What determines the top trucking movies? It has to be great actors, exciting storylines and nonstop action. The following top 10 trucker movies certainly meet all of these criteria! Keep in mind that many iconic trucker movies were made before CPS and EOBRs were prevalent. Their lack of communication and complete disconnection are part of why these trucker movies are edgy and riveting to this day.
Black Dog (PG-13-1998)
Patrick Swayze, an ex-con in the film, takes a trucking job transporting goods cross-country. The truck is unexpectedly filled with contraband, and he must fight to survive and save his family. The excitement never ends!
Big Trouble in Little China (PG-13-1986)
Kurt Russell plays the iconic Jack Burton, an all-American trucker who gets wrangled into a centuries-old battle in Chinatown. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Smokey and the Bandit (PG-1977)
Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed are Bandit and Cledus, two southern truckers who dare to transport beer across county lines. They also end up picking up a runaway bride, the sheriff’s would-be daughter-in-law, which gets the law on their tail. It’s entertainment at its finest!
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (R-1981)
Technically, Mel Gibson’s character isn’t a trucker, but he does have to save a rag-tag, gas-rich post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland community by driving an oil truck through a gang of bandits. So it pretty much counts. Nonstop action is what makes this movie so exciting!
Over the Top (PG-1987)
Sylvester Stallone is a struggling truck driver striving to rebuild his life after his wife’s death. He even attempts to make amends with his estranged son and ends up impressing him by entering an arm-wrestling contest in Las Vegas. Sylvester’s killer job in this role really makes the movie great.
Kris Kristofferson stars in this country song-inspired film about sticking it to “The Man.” In short, a mile-long convoy of misfit truckers helps Kris fulfill his vendetta against an abusive sheriff. The moral of the story is that it’s dangerous to get in Kris Kristofferson’s way!
Starring Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan as a married couple, this movie portrays what it’s like to have your car break down and get stranded in the middle of the desert. Hopefully, if this ever happens to you, your wife won’t end up being held for ransom. The moral of the story: beware of friendly looking truck drivers with ulterior motives for helping you.
Big Rig (Not Rated-2007)
This documentary offers a snapshot of modern American life as told by over-the-road truckers. In essence, it’s really clear that this country would be lost and confused without the dedicated truck drivers that keep it moving forward.
Maximum Overdrive (R-1986)
Imagine if your truck came to life and went homicidal on you. Well, that’s what this Steven King-directed movie starring Emilio Estevez and Pat Hingle is all about. The lesson to learn from this one is to not be on your truck’s bad side the next time you pass by a mysterious comet with dust that brings machines to life.
Joy Ride (R-2001)
Paul Walker and Steve Zahn are brothers on a road trip from Colorado to New Jersey. During their travels, they play a CB-radio prank on a truck driver who turns out to be a psycho killer. The takeaway? Never use a fake CB handle to mess with a truck driver or you’ll pay the price.
If you haven’t seen these iconic movies, check them out! Which ones are your favorites?