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Formula 1 Fans: Buckle Up Before Streaming These 6 Racing Movies

Formula 1 Fans: Buckle Up Before Streaming These 6 Racing Movies

Ready for the ride of your life? From high-speed chases to heart-pumping competitions, racing movies have captivated audiences for decades. And with Formula One making the rounds this month (all the way through November), these films help showcase the thrill of the race. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or just looking for a fun ride, check out these six racing movies when you’re in the mood to get your adrenaline pumping.

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‘Le Mans’

Known as one of the best racing movies ever made, 1971’s Le Mans stars Steve McQueen (Bullitt, Papillon, The Magnificent Seven) as Michael Delaney, a driver competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Eschewing traditional storytelling in favor of immersive, documentary-style cinematography that captures the sights and sounds of the sport, the Sunday Times wrote: “You can’t hear the words for the noise, you can’t follow the action for the speed. But you can sit back and feel distinctly stirred.” While the lack of a traditional plot may turn off some viewers, the thrilling racing sequences and McQueen’s iconic presence make this one a must-watch for racing enthusiasts. 

‘Ford vs. Ferrari’

Another exhilarating sports drama based on the true story of the 1966 Le Mans race, this movie follows the journey of visionary car designer Carroll Shelby and fearless driver Ken Miles as they team up to build a revolutionary race car that’ll stop at nothing to win. 

“Think Iron Man and Captain America, only it’s a (mostly) true story and what’s at stake is not the fate of the universe, nor even an auto race,” wrote the San Diego Reader, “but the glorious, endless pursuit of perfection.” With award-worthy performances by Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Departed) and Christian Bale (American Psycho, American Hustle, Batman Begins), the film does a great job capturing the heart-pounding action and high-stakes competition of the racing world.

‘Rush’

Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, whose Critics Consensus describes the film as a “a sleek, slick, well-oiled machine,” director Ron Howard’s Rush is based on the real-life rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Daniel Brühl (Good Bye Lenin!, 7 Days in Entebbe, Burnt), this biographical drama explores the high-stakes world of racing, as well as the personal demons that haunt the two protagonists. 

With stunning cinematography and intense racing sequences, the Times UK says “Howard creates a persuasive sense of the time and place, and the race sequences are impressively mounted. This is thrillingly tense stuff, even if you know how the story panned out.” Watch out for Olivia Wilde (Booksmart, Don’t Worry Darling) in a supporting role.

‘Days of Thunder’

This quintessential ’90s action movie stars Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire, Eyes Wide Shut) as hot-headed driver Cole Trickle and follows his rise to the top of the NASCAR world. While the plot may be a tad formulaic, the racing scenes will have you on the edge of your seat. Cruise’s performance also adds a layer of depth to the character via relationships with his crew chief, played by Robert Duvall (The Apostle, Deep Impact, Crazy Heart), and his leading lady — none other than ex-wife Nicole Kidman (Australia, Bewitched, Cold Mountain). 

‘The Fast and the Furious’

The smash blockbuster hit that launched a legendary franchise and defined a generation of car enthusiasts, The Fast and the Furious follows a group of street racers as they become embroiled in a series of heists. And while at times criticized for its over-the-top action sequences and lack of realism, you can’t deny the film’s sheer entertainment value and lasting success. 

Starring Vin Diesel (A Man Apart, Guardians of the Galaxy, XXX) and Paul Walker (She’s All That, Into the Blue, The Skulls) — as well as Jordana Brewster (American Heist, The Faculty, Home Sweet Hell) and Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, The Assignment, Blue Crush) — the series remains a cultural touchstone as much as “a gritty and gratifying cheap thrill,” according to Variety. Why? This kind of “high-octane hot-car meller is a true rarity these days; a really good exploitational, [and] the sort of thing that would rule at drive-ins if they still existed.”

‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’

To throw some comedy into the mix, this hilarious romp stars fan favorite Will Ferrell (A Night at the Roxbury, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Step Brothers) as Ricky Bobby, a NASCAR driver who rises to the top of the racing world only to fall from grace. With his Step Brothers co-star, John C. Reilly (Chicago, For Love of the Game, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Brüno, The Dictator) along for the ride, the gang’s signature raunch and irreverence makes it a cult classic that’s spawned countless catchphrases and memorable scenes.

Make sure you can keep up with not only the Formula 1 action, but also all the high-speed movies circling the track when you have DIRECTV

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