(Photo by Fox./Courtesy Everett Collection)

28 Best Auto Racing Movies of All Time, Ranked by Tomatometer 

Red flag, green flag, go! Let’s burn rubber as we ranking the best auto and car racing movies of all time by Tomatometer! We start with Certified Fresh classics, putting audiences in the driver’s seat at 24 Hours of Le Mans (Ford v Ferrari), Formula One Grand Prix (Rush), and NASCAR (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby).

(We focused on sanctioned sport of auto racing, so we’re saving your cannonball runs, death races, and Tokyo drifts for another day.)

Those are followed up with popular favorites, including the Indy 500 highlight Winning (starring real-life speed legend Paul Newman), Tom Cruise’s Days of Thunder, the cult dazzler Speed Racer, and family-oriented films like Cars, Turbo, and the Herbie entries.

And most recently, we’ve added Gran Turismo (we think we’re legally obligated to emphasize that this is BASED ON A TRUE STORY), based on the long-running hardcore sim from Sony.

#1

Senna (2010)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 97473%
Critics Consensus: Even for filmgoers who aren't racing fans, Senna offers heart-pounding thrills -- and heartbreaking emotion.
Synopsis: Ayrton Senna becomes a three-time Formula One racing champion and Brazil's national hero before his untimely death at age 34.... [More]
Directed By: Asif Kapadia

#2

Ford v Ferrari (2019)
92%

#2
Adjusted Score: 111163%
Critics Consensus: Ford v Ferrari delivers all the polished auto action audiences will expect -- and balances it with enough gripping human drama to satisfy non-racing enthusiasts.
Synopsis: American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#3

Rush (2013)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 99918%
Critics Consensus: A sleek, slick, well-oiled machine, Rush is a finely crafted sports drama with exhilarating race sequences and strong performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl.
Synopsis: In the mid-1970s, charismatic English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) share an intense... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#4

Cars (2006)
75%

#4
Adjusted Score: 83386%
Critics Consensus: Cars offers visual treats that more than compensate for its somewhat thinly written story, adding up to a satisfying diversion for younger viewers.
Synopsis: While traveling to California to race The King and Chick Hicks in the Piston Cup Championship, Lightning McQueen falls out... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft

#5
Adjusted Score: 78563%
Critics Consensus: Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights' mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner's circle.
Synopsis: NASCAR superstar Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is at the top of his game; adored by fans, a trophy wife by... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#6

Racing Dreams (2009)
100%

#6
Adjusted Score: 100202%
Critics Consensus: Racing Dreams offers an absorbing peek at the lives of young NASCAR hopefuls that should resonate with racing enthusiasts as well as viewers with no connection to the sport.
Synopsis: Marshall Curry goes behind the scenes of the World Karting Association, a youth racing league that often serves as a... [More]
Starring: Annabeth Barnes
Directed By: Marshall Curry

#7

Grand Prix (1966)
92%

#7
Adjusted Score: 92708%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The most daring drivers in the world have gathered to compete for the 1966 Formula One championship. After a spectacular... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer

#8

The 24 Hour War (2016)
100%

#8
Adjusted Score: 30696%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Automobile magnates Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari develop a fierce rivalry at the Le Mans during the 1960s.... [More]
Directed By: Nate Adams, Adam Carolla

#9
Adjusted Score: 57672%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The 35-year racing career of actor Paul Newman.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Carolla, Nate Adams

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 70365%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Zhi, a rookie race car driver, gets the opportunity to compete against the reigning champion of the rally car circuit.... [More]
Directed By: Ross Venokur

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 20114%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Southern California drag racers Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen team with corporate giants to change the face of sports.... [More]
Directed By: Wayne Holloway

#12

The Love Bug (1968)
78%

#12
Adjusted Score: 79538%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Race car driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones) and his philosophical mechanic, Tennessee Steinmetz (Buddy Hackett), find themselves in possession of... [More]
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

