ROAD TRIP MOVIES

Road Trip Movies

Our Favorite Ten Road Trip Movies

When you can’t travel, watching road trip movies may be the next best thing. Just like a real road trip, a road trip movie can be a rewarding experience - one ripe with adventure and at times, misadventure. You can enjoy sights and sounds and immerse yourself in the experience of travelling on the road without leaving the comfort of your own home.

However, more than just a depiction of characters moving to a location, the most memorable road trip movies are those that show that the experience of getting there is more important than the final destination itself. 

 

In no particular order, we give you our list of 10 road trip movies you can watch tonight, and we guarantee you will enjoy. We hope they give you inspiration for your next road trip when you’re ready to undertake new adventures!

 

Road Trip Movie #1: The Long, Long Trailer (1954)

 

Genre: Comedy

Actors: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Director: Vincente Minneli

IMDb: 7.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%

 

Since RV’ing is undergoing a resurgence, we thought we’d start with an RV trip movie. The Long, Long Trailer tells the story of a newlywed couple, Nicky and Tacy, and their adventures and misadventures during their honeymoon trip in their trailer home. In true Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz fashion, the characters get into all sorts of ridiculous situations that are sure to make you laugh. 

 

Road Trip Movie #2: Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

 

Genre: Comedy

Actors: John Candy and Steve Martin

Director: John Hughes

IMDb: 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

 

Steve Martin, who plays a high-strung ad executive, and John Candy, an annoying but good hearted shower-curtain-ring salesman, become the most unlikely travel companions as they try to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving.  This one may have you crying you’ll be laughing so hard.  Definitel worth a watch.

 

Road Trip Movie #3: It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

 

Genre: Comedy/Adventure

Actors: Spencer Tracy, Edie Adams, Milton Berle, Jimmy Durante, Jonathan Winters, Buddy Hacket

Director: Stanley Kramer

IMDb: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%

 

The story kicks off during a massive traffic jam caused by Jimmy Durante playing Smiler Grogan. The adventures begin when Smiler Grogan reveals to a group of drivers that he has buried stolen treasure - all before kicking the bucket. 

 

This motley group go on a wild adventure through the countryside in search of this buried loot. 

 

A true classic!

Road Trip Movie #4: Rain Man (1988)

 

Genre: Drama-Comedy

Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise

Director: Barry Levinson

IMDb: 8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

 

This is a road trip movie about an autistic savant, played by Dustin Hoffman, and his selfish brother, played by Tom Cruise.

 

Charlie Babbitt returns home to Cincinnati when his father dies. When he gets home, he discovers that he has an autistic older brother named Raymond. To add to his surprise, he finds out that his father left his fortune of $3 million to the institution where his brother lives. 

 

In order to get his hands on his father’s money, he takes Raymond out on a roadtrip to Los Angeles to try to manipulate him into giving up his inheritance. However, along the way, dynamics change, and the brothers find their lives changed after their road tripp as well. 

 

Road Trip Movie #5: Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

Genre: Action/Apocalyptic-Post Apocalyptic

Actors: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones

Director: George Miller

IMDb: 8.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

 

This a road trip movie like no other. The movie is set years after the collapse of civilization. In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Max, played by Tom Hardy, forges an unwilling alliance with Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, a rebel warrior, in a quest to overthrow a tyrant who controls the land's water supply. 

 

It’s a deadly high speed chase between Max and Furiosa onboard their War Rig, a massive, armored truck, and the tyrant and his henchmen across the Wasteland.  Action scenes rule in this movie.  And, it’s fun to root for the “good guys” against the “bad”.

 

Road Trip Movie #6: Thelma and Louise (1991)

 

Genre: Adventure/Comedy/Drama

Actors: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Brad Pitt, Harvey Keitel

Director: Ridley Scott

IMDb: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

 

This is a story of two friends Thelma, played by Geena Davis, and Louise, played by Susan Sarandon, who go on a road trip they never planned on taking. What started out as a short fishing trip becomes a flight from the law when Louise shoots and kills a man who tried to rape Thelma at a bar. 

