Road Movies

road mov·ie rōd ˈmo͞ovē/


noun: road movie; plural noun: road movies

  1. a movie of a genre in which the main character is traveling, either in flight or on a journey of self-discovery

I’ve listed below about 30 of my top 10 Road Movies, in no particular order.

If you are a Movie Lover, I will say if you’ve not seen True Romance; Midnight Run; Sorcerer; Children of Men or Badlands – you have not led a full life.

Midnight Run: My favorite Robert De Niro role and my favorite movie quote ever. “Here come two words for you.Shut the f*** up.” Endlessly useable.

True Romance: Tarantino’s first script, and Tony Scott’s best directorial job, is worth watching for the cast alone. A favorite of everyone I know. Except maybe one good friend who found lead character Alabama’s sing-song voice like nails on a chalk board. She is completely wrong. It’s endearing.

The Road Warrior: The Road Punk movie that launched a thousand imitations.

Mad Max -Fury Road: Sometimes remakes are five star movies.

Thelma and Louise: A feminist revenge road movie. Opened up a lot of conversations back in 1991. And where it all launched for a then baby smooth Brad Pitt.

The Hit:  A Spanish Road movie with British Gangsters and an Eric Clapton/Roger Waters Score. A little seen gem.

Vanishing Point:  A favorite with the stoners and influential enough to inspire a Primal Scream album.

Two Lane Blacktop: Another one for you doobie-heads. James Taylor & Dennis Wilson in minimalist mode.

Easy Rider: The Road Movie that defined the 60’s and changed the face of movie soundtracks.

Duel: Stephen Spielberg’s first. Made for TV but a Cinema hit in Europe.

The Last Detail: A blackly comic 70’s classic. Sailor Jack Nicholson foul mouthing it like only he can.

Y to mama tambien:  A Mexican coming of age road from Alfonso Cuarón, director of Gravity

Children of Men: Cuarón’s technically brilliant, dystopian tale of a birth free future.

Badlands: Dakota – Late 1950’s, A very young Martin Sheen & Sissy Spacek, embark on a cross country killing spree.  Shes right – he looked just like James Dean.

Little Miss Sunshine: The rare comedy that doesn’t fall apart in the home stretch. It’s tied with Napoleon Dynamite for my favorite dance scene ever. A believable, dysfunctional family. A long overdue Supporting Oscar for Alan Arkin.

Wages of Fear: Four desperate men are hired to transport two truck loads of volatile nitroglycerin across a South American Jungle. Additionally, watch Sorcerer (the excellent William Friedkin remake). Worth it for the tense bridge crossing scene alone.

It Happened One Night: An AFI Top 100 and the first movie to win the top 5 Oscars. For a bonus 10 points, the other two are One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest & The Silence of The Lambs.

Lonesome Dove: Cattle Trails are Roads Too! Technically a mini-series. Robert Duvall’s favorite role ever and my favorite book ever.

Red River: Manly Man John Wayne & Montgomery Clift on a cattle drive. What could possibly be go wrong?

Pee Wees Big Adventure: Tequila!

Rain Man: Best picture winner. You’ll never look at a box of tooth picks the same way again. Fabulous Oscar winning Score from Hans Zimmer.

Nebraska: Its set in Nebraska. Looks like the dullest place on the planet. I’m skipping it.

Locke: A one man  tour de force from Tom Hardy. A tense, 85 minute, solo car journey. Trust me!

The Straight Story: David Lynch’s most normal film. If you consider a stroke victim crossing states on a lawnmower to reconnect with his brother normal.

Wild at Heart:  David Lynch again. Nicholas Cage at his unhinged best with Laura Dern right in step. You’ll love it or hate it. First time I heard Wicked Games. Won the big prize at Cannes in 1990.

Kalifornia: Brad Pitt in full psycho white trash mode, along side David Duchovney when we thought he’d be a movie star.

Natural Born Killers: Oliver Stone’s ultra-violent, controversial , mega-stylized slaughter ride.

Paris, Texas:  Harry Dean Stanton at his hang-dog best. Another Cannes Palme D’Or winner 1984.

Paper Moon:  A depression era, Midwestern, flim-flam, road comedy. Tatum O’Neal became the youngest Oscar winner ever, opposite Daddy.

The Blues Brothers:  The SNL alums put the band back together, get on the road and destroy a record breaking number of cars. For fans of comedy, blues and anyone that likes both kinds of music – country & western.

Logan: A Wolverine road trip, based on the demented comic book Old Man Logan. My favorwite Marvel adaptation and not just because it’s R-Rated.

And Finally….

The Hitcher (1986): John Ryder, my favorite road crazy, in my second favorite Rutger Hauer film  (nothing tops Blade Runner).

I’m stopping for no one and definitely no Truck Stop French fries (see the movie).