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  • Nate Lemann

LISTS: TOP 30 MOVIE "CAR" CHASES

Updated: Jul 17

In honor of “Furiosa’”s release, let's look out the top 30 chases in movie history.


By Nate Lemann


 

I have ranked the top 30 films with “car” chases in them. Films have been ranked by their chases and not overall quality. To also note, not always do these chases use a “car” or “vehicle” but they do carry the tense spirit of the great cinematic chases:


 

1. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015) - DIR. GEORGE MILLER

Tom Hardy in "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Tom Hardy in "Mad Max: Fury Road"

The greatest top-to-bottom chase movie ever put to film...pure cinematic delight. A chase all others need to live in the shadow of now.


 

2. BULLITT (1968) - DIR. PETER YATES

Steve McQueen in "Bullitt"
Steve McQueen in "Bullitt"

Maybe not the coolest anymore but this iconic scene still holds me every time I watch it. An insane cinematic achievement (not just for the time).

 

3. THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004) - DIR. PAUL GREENGRASS

"The Bourne Supremacy"
"The Bourne Supremacy"

For some reason, I can't get over the final Russian chase scene...its conclusion in the tunnel still has me holding onto the armrest for dear life. There are great character moments in the final moments.

 

4. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT (2018) - DIR. CHRISTOPHER McQUARRIE

Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Fallout"
Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Fallout"

Okay...the Paris chase scene or the London roof foot chase each alone could've put this baby on the list. But that is not why this is here: the helicopter chase is the most exciting thing I may have ever witnessed in a theater. It is the stunt I will always remember Tom Cruise for.


 

5. SPEED (1994) - DIR. JAN DE BONT

"Speed"
"Speed"

From concept to execution, this chase is absolutely flawless. Probably the first movie most people think of when mention the term "Car Chase".

 

6. THE DARK KNIGHT (2008) - DIR. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN

"The Dark Knight"
"The Dark Knight"

Nolan actually flipped a truck...'nough said.

 

7. FAST FIVE (2011) - DIR. JUSTIN LIN

Paul Walker & Vin Diesel in "Fast Five"
Paul Walker & Vin Diesel in "Fast Five"

They dragged a bloody vault...best chase of the whole franchise.

 

8. THE MATRIX RELOADED (2003) - DIR. THE WACHOWSKIS

Laurence Fishburne in "The Matrix Reloaded"
Laurence Fishburne in "The Matrix Reloaded"

The freeway sequence is legacy making stuff. Only the lobby fight tops this in the franchise.


 

9. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION (2015) - DIR. CHRISTOPHER McQUARRIE

Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation"
Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation"

Tom Cruise half-dead slapstick car chase followed swiftly by a breakneck bike chase...All IN BABY!

 

10. RONIN (1998) - DIR. JOHN FRANKENHEIMER

Jean Reno in "Ronin"
Jean Reno in "Ronin"

Some of the best quality, non-CGI assisted car chases ever put to film.

 

11. FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA (2024) - DIR. GEORGE MILLER

Tom Burke & Clarence Ryan in "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga"
Tom Burke & Clarence Ryan in "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga"

The War Rig chase is so great…the opening chase is also pretty kinetic.

 

12. T2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991) - DIR. JAMES CAMERON

"T2: Judgement Day"
"T2: Judgement Day"

LA River Chase - TOTAL INSANITY!


 

13. MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981) - DIR. GEORGE MILLER

"Mad Max 2: The Road Runner"
"Mad Max 2: The Road Runner"

Before there was the Fury Road, there was...THE ROAD WARRIOR!

 

14. THE BATMAN (2022) -DIR. MATT REEVES

"The Batman"
"The Batman"

Maybe the most gorgeously shot chase sequence outside of Fury Road.

 

15. BABY DRIVER (2017) - DIR. EDGAR WRIGHT

"Baby Driver"
"Baby Driver"

Just a really fun and energetic chase film from Edgar Wright...so kinetic.

