In real life, car crashes are expensive and/or deadly. In movieland, car crashes are awesome and/or outstanding. We've compiled a list of the twenty four best car crashes in movie history, these range from explosive to crazy to silly to realistic to absurd and beyond.
A magnificent film of the Trapped in a Cave genre, The Descent begins with a husband gets a copper pole through his face. Wife and child are in the car with him. Dead Dad Opener? Check. Windshield Penetration? Check.
This is a beautiful example of the Oedipal Crash, a Dead Dad Opener where the father is killed while the son is driving, is the only enjoyable moment of DJ Caruso's lazy re-imagining of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.
American Werewolf in London
John Landis' 1981 werewolf travel flick serves to remind that before werewolves were sexy and shirtless, they were horrible monsters who killed people. Check out the two people who get hit through the window...awesome.
Spike Jonze knows how to make films. His 1997 short How They Get Thereproved he knew how to make cars fly through the air, but this Surprise Sideswipe proves he knows how to make us jump into the air — y'know...out of our seats — just like brainy screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's rambunctuous, action-hungry, and fictional brother Donald wants us to.
Cronenberg's Crash is a dissertation on car crash fetishism and this sequence is a recreation of the most sexual fetishy of all car crashes: James Dean's fatal smash up.
I'm sure Quentin Tarantino already has a much more comprehensive list of movie car crashes than this one. Check out the angle where the tire peels over Vanessa Ferlito's face.
Toy Story 2
Since their 1986 short, Luxo Jr, Pixar has been cooking up big ole' stews of film magic for our hungry eyes. They can even pull off a good — albeit cute — car crash sequence.
Kowalski, the double-entredre'd speed freak — he's on Benzedrine and he's driving hella fast — cuts his mad dash to San Francisco short with an outrageous Suicide By Gasplosion. This video is blocked in some countries, so if you can't view it click here.
No Country For Old Men
Anton Chighurgh has spent an entire movie being unkillable, why would he stop now? All he gets from this crash is a broken arm. Not bad, if you consider what the guy who hit him (you know, the one who isn't walking around, the one you don't see) must look like. (Hint: he's dead)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The only cathartic car crash in our gallery, Cameron just can't live under his father's stern eye anymore. Cam decides to stand up patriarchy by kicking the shit out of dad's Ferrari. Boy becomes man, car becomes crashed.
Batman's motorcycle-thing runs loops around The Joker's truck, causing a crash known as the Front Flip. After that, Batman does the coolest motorcycle manuever of all time: the Wallaround. If you can't view it, watch it here.
Cameron couldn't do it in Vanilla Sky, so Jamie Foxx tries to kill Tom Cruise. He doesn't succeed, but it's the thought that counts.
Bad Boys 2
Will Smith kills hundreds of Cubans whiling driving a banana yellow hummer through a series of cocaine bungalows which are rigged with explosives while Martin Lawrence has a great time. Thanks, Mikey Bay!
A topsy-turvy rollabout to go down in Bond genre history. Bond saves the girl, sacrifices his Aston Martin DBS.
The 17 minute long crumplefest of carsplosions and bullets comes to a close when two eighteen wheelers run headlong into one another. Thanks to bullet-time, this crash provides us a view of the phenomena known as "Cargo Rippling." Also, Neo is Jesus.
Mad Max is chock full of crashes and quick cut eyeball inserts, but this final crash is the best because it's the only one where someone's eyes pop almost entirely out of their sockets. Mel Gibson's Hero Shot after running a guy into a truck is pretty funny, too.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Director Adam McKay provides us with the longest vehicular tumble of film history, replete with Roll The Wheel Off — and, when it cuts to commercial, injects a healthy dose of 80's style overdub humor in the process.
Dawn of the Dead
The opener of the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead treats us to two different car crashes of the "Surprise!" variety: A Surprise Ragdoll Sideswipe & a Surprise Coptershot.
Meet Joe Black
Joe Meet Blacktop...Death's killed by a crash known by some as the Double Surprise Ragdoll Sideswipe, twice as brutal as Dawn of the Dead's Surprise Ragdoll Sideswipe!
The Seven Ups
In his directorial debut, Philip D'Antoni, the producer of Bullitt and French Connection, ends this great chase scene with a fantastic Impromptu Convertible.
In Daylight, a car hits the back of a convoy of flatbed trucks carrying gasoline through the Holland Tunnel. The ensuing explosion nearly destroys the tunnel itself, but leaves enough survivors for Sylvester Stallone to spend eighty minutes inside the wreckage as he attempts to get them out of the tunnel and into...Daylight.
Sandra Bullock stars in this seven years late amnesia film — Memento came out in 2000, Sandra. The entire film, Bullock is attempting to come to grips with the horrible car crash she saw: a Eighteen Wheel Jacknife, which leads to an Impromptu Convertible, and ends with a Gasplosion.
Final Destination 1
Girl says "Drop dead!" and then drops dead. A classic Surprise Ragdoll Sideswipe. The ketchup packet blood splatter is the best part of this crash.
Final Destination 2
Absurdity manifest. This crash contains every other crash within it: logs falling off a flatbed lead to a Windshield Penetration, the Cycle Slip to Crush, the Barrel Roll, the Surprise Sideswipe, the Front Flip, the Gasplosion, the Eighteen Wheel Jacknife, the Sloppy Barrel Roll, the Impromptu Convertible. It even adds one of its own: the Through-the-Flames Mack Truck Crush.