Buckle Up for a Wild Ride: 29 Best Motorcycle Movies of All Time
Many people have always been fascinated by the world of motorcycles. from their sleek designs to their thunderous sounds, motorcycles are symbols of freedom, adventure, and rebellion. As a result of the motorcycle culture, many movies have been made over the years that capture the spirit and essence of the biker lifestyle. Below, we present 29 of the best motorcycle movies ever made.
Best Motorcycle Movies of All Time
Easy Rider 1969
The 1969 cult classic movie, Easy Rider, is a milestone in American film history. Directed by Dennis Hopper, the film follows two bikers (Peter Fonda and Hopper himself) as they traverse the United States, encountering various types of people and experiences. Along the way, they are constantly reminded of the clash between traditional, conservative American values and the counterculture of the 1960s.
The movie is an exploration of the search for freedom, as the two bikers grapple with the various dangers, prejudices, and injustices of the American landscape at the time. The movie features an iconic soundtrack with songs such as The Band’s “The Weight,” Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9,” and Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild.”
Easy Rider is a classic example of the late-1960s “New Hollywood” filmmaking style. It was a huge commercial success, grossing over $60 million and becoming the first independent film to make it into the top 10 box-office grossers of all time. The movie’s influence can still be felt today, both in the film industry and in popular culture.
The Wild One 1953
The Wild One (1953) is a classic American film about motorcycle gang culture in the 1950s. Directed by Laslo Benedek, the movie stars Marlon Brando as Johnny Strabler, the leader of a gang of motorcycle riders. The film follows Strabler and his gang as they terrorize a small town and clash with the police.
The Wild One was one of the first films to depict the rebelliousness of youth, and it quickly became a symbol of teenage rebellion. Brando’s portrayal of Strabler as a misunderstood rebel was iconic, and his leather jacket and slicked back hair became associated with the rebellious youth of the 1950s.
The movie was controversial at the time, with some critics calling it immoral and anti-social. Despite this, the film was successful and is now seen as a classic of American cinema. The Wild One is an enduring symbol of teenage nonconformity and rebellion, and its style and attitude is still influential today.
On Any Sunday 1971
On Any Sunday (1971) is a classic American documentary about motorcycle racing. Directed by Bruce Brown, the film follows professional racers as they compete in motocross, enduro, and trials events around the world.
The film is a celebration of the sport, featuring beautiful cinematography and thrilling sequences of racing action. At the same time, the film explores the culture of motorcycle racing, featuring interviews with riders, mechanics, and fans.
On Any Sunday was a commercial success and was praised by critics for its vivid portrait of the motorcycle racing world. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film has since become a classic of American cinema, inspiring generations of motorcyclists and documenting a beloved sport.
Mad Max 1979
Mad Max (1979) is an Australian post-apocalyptic action-thriller movie directed by George Miller. It follows the story of Max Rockatansky, a police officer in a dystopian future whose family and friends are killed by a vicious gang called the Toecutters. Max then embarks on a violent mission of revenge, traveling across the Australian landscape in a supercharged vehicle to hunt down the gang leader and bring justice to the people of the wasteland.
Along the way, Max is faced with many challenges and must confront his own inner demons in order to succeed. The movie is a classic example of the action genre, and its success led to two sequels, as well as a remake in 2015.
The Motorcycle Diaries 2004
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) is a biopic based on the memoirs of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, a young medical student from Argentina who set out on a journey across South America with his friend, Alberto Granado. The two embarked on their journey on a motorcycle, and their travels opened their eyes to the poverty, injustice, and inequality facing their continent.
The Motorcycle Diaries charts their journey from Buenos Aires to Caracas, and the two come to terms with the harsh realities of everyday life. Along the way, they meet a variety of people who inspire them to fight for a better world, ultimately leading Ernesto to become the revolutionary leader we know today. The Motorcycle Diaries is a powerful exploration of identity, friendship, and freedom.
Stone (1974) is a crime drama directed by Sandy Harbutt. It follows the story of Jack Stone, an ex-convict who is determined to turn his life around after serving time in prison. Jack finds himself drawn back into criminal activity when a former associate contacts him, and he must face his past in order to move forward. The film is a gritty and realistic portrayal of the struggles of a man trying to rebuild his life in post-prison society.
