Whether in the back of a sleeper cab or in a motel room, a movie is a great way to wind down after a long haul of driving. These are our best trucker movies every trucker should watch. We have the top trucking movies listed from 10 to 1. Let us know what you think in the comment section.
While by no means a cultural classic like further entries in this list, watching Chuck Norris play a trucker who just so happens to know how to fight is a good time, even if Chuck Norris can fight better than he can act.
#9 Joy Ride
Paul Walker (of the Fast and the Furious fame) and Steve Zahn (who’s most recent work includes voicing in War for the Planet of the Apes) costar in a film where they regretfully prank a lonely trucker with the handle Rusty Nail. With nothing to lose, Rusty Nail swears to get vengeance. Part horror, part thriller, this film is not for the weak of heart, though some may sympathize with Rusty Nail’s plight.
After his success in various westerns and in the (then trilogy of) Dirty Harry movies, Clint Eastwood decided to take on a more lighthearted role, trucking from the San Fernando Valley to Denver with the help of his character’s brother, a woman they meet along the way named Echo, and an orangutan named Clyde. Yes, Clint Eastwood costars with an orangutan.
Directed by famous author Stephen King, Maximum Overdrive is described as a horror-comedy film but is frankly too much of a comedy movie to be considered a horror film. A comet comes into the way of Earth’s orbit, and the resulting resonance or something causes machines to come to life and turn against their creators, including semi-trailers. The movie is considered one of the best trucker films in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way and is worth watching for the cheap laughs that ensue.
Stephen King has gone on to admit he makes a better writer than a director.
An over-the-top cult classic. Kurt Russel plays a trucker who gets caught in a battle between good and evil with Chinese warriors and sorcerers, when in reality he just wants to get his truck back and resume his normal life on the road. While not a successful film upon release, it has since garnered a cult following among truckers, and with a lovable protagonist who just wants to do his job, it is not hard to see why.
A movie about what it means to be a trucker, White Line Fever stars Jan-Michael Vincent as CJ Hummer, a Vietnam-veteran-turned-trucker who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps but gets more than he bargained for when he finds the company his father worked for has started shipping illegal contraband.
Similar to Maximum Overdrive, Duel is Steven Spielberg’s feature-length film debut. Unlike Maximum Overdrive, Duel is less much less a comedy and much more a horror. Dennis Weaver plays David Mann, a salesman driving in a basic car who obtains the ire of an unknown driver of a tanker truck on its last legs. Whether you root for David or for the tanker driver, one thing is clear: if you are going to anger another driver, it tends to be a good idea to have your vehicle be the larger one.
#3 Black Dog
Jack Crews (played by Patrick Swayze) is a victim of circumstances when his family is jeopardized unless he transports illegal weapons without his commercial driver’s license. Jack must outsmart both the FBI and his family’s captors to make sure the FBI stops the shipment and save his family, while at the same time not becoming a victim caught in the crossfire.
A true classic, Smokey and the Bandit is a comedy about two men in their attempt to fulfill a bet of traveling from Atlanta, Georgia to Texarkana, Texas, and back, illegally delivering Coors, all in 28 hours or fewer. Things turn sour when, on the way back to Georgia, a woman named Carrie hitches a ride with the pair to escape her fiancé, which angers the fiancé’s father, Sheriff Buford T. Justice. Dramatic irony ensues, as the Sheriff has no idea about the smuggled alcohol, and the partners do not know the Sheriff is chasing after Carrie. A must-watch for any trucker.
Basing an entire movie around a song seems like an absurd idea. Fortunately, Convoy takes some liberties with C.W. McCall’s hit song while still loosely following the lyrics. A dramatic action movie, Convoy takes our number one spot because of how much respect it shows the trucking industry; the CB radio plays an integral role in the story, with trucker lingo spread throughout the film.
Below are movies that are only tangentially related to trucks, so while they were not qualified to make the list, they are still worth a word or two.
Sylvester Stallone stars as a trucker who enters an arm wrestling competition to obtain money for a new truck and his son’s admiration. Much more of an arm wrestling movie than a trucking one.
Optimus Prime and his fellow Autobots disguise themselves as various types of trucks, so this starting (and strongest!) entry to the Transformers movie franchise deserves at least a sentence. Especially cool is how Shia LeBeouf’s character discovers a previously unseen solution to all of the story’s conflicts.
This documentary is not tangentially related to trucks, it is all about trucks and the lives of those who drive them! While an informative documentary for the common folk, it does not make a good film for a trucker, who lives this life daily and uses movies as a break from the open road.
Let us know your favorite trucker movies below.
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