 

The two flee to Mexico. Brad Pitt plays a short but memorable role as JD, a sexy, young thief that Thelma falls for. While on their flight to Mexico, they also meet Detective Slocumb (Harvey Keitel) who tries to convince the two women to surrender. 

 

Spoiler Alert: The ending has become a classic - a choice between incarceration or the ultimate freedom of death. 

 

Road Trip Movie #7: Almost Famous (2000)

 

Genre: Music/Comedy/Drama

Actors: Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit, Anna Paquin 

Director: Cameron Crowe

IMDb: 7.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%


Set in 1973, Almost Famous chronicles the coming of age of 15-year-old William Miller. The road trip begins when he accompanies Stillwater, a rock band, on their tour as an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine. Along the way, he learns about relationships and life in general as he breaks away from his protective mother.

Road Trip Movie #8: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

 

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Actors: Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Paul Dano

Director: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

IMDb: 7.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

 

The fun and adventure ensues as the Hoover family, composed of the father (Greg Kinnear), his wife (Toni Collette), an uncle (Steve Carell), a grandfather (Alan Arkin) and a brother (Paul Dano), go on a fun and chaotic road trip aboard a VW bus to California to take the daughter (Abigail Breslin) to join the Little Miss Sunshine contest. 

 

It’s all insanity and chaos as the motley group travels along the interstate route to get to their destination. This is a good one for kids.

 

Road Trip Movie #9: Easy Rider (1969)

Genre: Drama

Actors: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Antonio Mendoza, Phil Spector, Mac Mashourian

Director: Dennis Hopper

IMDb: 7.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

 

Fonda and Hopper play two Harley-riding hippies who travel through the American Southwest and South after completing a cocaine deal in Southern California. On their trip, they experience bigotry and hatred, typical of the inhabitants of then small-town America. But they also get to meet other travellers living alternative lifestyles.

 

Easy Rider provides interesting historical context on social issues and tensions present in the 1960s USA.

 

Interesting detail - Real drugs were used in scenes showing the use of marijuana and other substances.

 

Road Trip Movie #10: Sideways (2004)

 

Genre: Comedy-Drama

Actors: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke, Jessica Hecht

Director: Alexander Payne

IMDb: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

 

Sideways tells the story of two friends - middle aged, divorced and struggling writer Miles, played by Paul Giamatti and his soon-to-be-married actor friend, Jack, played by Thomas Haden Church - traveling through the Santa Ynez wine country. 

 

It was meant to be a last single-guy bonding experience, but the two had different ideas on how the trip should go. Engaged Jack wants to have a last fling before his wedding while Miles just wants to relax. They meet Stephanie (Sandra Oh) and her friend Maya (Virginia Madsen) on the trip. Pretty soon, Jack is sleeping with Stephanie while Miles gets close to Maya. 

 

Things come to a head when the women find out about the upcoming wedding. 

 

A bit of trivia - the movie affected merlot sales negatively because of the main character’s disdain for this particular varietal. 

 

We hope this short list of road trip movies will take you on many armchair adventures till you are ready to take your next actual road trip.

 

Taking a Road Trip? ASR Can Help

If you are planning a road trip in the near future, make sure that your car is ready and in good condition. Nothing ruins a road trip faster than a broken down vehicle in the middle of nowhere!

 

Bring your car in to ASR of Murrieta (formerly American Auto Care) so our mechanics can check for road worthiness before your next trip. 

 

We are among the best auto repair shops in the Temecula Valley, located in Murrieta. Every ASR Technician is certified, so you can be sure that if there’s a problem, our mechanics can find it and fix it right the first time. 

 

Call us at (951) 461-2507.

Tags: road trip movies, movies about road trips,movies to stream, classic road trip movies

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