It raises questions about justice, redemption, and the power of second chances, and its message of hope remains powerful to this day. Stone is a compelling story that highlights the importance of rehabilitation and fresh starts.
The Great Escape 1963
The Great Escape is a 1963 American epic war film directed by John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough. Based on an escape by British Commonwealth prisoners of war from a German POW camp during World War II, the film is based on the book of the same name by Paul Brickhill. The film follows a group of Allied POWs as they attempt to escape a German POW camp. It depicts their exploits as they build tunnels and attempt numerous daring escapes.
The film also follows the individual stories of the POWs, as they come up against the cruelty of their captors and the harshness of the environment. It is considered to be one of the great war films of all time and is remembered for its thrilling action sequences and great ensemble cast.
Hells Angels on Wheels 1967
Hells Angels on Wheels is a 1967 American biker film directed by Richard Rush and starring Adam Roarke, Jack Nicholson, and Sabrina Scharf. The film follows a young man, named Poet, who joins a gang of bikers known as the Hells Angels. The film follows the gang as they ride and party through the California desert, and as Poet begins to experience the consequences of his involvement with the gang.
Along the way, Poet must decide if the thrill of being a biker is worth the risks it entails. The film is remembered for its gritty depiction of the biker lifestyle, as well as its intense action sequences, including a famous car-truck crash sequence. The film was a commercial and critical success, cementing Jack Nicholson’s status as an up-and-coming movie star.
The Born Losers 1967
Tom Laughlin’s 1967 movie, “The Born Loser,” is a classic black comedy about an average man’s quest to make something of himself. It follows a reluctant hero, played by Laughlin, as he attempts to make a better life for himself and his family. As he goes through various misadventures, he learns valuable life lessons and finds out just how strong the human will can be.
The movie is filled with unforgettable moments, from the hilarious dialogue to the unforgettable performances. It is a classic reminder of the importance of never giving up and the power of perseverance.
The World’s Fastest Indian 2005
The World’s Fastest Indian is a 2005 biopic starring Anthony Hopkins that follows the true story of Burt Munro, an elderly motorcyclist from New Zealand. After spending decades working on his 1920s Indian Scout motorcycle, he sets out on a journey to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to try and make his childhood dream come true.
Along the way, he meets a variety of unique characters who help him on his journey. The movie showcases Munro’s inspiring determination and bravery in the face of adversity, as well as the power of hope and determination.
The Dirt Bike Kid 1985
The Dirt Bike Kid is a 1985 family comedy starring Peter Coyote, Jack Warden, and Taliesin Jaffe. The movie follows the story of 13-year-old Jackie Swanson, played by Jaffe, who is an avid dirt bike enthusiast. After an accident with his grandfather’s lawnmower, Jackie finds himself in hot water with his grandpa, who subsequently takes away his beloved dirt bike. Determined to get his bike back, Jackie embarks on a journey to prove his worth by competing in a dirt bike race.
Along the way, he faces a variety of obstacles and learns valuable lessons about friendship, trust, and courage. The movie is a heartwarming coming-of-age story that highlights the importance of never giving up.
The Wild Angels 1966
The Wild Angels is a 1966 biker film directed by Roger Corman. It stars Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, and follows the story of a gang of bikers called the “Angels”. After the leader of the gang, “Heavenly Blues” (Fonda), is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, his fellow Angels do whatever they can to help him break out.
The movie showcases the Angels’ rebelliousness, as well as their unique code of honor and devotion to each other. It has since become an iconic cult classic and is credited with helping to popularise the biker genre.
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man 1991
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man is a 1991 action-adventure film starring Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson. The movie follows the story of two bikers – Harley Davidson (Rourke) and Marlboro Man (Johnson) – who find themselves reluctantly embroiled in a plan to save a small town from a ruthless businessman. Along the way, the duo discovers a lot about themselves and the power of friendship.
The movie is a humorous and heartfelt look at the biker lifestyle and its culture of loyalty and friendship.
