movies & tv

Great Movies About Road Trips

Everyone loves a good road trip. However, hours and even days spent in the car can also lead to unexpected experiences. Perhaps it is this unpredictability that makes road trips such a great subject for movies. Many have been made, but only a few stand out as the best. So, buckle up, grab some snacks, and get ready for the ten best road trip movies.

Staying safe while watching a movie

Regardless of what movie you decide to watch on your trip, it's essential that you follow certain safety rules. Films can be distracting even for those who aren’t actively watching. The driver should never watch the film, even though it may be tempting to show him or her a funny clip. Additionally, the driver should never handle any of the equipment while driving. Either start the film before you begin driving, or let a passenger handle the controls.

Finally, keep the sound at a reasonable level. You never know exactly what’s coming in some movies, and a sudden loud noise could easily distract the driver. This problem can also be fixed if the passengers wear headphones.

  1. National Lampoon’s Vacation
    If you have ever taken your family on a road trip, you can probably identify with this film. Clark Griswold and his family set out for Walley World amusement park, only to find themselves facing one obstacle after another. Like all of the National Lampoon’s films, anything that can go wrong inevitably does. The film resonates across generations, because who hasn't had something bad happen on a road trip?
  2. Rain Man
    This heartfelt American comedy tells the story of the abrasive Charlie Babbitt, played by Tom Cruise, and his autistic brother Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman. When the brothers’ father dies, Charlie finds out that he gave his multi-million dollar home to Raymond. The two go on a trip together, which makes for an obviously interesting experience.
  3. It Happened One Night
    This is an older film (1934), so it may not necessarily be the best choice to keep younger kids interested. However, for those old enough to appreciate it, it is a classic. It features Clark Gable, who plays a reporter, and Claudette Colbert, who plays a runaway heiress. Not only was this the first Hollywood film to portray a road trip, but it also won a number of Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
  4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
    This timeless tale about two unlikely travellers will connect with anyone who has frustratingly tried to get somewhere during the holidays. It stars comedy geniuses Steve Martin and John Candy, who, as the title implies, do everything they can to get home. One of the most classic scenes from the film involves a rant from Steve Martin about rental cars.
  5. Two-Lane Blacktop
    This film features music greats James Taylor and Dennis Wilson. Both play drag racers who race Warren Oates for girls, cars and more. The movie even inspired a race known as the Cannonball Run. While it is a fun movie to watch, it may not be the best idea to follow the example of the racers on your own road trip.
  6. Little Miss Sunshine
    This film is the ultimate display of a dysfunctional family trip; it even puts National Lampoons’ Vacation to shame. With an all-star cast, this film revolves around a young girl named Olive who is determined to reach a beauty competition. Each character has their own unique quirks, including a suicidal uncle played by Steve Carell.
  7. Cannonball Run
    This is the story of a cross-country underground race, and features stars like Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise and Farrah Fawcett. While the Cannonball Race was a real-life event, the film takes an especially comedic approach to the adventure that surrounds it.
  8. Thelma & Louise
    Directed by Ridley Scott, this movie follows Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon as they run away in their 66 Thunderbird convertible after killing a hillbilly. The film has got everything it needs to keep viewers glued to the screen, including a cliff-hanger ending for the ages.
  9. Smokey and the Bandit
    Another Burt Reynolds classic, this is one of the best chase movies of all time. It pits Burt in his Trans-Am and Jerry Reed in his semi who are racing to Florida to deliver illegal beer. If you’re still not convinced, consider the fact that it was the second highest grossing film of 1997.
  10. Easy Rider
    Starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, this is perhaps the best motorcycle road trip film ever made. The two ride across the country, hoping to discover the true America. Instead they find the people that are generally overlooked by the rest of the country. Jack Nicholson adds a flavour of humour, but it is not all comedy.