These are the cream of the crop when it comes to high-speed chases and evasive driving. While I might envy their skills, I certainly don’t envy their insurance premiums. Still, we’re not here to honor the safest movie drivers of all time, we want the kind of guys who leave flaming wrecks of destruction behind them as they drive off into the sunset. For this list, I’m sticking with drivers known for using four-wheel vehicles. So, you won’t see any motorcyclist here. This was a hard list to narrow down, so be sure to let me know what you think of the drivers that did earn a spot on it in the comments below!
10. Elwood Blues- The Blues Brothers
“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses” This pretty much sums up everything you need to know about Elwood’s driving style. He single-handedly caused one of the biggest wrecks in movie history, but, luckily, since he was on a mission from God he and his brother managed to get away with only a scratch. Of course, it was also lucky that they happened to be driving a police cruiser they got at auction, which gave them a leg up in the chase. Still, even then, it’s hard to deny that Elwood has some pretty incredible skills behind the wheel. Plus, he might be the best dressed of all the movie drivers on this list.
9. Frank Bullit- Bullit
Of course, I had to give a shout out to Steve McQueen on this list since he’s been in so many incredible car chase movies. Though his most recognizable role is as the hard-boiled detective, Frank Bullit. Most of the entries on this list find themselves on the run from the cops, but the tides are turned as Frank hunts down the crime lord who killed a witness under his protection. While McQueen might be one of the most iconic actors of yesteryear, I think his car in the film is what makes him one of the most memorable drivers in movie history. There’s nothing sweeter than a Mustang GT 390 and the roar of that engine adds to the thrill of the chase. He represents all the glory of old school movie drivers and that’s why he’s earned a rightful place on this list.
8. Imperator Furiosa- Mad Max: Fury Road
Yeah, Furiosa isn’t cruising around in a sports car like a lot of these other movie drivers. However, she manages to pull off a high-speed chase across an apocalyptic landscape in an 18 wheeler with an army of psychos chasing after her packing some serious heat. There’s a reason why so many of them fear and respect Furiosa, and that’s because she’s the queen of the road. She’s tough as nails and not only can she handle that big rig like a champ, but she’s good in a fight too. She took on Immortan Joe’s army of Warboys, made it through a terrifying sand storm, escaped across the desert, and then turned around to take the fight right back to the Warlord. She might not be the fastest on this list of movie drivers, but she’s definitely the toughest.
7. Sam- Ronin
Sam is one of those movie drivers that embodies the very definition of cat and mouse. While he might not look like a tried and true covert contractor, his years of experience make him a force to be reckoned with, both on and off the road. He’s a no-nonsense killer who has seen it all and knows just what to do in even the craziest circumstances. When he does get behind the wheel, he has an intense kind of concentration that makes him one hell of a driver. Even with the whole world turned upside down, Sam is a man with such intense focus that he doesn’t miss a beat as he flawlessly shifts gears and weaves in and out of traffic. Sam might look more like he should be driving soccer kids around, but trust me when I say he’s one of the best movie drivers of all time.
6. The Driver- The Driver
It’s hard not to argue that many of the other movie drivers drew inspiration from this incredible wheelman. Ryan O’Neal plays a character that is the very definition of the strong, silent type. A professional getaway driver who knows every street in his city like the back of his hand. He doesn’t come cheap, but he’s worth every penny if you find yourself ever getting chased by the cops. Even when his nemesis (simply named the Detective) starts to close in on him, he keeps a cool head and his eyes on the road. The film is absolutely spectacular, featuring car chases that rival even the best modern cinema has to offer. As if that’s not impressive enough, he managed to do all this while driving around in those land boats they used to have back in the day.
5. Driver- Drive
Not to be confused with the last entry on this list of movie drivers, this time I’m talking about Ryan Gosling’s character from the 2011 film, Drive. In it, he plays a stoic driver who isn’t much for words or emotional connections at all. That is until he starts to get close to a woman and her son being tormented by the men her husband owes money too. With no one to turn to, the mysterious Driver finds himself actually giving a damn and sets out to save his neighbors by becoming a vigilante. Gosling’s character is too cool for school, barely uttering a word or arching an eyebrow in even the direst circumstances. His detached attitude under pressure makes him one of the most focussed and best drivers to ever grace the silver screen.
4. Dominic Toretto- The Fast and Furious Franchise
What started off as a movie about a bunch of felons who enjoyed drag racing has quickly evolved into one of the biggest action franchises of all time. I mean, there’s a ninth movie in the works and a spin-off set to hit theaters this summer. At the center of all this is Dom Toretto played by one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood, Vin Diesel (insert joke about Vin’s last name being perfect for this role). The character is one of the greatest drivers in a film franchise that is about the greatest drivers on the planet. Sure, he started out just living life a quarter mile at a time, but the franchise changed gears halfway through and since then he’s pulled off some incredible stunts, all while behind the wheel of a car.
3. Frank Martin- The Transporter Trilogy
Frank Martin is the role that turned Jason Statham into an action star. The Transporter (first in the series) was also the last truly great Luc Besson movies to be made. Frank is a man with a code, a very particular set of rules that he always follows because he needs to be in control. However, that’s what makes him such a great driver. He knows exactly what his car is capable of and tunes it specifically to match the specs of each job he takes. Even when things are out of control he still manages to prove himself to be one of the best wheel men on this list of movie drivers. However, the sequels and eventual reboot seriously hurt his coolness factor which just how bad they are. Because of that, he only comes in at the number three spot.
2. Jason Bourne- The Bourne Trilogy
Jason Bourne is one of the greatest assassins and covert operatives to ever grace the silver screen. He also happens to be one of the best movie drivers of all time. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you give him, he’ll make it move like a high-performance vehicle. He’s outrun cops in a poorly maintained Mini Cooper, a beat up yellow taxi, and even an NYPD cruiser. What sets him apart from a lot of the other movie drivers on this list is that he’s not afraid to go full on bumper cars with the people pursuing him. He’s taken a ton of heavy hits over the years, but no matter what he always makes it through in one piece (though maybe a little worse for wear). His incredible skills, unorthodox driving technique, and adaptability earned him one of the top spots on this list.
1. Baby- Baby Driver
There have been a lot of incredible movie drivers over the years, but in 2017 Edgar Wright brought us the coolest of them all. What makes Baby such an incredible driver is that you can tell he has fun even when the stakes are as high as they can get. When he gets behind the wheel nothing else exists except for him, the road, and an amazing driving playlist. The kid has absolutely jaw-dropping skills that would test the limits of even the best movie drivers on this list. He’s outrun cops, crazed vigilantes, and even his fellow criminals, and he never missed a step while doing it. Baby might not have been cut out for a life of crime, but he was born to drive. That’s why he’s managed to earn the number one spot on this list of the best movie drivers.
Of course, there are a ton of great movie drivers out there who didn’t earn a spot on this list. So, let me know who your favorites of all time are in the comments below. As always, I’ll be updating this list as new and improved drivers hit the big screen, and you can check back to see how the rankings change in the future.