Need for speed? Check out Rotten Tomatoes' best car movies

Published March 14, 2014


If the film critics are right, this weekend’s blockbuster debut “Need for Speed” is going to be a big bust.

The Aaron Paul/Dominic Cooper vehicle is currently rated at around 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer, putting it near the bottom of the barrel among car-related flicks.

So, if you’re looking for some automotive mayhem and excitement, Rotten Tomatoes Editor-in-Chief Matt Atchity suggests you hit up the archives and check out one of these highly-rated recent efforts instead:

Rush - 89 percent. Ron Howard’s depiction of the 1976 Formula 1 season is less about cars than the rivalry and personal lives of two drivers, and has a lot of appeal for non-fans, but there’s plenty of amazing racing cinematography featuring classic open-wheel cars.

Fast Five - 77 percent. Of all the movies in the “The Fast and the Furious” series, this one is the highest rated. It features most of the original cast, plus Dwayne Johnson, and features an over-the-top international heist that culminates on the streets of Rio.

Cars - 74 percent. If there’s a movie that better captures America’s love affair with the automobile, it’s probably not animated and it certainly won’t be as fun for enthusiasts of ages like this 2006 classic.

Talladega Nights – 72 percent. Ricky Bobby’s motto, “if you’re not first, you’re last,” doesn’t ring true here. Will Ferrell’s NASCAR spoof offers a lot of laughs, more catch phrases than you can remember, and does irony so well that the stock car scene it lampoons is totally in on the joke.

Click the video above for Rotten Tomatoes' take on all of this weekend's premieres.