Car Culture & Entertainment

Decade in Review: Best Car and Racing Movies

Just kidding. “Herbie Rides Again” came out in 1974. But the decade is only the past 10 years. When we ask you to share your favorite movies from the past decade, things from 1974, unfortunately, don’t make the cut. (Image/Disney)

It’s the end of another decade, so it’s time for all of us to look back and talk about everything that happened and share opinions that no one asked for.

Since we’re OnAllCylinders, we’re going to stay in an automotive lane. Today, we’re taking a look at 2010-2019 cinema.

What’s the best car or racing movie of the decade?

We kicked that question around here at the office, and talked to our friends on Summit Racing’s social media team about it. They put that question out to their large Facebook audience for feedback.

We took our opinions, dumped them in a bucket with your social media feedback, and then we poured out the list of movies below.

We don’t like using the word ‘best,’ when attempting to label or rank things.

‘Best’ is subjective. The best what? And why? Is the best vehicle the most expensive? The fastest? The winningest race car? Straight-line or turning? The off-roader that can rock crawl or the one that can win at Baja?

You get it. ‘Best’ can be a trash word because the best drag race car won’t win any autocross races, and the best pizza won’t taste good to people who hate pizza.

But ‘best’ is also the best word we’ve got, so we’re going with it.

When you ask the question: What’s the best car or racing movie of the decade? on social media, you get a LOT of answers that don’t qualify, because many of the suggestions weren’t from this decade.

Days of Thunder, Speed Racer, Two-Lane Blacktop, Smokey and the Bandit. You get the idea. We don’t know whether people don’t know what the word ‘decade’ means, or whether they were intentionally trolling.

Probably a bit of both.

So, we’re sorry Guy Who Loves Herbie Rides Again, but we’re not going to be able to include it.

Another thing that happens when you consider this question is you get some debate about what constitutes a car movie.

The author of this article decided to pull rank and be the final judge of what is, and what is not, a car movie. Mad Max: Fury Road? The John Wick trilogy? Baby Driver? They’re all fantastic movies. Better than most of the actual car movies, in fact. But they don’t get to be car movies because they’re not car movies.

They’re movies with cars in them. And, appropriately, they’re being filed in the honorable-mention Fringe Division at the bottom.

As for the actual car movies, here are the best ones of the decade.

Be sure to argue among yourselves about the order they should be in, because we’re not ranking these. We’re simply identifying them as the best car movies of the past 10 years, and conceding some because a bunch of people on Facebook said so.

Need for Speed

PINKMAN. (It’s not. But it is.) (Image/Entertainment)

Otherwise known as a terrible movie starring Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad (and El Camino – also NOT a car movie!), Need for Speed has a generous 22% rating on movie-review website Rotten Tomatoes. It’s an adaptation of the video game of the same name. We don’t think it should be on any Best Movies of the Decade list, but—hey, you guys do you.


This is our boy Thor living his best life. (Image/Hollywood Reporter)

This is the story of the 1970s Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt (played by Thor) and Niki Lauda (played by the bad guy from Captain America: Civil War). It’s actually very good. And Olivia Wilde is in it, which is never a bad thing.

Cars 3


Cars was great. Cars 2 was sort-of not. And Cars 3 is somewhere in between. Pixar mostly does good work, and this is the best thing they made in the decade that was all about cars and motorsports.

Ford v Ferrari


Full disclosure: We haven’t seen this yet. And we’re sorry, because by all accounts, it’s outstanding. Everyone raving about it on Facebook and its 98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes suggests it’s most likely the best car film of the decade.

Snake and Mongoose

(Image/Hot Rod)

This is the only drag-racing movie of the decade as far as we know, and we like drag racing around here, so Snake & Mongoo$e gets to make it by default. Like Rush, this movie is a period peace, telling the story of the rivalry and friendship between Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen in the 1960s and beyond.


This is Rumlow’s serious face. (Image/Netflix)

Remember Brock Rumlow from the second and third Captain America films? Sure you do. Anyway, that guy stars in this short 80-minute Netflix-exclusive movie that involves violence and fast driving to protect his family and figure out who double-crossed him. It’s better than you think it’s going to be. We like when that happens.

The Fast and Furious Movies

Furious 7 was the last of the Fast and Furious films to feature Paul Walker who died during the time that movie was being made. Good dude in real life. This was our favorite of 2010 FF movies. (Image/

The following “Fast and Furious” movies released this decade:

We’re not including Hobbs & Shaw. Sorry.

All Fast and Furious movies are ridiculous, but we like them anyway. Furious 7, we might even call ‘good,’ and we mean that unironically. It’s pretty good as these sorts of movies go.

To be fair, we kind of like all of them.

While Ford v Ferrari and Rush are likely the finest examples of car-related cinema from the decade, we will ultimately remember the Fast and the Furious franchise as Kings of the 2010s Car Movie Hill. Not that that’s a thing. But whatever.

The Fringe Division

Mad Max: Fury Road was unlike anything we’ve ever seen. In a good way. (Image/Business Insider)

Again, we’re defining The Fringe Division as movies a bunch of well-meaning, but ultimately misguided humans suggested to be “car movies,” but we decided that don’t get to be car movies, and this is one of life’s rare moments where we get to win.

The Fringe Division is chock full of fun movies that have awesome car stuff going on as well.

Great movies, most of them. Just not car movies.

Be sure to check out our other upcoming Decade in Review articles, where we look back at automotive trends, top aftermarket parts, and tip our caps at everyone we had to say goodbye to—many of them, much too soon.

From the OnAllCylinders and Summit Racing families to yours. Happy New Year. Let’s make the ‘20s the best decade yet.

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  2. Michael Phipps says:

    For now it’s Rush, until Ford vs. Ferrari makes it to DVD.

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