One thing is for certain: Audiences can't seem to get enough of cars on the silver screen. For years, auto enthusiasts and film buffs alike have flocked to the theaters to catch flicks that featured covetable vehicles. Whether the storyline follows a speed demon, a character who does auto repair for a living or just someone with an impressive collection, these movies have definitely made their mark - even on those who don't have a lot of knowledge about cars.
Over the past decade, a few of these auto-themed flicks have really stood out. Here are some top picks that are bound to stand the test of time.
In 2006, this Pixar movie made a major splash - and its popularity hasn't waned a bit. According to Variety, the first film earned $461 million in theaters that year - so it's no surprise that Disney opted to make a "Cars 2" in 2011, which managed to rake in even more: $560 worldwide, and $191 million in the U.S. Additionally, the films spurred a number of toys, clothes and other products related to the story, as well as inspiring the "Planes" spin-off. There's even a Cars Land at the adventure theme park in Anaheim, California. Now, Walt Disney Company chief Bob Iger reportedly announced that there are plans for a third installment of the series. Though the movies are animated, they have managed to appeal to adult audiences as well, particularly due to an all-star cast that includes the voices of Paul Newman, Michael Keaton, George Carlin and Bonnie Hunt.
"Need for Speed"
While this film may not have gotten rave reviews when it hit theaters this March, it's still worth mentioning due to the jaw-dropping selection of rare vehicles featured throughout it. In fact, "Need for Speed," which starred Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper, actually only got a 22 percent rating on the Rotten Tomato website. However, Autonet noted that viewers were likely amazed by some of the star automobiles, which included a Shelby GT500, '68 Chevrolet Camaro, '66 Pontiac GTO, '69 Gran Torino, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and Koenigsegg Agera R. You'll also catch a glimpse of the Sesto Elemento, of which only 20 were made, and the all-new Ford Mustang 2015. Still not impressed? Look out for the GTA Spano and the McLaren P1, both of which can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in less than three seconds.
As the highest rated of all the movies from the "The Fast and the Furious" series and one of the highest-grossing films of 2011, "Fast Five" managed to win the hearts of both movie-goers and some of the harshest critics. According to Fox News, even Rotten Tomatoes Editor-in-Chief Matt Atchity chose this as a top auto flick, and the site gave it a 77 percent on the Tomatometer. Fans of the franchise were likely relieved that this installment featured Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and nearly all of the other original cast members plus one more notable star cameo: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Add in a thrilling heist set in exotic Rio de Janeiro and you have a recipe for success on screen.
Unlike the majority of the other movies on this list, "Drive" is an independent flick with a smaller budget. However, with Ryan Gosling and Carey mulligan in the cast, the modest film still attracted a lot of attention. The story follows a Hollywood stuntman and criminal getaway driver who is incredibly close to getting a professional driving contract when he starts an unlikely romance with his neighbor. Paste magazine applauded the character development of the protagonist, explaining "Gosling's chilling demeanor and cut-throat persona make for an exceptional cinematic adventure."