#13
Adjusted Score: 77620%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Production problems affect the filming of the movie "Le Mans" in 1970, a passion project for Hollywood icon and racing... [More]

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 70133%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Junior Jackson (Jeff Bridges) is a Southern boy with a penchant for driving too fast along his native North Carolina... [More]
Directed By: Lamont Johnson

#15

Le Mans (1971)
71%

#15
Adjusted Score: 71835%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Filmed during the annual 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans, France, in 1970, this fast-paced drama follows Michael Delaney (Steve... [More]
Directed By: Lee H. Katzin

#16

Cars 3 (2017)
69%

#16
Adjusted Score: 81644%
Critics Consensus: Cars 3 has an unexpectedly poignant story to go with its dazzling animation, suggesting Pixar's most middle-of-the-road franchise may have a surprising amount of tread left.
Synopsis: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that... [More]
Directed By: Brian Fee

#17

Turbo (2013)
67%

#17
Adjusted Score: 71732%
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#18
Adjusted Score: 77606%
Critics Consensus: Gran Turismo's brisk action and feel-good underdog drama are undermined by its loose telling of the fact-based story, but this is still a generally solid racing movie.
Synopsis: Based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, the film is the ultimate wish fulfillment tale of a teenage Gran... [More]
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

#19

NASCAR (2004)
60%

#19
Adjusted Score: 60704%
Critics Consensus: A thrill ride for fans, but those looking for a deeper experience will be choking on exhaust.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Simon Wincer follows racers who are traveling, and sometimes crashing, at nearly 200 mph; narrated by Kiefer Sutherland.... [More]
Directed By: Simon Wincer

#20
Adjusted Score: 60199%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This third movie in the Disney series finds driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones) once again hitting the road with Herbie,... [More]
Directed By: Vincent McEveety

#21

Winning (1969)
63%

#21
Adjusted Score: 63254%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Race car driver Frank Capua (Paul Newman) holds track victories above all else, but as he competes in the string... [More]
Directed By: James Goldstone

#22

Speed Racer (2008)
42%

#22
Adjusted Score: 50813%
Critics Consensus: Overloaded with headache-inducing special effects, Speed Racer finds the Wachowskis focused on visual thrills at the expense of a coherent storyline.
Synopsis: Born into a family business of race cars, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is one of the track's hot stars. Sitting... [More]

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 46026%
Critics Consensus: Herbie: Fully Loaded is a decent kids movie that is pretty undemanding for adult viewers.
Synopsis: Maggie Peyton (Lindsay Lohan) wants to become a NASCAR driver but her overprotective father, Ray Peyton Sr. (Michael Keaton), won't... [More]
Directed By: Angela Robinson

#24

Days of Thunder (1990)
38%

#24
Adjusted Score: 43193%
Critics Consensus: Days of Thunder has Tom Cruise and plenty of flash going for it, but they aren't enough to compensate for the stock plot, two-dimensional characters, and poorly written dialogue.
Synopsis: In the fast-paced world of NASCAR, a rivalry brews between rookie hotshot Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) and veteran racer Rowdy... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#25

Race the Sun (1996)
22%

#25
Adjusted Score: 15916%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sandra (Halle Berry), the new science teacher at a poor Hawaiian high school, finds the students surly and unmotivated. So... [More]
Directed By: Charles T. Kanganis

#26

Stroker Ace (1983)
19%

#26
Adjusted Score: 19853%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Confident NASCAR driver Stroker Ace (Burt Reynolds) runs into problems when a confrontation with his commercial sponsor causes him to... [More]
Directed By: Hal Needham

#27

Driven (2001)
14%

#27
Adjusted Score: 17611%
Critics Consensus: Underdeveloped characters, silly plot dynamics, and obvious CG effects.
Synopsis: A cutting-edge action drama about an exciting cast of characters living life in the fastest of lanes, in the thrilling... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#28

Trading Paint (2018)
0%

#28
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A stock car racing legend is drawn back to the dirt track when his son, an aspiring driver, joins a... [More]
Directed By: Karzan Kader