Ten Terrific Trip Tales- Great Roadtrip Movies

We have all had a horrible or utterly fantastic roadtrip. They tend to go to an extreme and are very rarely somewhere in the middle. In a departure from my book-centric lists, here I am thinking movies. These are the best movies that capture the horror and joy of being trapped in a car for an extended period with other people.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a classic travel disaster movie. Steve Martin as an uptight executive and John Candy as a bumbling boob are trying to get to their destinations as crisis after crisis comes their way. Granted Candy's character is often the cause of said crisis. The movie is funny, has a great soundtrack and a terrific ending. What more could you be looking for?

Thelma and Louise is another classic roadtrip movie. Great cast chemistry makes this story of a weekend out of town gone wrong a fantastic flick about women, friendship and freedom. Great chase scenes help this movie transcend the label of chick flick.

Midnight Run is full of great action sequences and exchanges between the two main characters, played by Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. De Niro plays a bounty hunter and Grodin is his prisoner as they head cross-county, but mobsters want Grodin too.

National Lampoon's Vacation is the first and best of a collection of Lampoon roadtrip movies. This movie introduces us to the Griswald family. Chevy Chase plays the well-intentioned patriarch of the family and leads them on a crazy, disaster filled family vacation.

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle is an over the top comedy about two guys on a quest for their favorite burgers. It is silly and depraved, but sometimes you are just in the mood for that sort of thing.

The Darjeeling Limited is a comedy about three brothers on a spiritual roadtrip through India. The brothers are quirky and well played. Disasters fall upon the brothers one after another, and they reforge their bonds.

The Muppet Movie is a roadtrip movie that makes me smile just think about it. Kermit and the gang heading out to Hollywood. Things go wrong and critters get crazy, the result is a fun film for everyone. 

The Gumball Rally
 is a hysterical comedy from 1976. It is about an illegal cross-country race with only bragging rights and a gumball machine for the prize. The cars and the action scenes are all phenomenal, and I do not believe that a better movie of this sort has been made.


Smokey and the Bandit is another great example of a road trip movie done right. Bandit and Cletus are hauling beer to win a bet, but pick up a run away bride hitchhiker. The jilted groom just happens to be a sheriff's son, and the chase and all its misstep begin.

The Motorcycle Diaries is based on the memoirs of Che Guevara, leader of the Cuban Revolution. The movie focuses on his journey in the 1950's across South America with his best friend.
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