Electra Glide in Blue 1973
Electra Glide in Blue is a 1973 American crime drama film directed by James William Guercio and starring Robert Blake, Billy Green Bush, and Mitchell Ryan. The film follows the story of Arizona motorcycle cop John Wintergreen as he investigates a murder in a small Arizona town. It received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture.
The film is remembered for its gritty visual style and atmosphere, as well as its use of the blues soundtrack. It has since become a cult film, with many praising it for its realistic portrayal of police work and the motorcycle subculture.
The Cannonball Run 1981
The Cannonball Run is a 1981 American action comedy film starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, and an ensemble cast. It was directed by Hal Needham and released by 20th Century Fox. The film follows a group of eccentric racers on a cross-country race from Connecticut to California, in which they must circumvent the police in various states.
The film was a major box office success, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of 1981. It also received mixed reviews from critics, although Reynolds’ performance was praised. The Cannonball Run has since become a cult classic and spawned several sequels.
Biker Boyz 2003
Biker Boyz is a 2003 American action drama film directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood and starring Laurence Fishburne, Derek Luke, and Orlando Jones. The film follows the story of a young street racer named Kid and his journey to become the King of Cali, the champion of an underground motorcycle racing circuit.
It received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its exciting visuals and performances, while others criticized its lack of originality and uneven pacing. Despite its mixed reception, the film has since become a cult classic, praised for its intense racing sequences and its exploration of the biker culture.
Ghost Rider 2007
Ghost Rider is a 2007 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson and written by Johnson, Brian Helgeland and Stan Lee, the film stars Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider, and Eva Mendes as Roxanne Simpson. The film was met with mixed reviews from critics, but was a box office success and grossed over $228 million worldwide.
The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. Ghost Rider is the first film in the Ghost Rider film series, followed by a sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, released in 2011.
The Lords of Flatbush 1974
The Lords of Flatbush is a 1974 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Martin Davidson and Stephen Verona. The film stars Sylvester Stallone, Perry King, Henry Winkler, and Paul Mace as four working-class Brooklyn teens who are trying to make it through life in their neighborhood. The film follows their struggles with adolescence, romance, and their families.
The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of teenage life in the 1970s. It was a commercial success, grossing over $8 million at the worldwide box office.
Hot Rod 2007
Hot Rod is a 2007 American comedy film directed by Akiva Schaffer and written by Pam Brady. The film stars Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, and Ian McShane.
The plot follows an amateur stuntman who wants to beat a professional world record in a “death-defying” stunt. Despite receiving negative reviews from critics, the film was a box office success, grossing over $14 million worldwide.
Why We Ride 2013
Why We Ride is a 2013 documentary that explores the passion and culture of motorcycle riders. The film features stories from some of the most well-known riders in the world, including racing champions, stunt riders, and even Hollywood stars.The film celebrates the unique bond between the bike and the rider, and the sheer joy of riding. It also looks at the dangers of the sport, and the risks involved.
Why We Ride captures the spirit of adventure and freedom that’s part of the motorcycle lifestyle, and the film has been praised by critics and fans alike. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in the world of motorcycling.
Torque is a 2004 action film that follows a biker gang trying to outrun the FBI after a botched drug deal. The movie stars Ice Cube, Martin Henderson, Monet Mazur, and Matt Schulze.The high-octane movie follows the gang as they make their way across the country evading capture. Along the way, they face off against rival gangs, corrupt cops, and their own inner demons.
The movie has some impressive stunts and high-speed action sequences, making it an exciting and thrilling ride. It’s a great choice for any fan of high-octane action movies.
The Place Beyond the Pines 2012
The Place Beyond the Pines is a 2012 drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance. The film follows the story of two men whose lives become intertwined after they cross paths in a small town.The film follows Luke (played by Ryan Gosling), a motorcycle stuntman and former criminal who is struggling to care for his newborn son. After crossing paths with Avery (played by Bradley Cooper), a local police officer, their lives become increasingly intertwined as their pasts catch up to them.
The Place Beyond the Pines is an intense and powerful drama film that deals with themes of family, fatherhood, and the consequences of our choices. The film is a powerful and thought-provoking piece of cinema that is sure to stay with viewers long after it ends.