 

16. DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE (1995) - DIR. JOHN McTIERNAN

"Die Hard With A Vengeance"
"Die Hard With A Vengeance"

The Central Park chase is wonderfully fun and the rain chase near the end is nail-biting

 

17. BATMAN BEGINS (2005) - DIR. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN

"Batman Begins"
"Batman Begins"

The reactions of the police to the Tumbler is just one of the funnest scenes in any CBM.


 

18. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007) - DIR. PAUL GREENGRASS

"The Bourne Ultimatum"
"The Bourne Ultimatum"

Love the final police car chase but the house running chase is also fantastic.


 

19. THE BOURNE IDENTITY (2002) - DIR. DOUG LIMAN

"The Bourne Identity"
"The Bourne Identity"

The mini cooper chase is just so iconic.

 

20. ATOMIC BLONDE (2017) - DIR. DAVID LEITCH

Charlize Theron in "Atomic Blonde"
Charlize Theron in "Atomic Blonde"

The oner chase sequence is phenomenal and real technical achievement.


 

21. CASINO ROYALE (2006) - DIR. MARTIN CAMPBELL

"Casino Royale"
"Casino Royale"

Love the tarmac chase and the parkour scene are exceptional and upgraded 007 for the new millennium (though have soft spot in my heart always for the tank chase from Goldeneye).

 

22. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) - DIR. WILLIAM FRIEDKIN

Gene Hackman in "The French Connection"
Gene Hackman in "The French Connection"

Iconic final chase but a bit dated today.


 

23. SKYFALL (2012) - SIR. SAM MENDES

Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"
Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"

The opening chase is breathless and suave but carries real character beats that reverberate through the film.

 

24. CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER (1994) - DIR. PHILLIP NOYCE

Harrison Ford in "Clear and Present Danger"
Harrison Ford in "Clear and Present Danger"

The convoy ambush was on TNT's movie highlight reel for over a decade.

 

25. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING (2023) - DIR. CHRISTOPHER McQUARRIE

"Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One"
"Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning"

The handcuff car chase is clever and maybe the funniest stunt of the whole franchise.

 

26. QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008) - DIR. MARC FORSTER

Daniel Craig in "Quantum of Solace"
Daniel Craig in "Quantum of Solace"

Regardless of the rest of the movie, the opening car chase and subsequent foot-chase are real virtuoso shit.

 

27. THE ITALIAN JOB (2003) - DIR. F. GARY GRAY

"The Italian Job"
"The Italian Job"

The heist chase is a highlight of mid-budget blockbusters of the mid-2000s. Also...is Charlize the patron saint of chases now??


 

28. GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS (2000) - DIR. DOMINIC SENA

Nicholas Cage in "Gone in Sixty Seconds"
Nicholas Cage in "Gone in Sixty Seconds"

Just a solid car chase, heist thriller of the early 2000s and real great use of practical effects.


 

29. AMBULANCE (2022) - DIR. MICHAEL BAY

"Ambulance"
"Ambulance"

Bay needs to be on this list somewhere given his prolific action career. This is very fun one and advanced with its use of drones.

 

30. DEATH RACE (2008) - DIR. PAUL W. S. ANDERSON

"Death Race"
"Death Race"

Little remembered but very solid B-movie that should get a little more appreciation. If made today, would be called a breath of fresh air.


 

HONORABLE MENTIONS: STAGECOACH (1939) - The granddaddy of the genre, TRANSFORMERS (2007), THE ROCK (1996), BAD BOYS II (2003), THE TRANSPORTER (2002), DRIVE (2011), THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (2012)


 

Check out the full list on Letterboxd here.


 

Let us know what we missed in the comments.

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Hi! I'm Nate and I love to talk all things movies. I'll be posting new reviews, recent rewatches, and much more on this site. So come on and let's talk movies! 

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