Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Sometimes the dates we remember most fondly are the ones that are just about spending time with the one you love. So this year, why not keep it simple? A romantic dinner, a little vino and a good flick to cuddle up to. Plus, we guarantee if you pick one of these car movies, your heart’s sure to be racing (eh, eh?) all night long.
Love the Beast (2009)
While it’s definitely a romantic flick, it’s probably not the type of romance you’re familiar with. Love the Beast tells the story of Eric Bana and his first-ever car, a Ford GT Falcon Coupe.
From restoring it with his three closest friends to entering it into one of the most dangerous motor races in the world, this mini-documentary paints a picture of a relationship that is more than just “a man and his car.” It’s a 25-year long friendship filled with ups and downs, and a story that will definitely tug at the heart strings.
If you don’t feel like tearing up in front of your significant other, maybe save this one for another day.
Fast and the Furious (2009)
It wouldn’t be a car movie list if we didn’t include at least one of the Fast and the Furious movies. And while the franchise includes eight great (well, maybe not all great) movies, we decided to blow the dust off the original this time around.
If you’ve ever seen one of these movies, you’re probably already familiar with the premise; illegal street races, difficult heists and an ongoing battle for respect. If the beautiful cars don’t make you misty, Paul Walker’s scenes just might. A definite classic.
Death Proof (2007)
You can’t have a movie list without a Tarantino pick. Death Proof has everything you come to expect from the famous filmmaker mixed in with some really great chase scenes. Fun fact: Death Proof was originally the second half of a double-billed movie. However, it was terribly received when it first came out so Tarantino decided to give each movie its own release. Thus Death Proof was born.
If your special someone likes totally useless movie trivia, you’ll score big with this fact nugget.
Drive is a good pick for the men and ladies (we’re looking at you Ryan Gosling). Gosling plays a brooding mechanic and Hollywood stuntman who occasionally moonlights as a gateway driver. Problems arise when Gosling falls in love with his new neighbor (Carey Mulligan). He decides to do a job that will help her and her son but put him in grave danger.
Besides a few intense race scenes and some long, aloof shots of Gosling staring whimsically into thin air, the best part of Drive might actually be the soundtrack. Either way, there’s equal parts romance and cars, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Gone in 60 Seconds
It’s easy to forget that Angelina Jolie and Nick Cage once shared the screen together for two long hours. While Rotton Tomatoes (24%), IMDb (6.5/10) and Roger Ebert (2/4) weren’t Gone in 60 Seconds‘ biggest fans, it’s definitely a great choice if you’re looking to just kick back, turn the ol’ noggin off and watch some good old fashion car racing.
The Italian Job (2003)
If you know car movies, you know The Italian Job. Hell, if you know movies at all then you know about this one. First of all, if you didn’t get a call from Marky Mark to be in the film, it’s probably the equivalent of the Hollywood cold shoulder. Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Jason Statham, Edward Norton, and Seth Green all star in this instant classic.
All the ingredients of a good drama are in The Italian Job, peppered with long chase scenes and some up close and personal shots of Charlize. Plus, if you’ve got a thing for smart cars, there’s plenty to ogle at.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
While the premise appears a little convoluted – a woman, a band of friends and a drifter lead the charge against an authoritarian ruler in a post-apocalyptic word – the movie itself is one gnarly piece of cinematic genius. The original Mad Max (starring Mel Gibson) is also a great pick if you want to go the classic route. However, if you’re looking for something bigger, louder and a little more bad ass, Tom Hardy’s Mad Max is the way to go.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Will Farrell and John C. Reilly play two NASCAR drivers (Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton) who are famous for coming in first and second place, all the time. However, the two must ultimately face off to see who will be named racing’s top driver. If you and your loved one like to laugh together, this is an obvious pick.
Based on a true story, Rush tells the tale of two Formula 1 racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda whose rivalry in the 1970s made headlines. Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) aren’t just two completely different people, they’re two totally different drivers. The movie compares their widely different lifestyles, romantic relationships and racing choices and what ultimately culminated in the biggest showdown of their careers — and maybe racing history.
Rush got an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is high praise from a notoriously tough critic. Definitely worth a watch.
Hit & Run (2012)
Written and produced by Dax Shepard, Hit & Run is a movie you’ve probably never heard of and that’s a shame. It’s actually hilarious. The story centers on a young couple (Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard) who decide to take a road trip to cash in on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The only problem is, they’re being chased by an old friend (Bradley Cooper) and a Federal Marshal (Tom Arnold) who are dead set on stopping them.
Hit & Run fits our list’s criteria thanks to an epic burnout scene and a host of beautiful vehicles that appear in the movie. Beyond that, though, it’s just a really funny movie that’ll have you and your date laughing all night long.
Have another suggestion? Tell us what you think!