with the world of amateur racing. Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto lives his life a quarter mile at a time, and after watching The Fast and the Furious, you may want to as well.
The Fast and the Furious is streaming on Netflix.
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