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Road Trip Movies

Road Trips make fantastic vacation getaways, but as far as anyone knows going on one can cost a lot of money. So, if you have nothing to do on the next long work break, consider treating yourself to a road trip movie binge – one that can surely give you the feeling of being on the road as you begin planning on one. Here’s a list of 15 road trip movies recommended for your next staycation.

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Widely considered as among the road trip movies watched first by most people. The Wizard of Oz features Dorothy treading the Yellow Brick Road in a series of bizarre yet challenging happenstances. This movie reflects the lesson of enjoying the journey over frustrating one’s self over reaching the destination, with the Deadly Poppy Field scene being a notable example.

2. The Sure Thing (1985)

The struggles of road trips entails involve getting lost, dealing with road-related inconveniences, and getting hungry with no food in sight. The Sure Thing – an 80s classic of sorts for road trip themes, features John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga in precarious situations as they went around the country. Tim Robbins’ singing during the wacky journey is an iconic feature.

3. Easy Rider (1969)

A film made straight out of the counterculture era, Easy Rider features both Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper on a motorcycle journey across the US. It’s in that aspect alone where this movie is deemed as among the classic American road trip movies, as it zones in on a critique against counterculture.

4. The Straight Story (1999)

Life’s a mission.  It pays for one to do something he deems as worthwhile before everything becomes too late. That’s the lesson imparted by The Straight Story (1999) – a touching story of a World War II veteran making the most out of his remaining time by going on an interstate journey on a lawnmower just to repair his relationship with his brother.

5. Badlands (1973)

Martin Sheen starred with Sissy Spacek in a classic film rendition of the Charles Starkweather murder case Badlands. Their odd journey, which started from an unlikely meeting as they are coming from different worlds, is a struggle of wanting to get out of their heavy predicament. The more they run away, the more they become trapped.

6. Cannonball Run (1981)

Cannonball Run is screen-written by no less than the very man who conceptualized the Cannonball country race: Brock Yates. The film is a manifestation of the ins and outs of the legendary underground contest, which featured an all-star cast. Farrah Fawcett, Burt Reynolds, and Dom DeLuise are among the stars that induce the film’s comic laughter.

7. Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994)

Drag queens almost always feature on films with lasting comic effect. Perhaps only a few movies like Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert can feature them as characters that can impose a lasting effect on audiences. The film’s ABBA soundtrack and flamboyant displays in the desert both make the entire hullabaloo memorable.

8. Sherman’s March (1986)

Melancholic overtures are recurrent themes in Sherman’s March. The film is made to appear like a mashup of the Civil War’s scorched-earth campaign. Director Ross McElwee’s personal account of his failed romance are on full display. The combination, albeit absurd on the surface, delves deeper on an emotional journey reminiscent of that feeling of going places.

9. The Wages of Fear (1953)

Easily one of the older films in this list. The Wages of Fear is a French movie that presents a mind-boggling series of events on the road. This film indomitably presents a road trip as a struggle, thanks to a nitroglycerine-loaded truck that’s made to zig and zag through rocky roads. That element alone serves as a nerve-wracking one to viewers.

10. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

What’s a chap got to do when someone steals his bicycle? Pee Wee’s Big Adventure shows that the way to go for that predicament is simple: go on an adventure. The entire movie is, in itself, an exercise in showcasing the beauty of American interstate landscapes. With all things American on the way such as drive-in movie theaters to touristy sites.

11. Paper Moon (1973)

The Depression Era is among the most spectacular themes that have graced American-style silver screen creations. Despite the event itself being a scourge to all Americans during its time. Paper Moon stands out as among the classic examples, featuring Ryan O’Neal and a young Tatum O’Neal in a journey to the Dust Bowl.

12. Lost in America (1985)

Enjoying the best of Americana scenes can’t get any better than watching Lost in America. The film details a couple’s journey inside a mobile home. Showcasing the rather-risky decision of selling all of one’s assets to go on a cross-country foray, the film balances a feel-good factor with the different kinds of annoyances involved in a road trip.

13. Thelma & Louise (1991)

Breaking the mold of men being almost always the perpetrators of road trips, Thelma & Louise takes on the enigmatic journey of Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. From the entirety of the roadhouse parking affair up to the final stretch of the entire road trip, the film shows how road trips can become meaningful – fun or nasty.

14. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

A road trip involving a family at odds with one another? Now that calls for a true adventure – Little Miss Sunshine exploits those conflicts into one road trip-themed comedy. The acting endeavors of Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Paul Dano, and Abigail Breslin combine hilariously to form the movie’s interesting flow.

15. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

Existentialism is a known theme across road trip movies, so it’s not surprising that Two-Lane Blacktop – one of the classics that highlighted the road trip genre, is very much into existential dread. This film is actually the inspiration of the real Cannonball race, with the focus being on the rivalry between James Taylor and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.