As the COVID-19 pandemic has started to lessen its grip, I’ve started a slow return to the world as well. Nevertheless, I’m still logging some serious TV-watching hours. 

In fact, What do you want to watch? still tops What do you want to eat for dinner? as the most frequently asked question in my household so far this year. Hopefully, that changes during the second half of 2021.  

These days, I’m armed with an array of subscription streaming services, including Hulu, Prime Video and Netflix. Most of my viewing time is spent on food and cooking shows, documentaries and any episode of Law & Order: SVU. When it comes to movies, my go-tos are typically dark comedies, rom-coms, and drama. 

Last week, I went with a throwback classic: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Full disclosure, I love the F&F series, and I’m excited for F9: The Full Saga coming out on June 25. (If you’re a F&F fan as well, check out this article by Tim Stevens at CNET and his experience rewatching the entire series.)

Best car movies to stream

Anyway, the F&F movie got me thinking about other car movies I’ve watched so far this year. Surprisingly, there were quite a few! If you’re looking to switch up what you’re streaming these days, here’s a list of car movies (and a couple of shows) for your consideration.

Fast Five (2011)

I’m going to be honest here: I’ve seen every single movie in the Fast & Furious franchise. Maybe it’s the cool cars and crazy car chases. Maybe it’s Vin Diesel. Whatever it is, I’m always in. In Fast Five (the franchise’s 6th release), the crew find themselves in Rio de Janeiro for one final job. Their plan pits them against a federal agent that is hot on their tail - oh, hello, Dwayne Johnson.

Ford vs Ferrari (2019)

Anytime Matt Damon is on the screen is usually a guaranteed good watch. Ford vs Ferrari doesn’t disappoint with Damon as Carroll Shelby, American automotive car designer. The film tells the story of Ford Motor Co. working to build a car to compete against the Enzo Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans in France.

Senna (2010)

This documentary was released in 2010, and is about the life of Brazilian motor-racing champ Aryton Senna. Senna was a three-time Formula One racing champion and became a national hero. The documentary includes amazing Formula One footage as well as Senna home movie clips.  

American Factory (2019)

Netflix suggested to me the documentary (I love documentaries, if you haven’t guessed) American Factory. I went with it, and I wasn’t mad at it. The documentary is about Fuyao, a Chinese auto glass company that opens in a previously abandoned factory in Ohio. The documentary shows how American workers and Asian workers must find their way to work together.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

The age old tale of a troubled teenager that gets sent to live with his father in Tokyo is the start of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Drifting is a driving technique where the driver oversteers and loses traction while maintaining control of the car during a corner turn. Not my favorite movie in the F&F franchise, but watching the Nissans, Mazdas and Mustangs take on drifting with an awesome city for a backdrop is pretty cool.

Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story (2020)

Another Netflix reco was Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story. Willy T. Ribbs was the first black man to race in the Indy 500. The documentary tells of the racial challenges he faced while remaining true to himself. Uppity was co-directed by comedian and motorsport fanatic Adam Carrolla, who is also co-host on a popular car podcast called CarCast.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

To be honest, I came to this one just as a Charlize Theron fan. I’m not very familiar with the Max Max movies, but Fury Road was everything I expected. Full of action and post-apocalyptic anger. And Tom Hardy. 

Bonus: Docuseries

If you don’t have a couple hours on hand, don’t worry. I just started this series on Netflix, and honestly, I’m intrigued. I knew nothing about the multibillion-dollar industry that is Formula 1. 

Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019)

From the producer of Senna, this Netflix docuseries goes deep behind the scenes of the Formula One World Championship. It follows the drivers, managers and team owners on and off the track. The first season was released in 2019, and there are three seasons total.