Car racing fans, start your engines.
The Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500, two of the biggest events in worldwide racing, are both taking place this weekend.
And, of course, there’s also the premiere of the new season of Top Gear on Memorial Day itself, Monday, May 30, 9/8c.
If that’s not enough for you, there’s Le Mans coming up in a few weeks.
But if that’s STILL not enough for you, if your addiction to watching car races needs to be fed immediately, or, as they say, on demand, modern digital technology offers you the option of video streaming.
Here’s a list of great racing movies that you can watch online, right now:
Let’s start at the top, why don’t we? This Ron Howard-directed true story of the rivalry between F1 racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) may just be the best car race movie ever. It’s also gripping and affecting in a way that appeals even to those who are not racing enthusiasts.
Watch on: Amazon, VUDU, Google Play, Cinema Now, Fandango Now
Grand Prix (1966)
Directed by John Frankenheimer, himself a one-time amateur racer and life-long car aficionado, Grand Prix gave the Super Panavision 70mm treatment to a life and death racing drama whose international cast included James Garner, Yves Montand and Toshiro Mifune as competing drivers.
Watch on: Hulu, Amazon, VUDU, Google Play, Cinema Now
Days of Thunder (1990)
Many call this Tom Cruise NASCAR vehicle (pun intended) “Top Gun on wheels.” In addition to thematic similarities, the movie once again paired Cruise with director Tony Scott and the Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer production team.
Watch on: Netflix, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon, Fandango Now, Cinema Now
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
“The most accurate racing film ever, trust me,” said racer/commentator Leo Parente of this hit comedy, starring Will Ferrell, directed by Adam McKay and produced by Judd Apatow. Also featuring John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen and Amy Adams.
Watch on: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Fandango Now, Google Play, VUDU, Cinema Now
The Wraith (1986)
If you’re looking for a genre-mixing car race movie, look no further than this story of a teenager (Charlie Sheen) who returns from the dead to seek revenge on a cheating hot rodder (Nick Cassavetes) who wants to steal his girlfriend (Sherilyn Fenn). And what racing/horror movie would be complete without Randy Quaid as local sheriff?
Watch on: Amazon, VUDU, Showtime, Google Play, Cinema Now
Of course, your interests in car racing may fall more in the direction of documentaries:
1: Life on the Limit (2013)
Director Paul Crowder’s documentary, narrated by Michael Fassbender, focuses on the dangerous history of Formula 1 racing, and how massively unsafe conditions that caused multiple fatalities led drivers to become activists for improved safety procedures.
Watch on: Amazon, VUDU, Google Play, Cinema Now
Brazilian F1 champion Ayrton Senna died in a racing accident in 1994. This documentary by director Asif Kapadia (Amy) profiles the racer’s life, including his efforts to make racing safe.
Watch on: Amazon, Google Play, VUDU
Weekend of a Champion (1972/2012)
A recently rediscovered documentary gem. Director Roman Polanski shadowed his friend, Jackie Stewart, at the 1971 Grand Prix, and the resulting film sat in a vault until 2012, when Polanski re-edited and added an epilogue in the form of a new discussion with his old pal.
Watch on: Netflix
Journey to Le Mans (2014)
If you want to prepare for Le Mans, you can watch this documentary focusing on the British Jota Sport team, led by Simon Dolan, and their attempts to win the 2014 competition. Patrick Stewart narrates.
Watch on: Netflix, VUDU
Racing Dreams (2009)
So this riveting documentary isn’t about F1 drivers, or even NASCAR drivers. It’s about kids who want to be NASCAR drivers. Specifically, the film follows two boys and a girl between the ages of 11 and 13, as they compete in the World Karting Association. Like their older counterparts, however, the struggles they have to overcome for success aren’t just on the track.
Watch on: Amazon, VUDURead More