Road-trip movies we love

Oct 31, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Gearing up for a road trip? Get in the motoring frame of mind with one of our favorite road-trip movies!

Movie inside of car



The 2009 zombie comedy Zombieland follows neurotic college student Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Twinkie-loving, zombie-blasting Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) as they navigate through the aftermath of a nasty zombie apocalypse. Road-tripping across the U.S. to escape the zombies, these two survivors pick up Wichita (Emma Stone) and her younger sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and eventually set their course for Los Angeles and the "Pacific Playland" amusement park. Gory zombies, witty dialogue and an unforgettable appearance by Bill Murray are a few reasons why this film is one of our favorite zombie flicks ever.


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Why have we watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles — oh, at least a dozen times? Probably because watching the arrogant, uptight Neal Page (Steve Martin) suffer through a miserable trip home with the obnoxious, slovenly Del Griffith (John Candy) never gets old. The pain and suffering that Martin's character endures to get home to his family for Thanksgiving is hilariously painful to watch. Of course, all ends well between the two men, but we're pretty sure they'll keep you laughing at their misadventures all along the way.



Take a trip through wine country with the Academy Award–nominated film Sideways. This comedic drama stars Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church as two middle-aged buddies taking a weeklong road trip through the vineyard-crossed hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. One is in a depressed funk and just wants to relax, while the other is set on having one last sexual encounter before getting married. The film's tagline says it best: "In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves."


National Lampoon's Vacation

This 1983 film starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall and a number of other familiar faces is the ultimate family road-trip romp. Written by John Hughes of The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles fame, National Lampoon's Vacation follows the Griswold family on their cross-country drive to Wally World. This classic comedy illustrates the universal fact that when road-tripping with the family, nothing ever goes quite according to plan.


Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine is a movie that's so wrong, it's right. This Academy Award–winning film stars Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin and Alan Arkin. Join this dysfunctional family traveling cross-country in a Volkswagen Bus as they take 7-year-old Olive (Abigail Breslin) to compete for the title of "Little Miss Sunshine" in a Redondo Beach, California, beauty pageant. Despite more than a few setbacks (including a dead body as a passenger), the road trip ends up being a bonding experience, culminating with Olive's unforgettable burlesque stage performance — choreographed by her grandpa — to the song "Super Freak."

Want more?

Additional road-trip movies not to be missed include Boys on the Side; Almost Famous; Easy Rider; The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; The Guilt Trip and Thelma & Louise.

More road-trip fun

Essentials for an all-girls road-trip weekend
The ultimate road-trip playlist
Your weekend road-trip checklist