Dust to Glory 2005
Dust to Glory is a 2005 documentary about the Baja 1000 off-road race in Mexico. Directed by Dana Brown, the film follows a wide variety of off-road racers, from professionals to first-time amateurs, as they make the trek across Baja California.
The film includes interviews with the drivers, as well as footage of the race itself. Dust to Glory was very well-received by critics and won the Best Documentary Feature at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
Cool as Ice 1991
Cool as Ice is a 1991 romantic comedy starring Vanilla Ice, Kristin Minter, and John Haymes Newton. Directed by David Kellogg, the film follows Johnny (Ice), a rebel rapper from the streets who falls for Kathy (Minter), an innocent girl living in a small town. As the two struggle against their different backgrounds and the interference of a local gang leader, Johnny must protect Kathy and her family.
The film was a commercial failure, but has since become a cult classic. It is known for its vibrant color scheme and for being one of the first films to feature Vanilla Ice and his rap music.
Tron is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Steven Lisberger. The film follows Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a computer programmer who is transported inside the digital world of a mainframe computer. There, he meets a variety of programs, including Tron (Bruce Boxleitner) and his allies, who are attempting to free the digital world from the control of the Master Control Program (MCP).
Along the way, Kevin and Tron must battle the MCP and its forces in a thrilling action-packed adventure. One of the first films to use extensive computer-generated imagery, Tron was a critical and commercial success, with its groundbreaking visuals and storytelling. It has since become a cult classic, inspiring a sequel, Tron: Legacy, in 2010.
Tron Legacy 2010
Tron: Legacy is a 2010 science fiction action adventure film directed by Joseph Kosinski. The film is a sequel to the 1982 cult classic Tron, and stars Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, and Bruce Boxleitner. The film follows Sam Flynn (Hedlund), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Bridges), who has been missing for 20 years. When Sam investigates a mysterious signal sent from the abandoned Flynn’s Arcade, he finds himself pulled into the digital world of Tron.
In this world, he must join forces with a mysterious program called Quorra (Wilde) to battle a sinister entity called CLU. Along the way, the two traverse a visually stunning cyber universe, face off against a powerful enemy, and discover the incredible secrets of his father’s disappearance. Tron: Legacy was praised for its visuals and solid action sequences, and grossed over $400 million at the box office.
Akira is a 1988 animated cyberpunk action film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in Neo-Tokyo, the film follows Shōtarō Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima, two members of a biker gang that become embroiled in a government conspiracy. Tetsuo is taken in by a secret organization that plans to use him to develop a powerful weapon. Along the way, a mysterious and powerful psychic force known as Akira awakens, sparking a violent and destructive chain of events.
Featuring stunning visuals and a compelling story, Akira is widely considered a classic of Japanese animation and one of the greatest animated films of all time. Featuring themes of power and corruption, the film is an exploration of the fragility of society and the power of the individual.
Long Way Round 2004
Long Way Round is a 2004 documentary series following actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman as they travel by motorcycle from London to New York. The two men traverse Europe, then Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Siberia before flying to Alaska. From there, they travel down the west coast of the United States to their final destination. Along the way, they encounter a variety of cultures, landscapes, and people as they encounter a range of challenges.
Long Way Round is an inspiring and adventurous journey, showcasing the friendship between these two men as they face their fears and overcome obstacles. It is a captivating story of exploration, friendship, and overcoming obstacles, and an excellent example of the power of friendship and the spirit of adventure.
Charge 2011 is a gripping motorcycle documentary directed by Mark Neale and starring Ewan McGregor. It follows the world’s top motorcycle road racers as they compete in the Isle of Man TT, one of the most dangerous and thrilling motorcycle races in the world. The film features interviews from the racers and their families, as well as breathtaking footage from the race itself.
The documentary is packed with emotion, as the racers and their families share the highs and lows of their journey. It’s also an adrenaline-filled ride, with stunning visuals and audio that truly captures the speed and danger that the racers face.
Charge 2011 is a must-watch for any fan of motorcycle racing, and it’s a great introduction to the sport for those who are just getting into it. McGregor does an amazing job of narrating the film, and the documentary is a real testament to the bravery of the riders. It’s sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
If you like motorcycle games check out the recent article i wrote on 5 best motorcycle games in 2023.