Trucker Movies to Add to the ‘Watch List’
October 20, 2020
For those with a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or some other video streaming platform, there’s a good chance you’ve spent a good chunk of time aimlessly scrolling through the platform looking for something entertaining to watch. We’ve all been there.
If you’ve scrolled all the way through the video categories, maybe it’s time to try something new. It’s never a bad time to throw on an old classic trucker film – back when truck drivers were portrayed as ‘cowboys’ of the road. Or, in many of the films below, out to be the villain. A few years ago, we put together a list of some of our favorite trucker films – and we thought it was about time to expand that list. Here are some more movies worth checking out.
Black Dog – 1998
Best known for his leading roles in Dirty Dancing, Road House, and other famous pop culture movies in the 80s and 90s, the late-Patrick Swayze takes on a completely new character in the movie Black Dog. In the film, Swayze plays Jack Crews, a troubled truck driver who has just been released from jail for vehicular manslaughter. Attempting to return to a normal way of life, the character gets a job as a truck mechanic since he no longer has his CDL. But, when he realizes he is short on cash, and needs extra money to prevent the bank from taking his house, Jack takes a high paying under-the-table transport job. Soon after taking delivery of goods that he thought was supposed to be an easy transport from Atlanta to New Jersey, chaos ensues. And Jack is caught in the middle of a deal that went ‘south.’
Breakdown – 1997
About 10 years after starring in Big Trouble in Little China – another one of our favorite trucker movies — Kurt Russell played the role of Jeff Taylor in Breakdown. During a cross-country move, Jeff and his wife Amy Taylor (played by Kathleen Quinlan) experience a car breakdown on their way to California. The couple flag down a trucker, who seems keen on helping them at the time and takes Amy to a diner so that she can call for help. But, that help call never goes through as Amy quickly disappears without a trace.
In Kurt Russell fashion, he makes it his mission to figure out what happened to his wife and get her back, inflicting pain in those responsible for the kidnapping along the way.
Breaker! Breaker! – 1977
Directed by Don Hulette and starring Chuck Norris, Breaker! Breaker! Is a true action-packed trucker movie gem. Chuck Norris plays J.D., a trucker who returns from the road to find that a friend of his had been assaulted and paralyzed by a policeman in the fictional town of Texas City, California.
When J.D. figures out that the town has a history of harming truckers, he tries to tell his brother Billy, who is a driver to stay away from the town but it’s too late. In an attempt to find his brother, J.D. is arrested and sentenced to death by the towns corrupt judge. But once fellow truckers catch wind of the situation, they come and save the day – rescuing J.D. and Billy.
Hoffa – 1992 and The Irishman – 2019
A movie featuring Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson, it has to be good, right? Danny directed and stared in Hoffa, a biographical crime movie based of Jimmy Hoffa, who was the president of Teamsters, a labor union that represents a number of blue-collar industries and professional workers (including the trucking industry) between 1957 and 1971. The film covers much of Hoffa’s controversial life – forming an alliance with a Mafia boss, his rise to the presidency of Teamsters, mix ups with the law, and his mysterious disappearance in 1975. If you’re interested in the history of the trucking industry – this is a good one. Jack Nicholson plays the role of Hoffa and Danny DeVito plays Robert Ciaro who worked with the mob.
For a more ‘theatrical’ spin on the Mafia’s ties to Teamsters, check out The Irishman, which is available on Netflix. Directed by Martin Scorsese and a cast that includes all-timers like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Ray Romano, The Irishman was one of the biggest movie hits in 2019. The film follows the life of Frank Sheeran (The Irishman), played by De Niro who is a truck driver that climbs the ranks to be a top hit man for the Bufalino crime family. The same mob has ties to Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino) who is involved in the organized crime. The Irishman also works with Hoffa, until his mysterious disappearance, which the Irishman was involved in.
Set aside some time to watch this one – its screen time is 3.5 hours, but it’s worth it.
Joy Ride – 2001
Before Paul Walker was pulling off stunts in sports cars in the hit movie series Fast & Furious, Paul was running away from psychopath truck drivers in his role as Lewis Thomas in Joyride.
In the film, Lewis and his brother Fuller (played by Steve Zahn) decide to install a CB radio during a road trip to listen in on trucker chatter. The two later pull a prank on a trucker nicknamed ‘Rusty Nail’ that is not perceived well from the driver. As a result, Rusty Nail follows Lewis and Fuller, seeking revenge.
Maximum Overdrive – 1986
Famous author Stephen King, best known for his best-selling suspense and horror books, including some that became the inspiration for critically acclaimed movies like The Green Mile, The Shining, and It, is a living legend. What many don’t know about Stephen, is that he actually tried his hand at movie directing back in the 80s. He directed the movie Maximum Overdrive, a comedy horror film that was based on the short story he wrote — ‘Trucks.’ The plot of the movie is essentially that evil trucks, with a mind of their own, are out to attack humans. It wasn’t exactly a candidate for an Oscar award – but it provides a good laugh. This was the only film Stephen King ever directed, so if you’re a fan of his books, it’s worth checking out.
Snitch – 2013
Snitch isn’t exactly a ‘blast from the past,’ but it’s worth a watch anyway. Dwyane ‘The Rock’ Johnson, plays John Matthews who goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in a drug deal. John drives a truck to transport drugs for the cartel so that he can uncover information that lead to the arrests of the criminals involved. At times, John drives his truck aggressively, using it as battering ram to push other vehicles out of the way. It’s a solid action/drama movie.