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The Best Trucker Movies and Why We Love Them [UPDATED]

Top 10 Best Trucker Movies

In the 1970s, American pop culture embraced the trucker lifestyle. CB radios became the hot electronic gadget, and trucker lingo made its way into everyday life. As people’s attitudes about flight attendants seeing the world in the 1960s, there was a fascination for the open road. Hollywood could no longer ignore truck drivers’ larger-than-life personalities, and entertainment started cashing in on the exploding trend.

Here are the 17 best movies about truckers:

Convoy (1978)

C.W. McCall hit song by the same name tells the story of truckers joining forces against the law’s long arm. Kris Kristofferson and Ali MacGraw star in this action-comedy at the pinnacle of trucker-mania. Stuffed with CB shorthand and scenery across Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, Convoy is a snapshot of the time.

Breaker, Breaker (1977)

Before Chuck Norris made war/martial arts movies, he starred as J.D. searching for his trucker brother who’s gone missing. Chuck and the area truckers tear the town down, looking for him and the shady judge behind the disappearance. Breaker, Breaker, which means asking permission to speak on a channel, delivers classic lines and classic Chuck Norris.

Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Admit it, you’ve thought trucks have a mind of their own. Steven King wrote and directed the movie that made people afraid of trucks, as Jaws made people afraid of sharks. Emilio Estevez protects a North Carolina town after a radiation storm creates homicidal trucks. If you can suspend your disbelief for an hour and a half, Maximum Overdrive is a fun ride.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Nobody ruled the 1907s box office quite like Burt Reynolds. The movie features an all-star cast, including Jackie Gleason, Sally Field, and Jerry Reed, exposing the underworld of moving alcohol across state lines. The leading actors’ undeniable chemistry makes Smokey and the Bandit a buddy-buddy, boy meets girl, and you can’t catch me classic.

Over the Top (1987)

Sylvester Stallone steps away from the boxing ring to take on the arm-wrestling world championships. A down-and-out father and tough hauling trucker, Lincoln Hawk, works to keep his life together in pursuit of building a relationship with his son and the arm-wrestling glory. You’ll love the bonding Sly has with David Mendenhall’s character during road trips. Over the Top is loaded with 1980s fashion, pop culture references, and vintage Sly Stallone intensity.

Steel Cowboy (1976)

James Brolin stars in a made-for-TV movie about a trucker losing it all when offered a chance to make some money hauling cattle on the black market. Get a glimpse of a young Rip Torn and super-young Melanie Griffith while James Brolin’s character hits rock bottom then turns it all around in Steel Cowboy

Thunder Run (1986)

Set in the Cold War, Forest Tucker stars as Charlie, a truck driver trying to keep plutonium away from terrorists. Thunder Run features an 18-wheeler loaded with gadgets MacGyver would envy, explosions galore and a chase scene that vaults a rig off the ground.

Big Rig (2007)

A showcase of real truckers doing real truck driving makes this documentary a must-watch. See what happens on America’s roads with the men and women behind the industry delivering products to every city. Most truck drivers find something relatable to their experiences hauling loads. Big Rig respects truck drivers for the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices they make, often going unnoticed.

Trucks (1997)

Stephen King’s fascination with trucks continues when a small Canadian town called Lunar gets overrun by driver-less trucks. With the tagline, “a thriller without breaks”, nobody is safe when trucks, taken over by a mysterious force, knock out the power grid. Trucks has everyone running for cover, watching their backs, and keeping their eyes on the road.

Black Dog (1998)

Patrick Swayze stars as an ex-con forced to haul illegal guns to save his family. Music artists turned actors Randy Travis and Meatloaf co-star in a race against the clock thriller featuring explosions and fancy truck driving. Black Dog is a bit of a throwback movie and worth the watch.

Trucker (2008)

Trucker, a 2008 drama, hits close to home for us haulers. Michelle Monaghan plays Diane, a trucker living a freewheeling life on the open road. But her world gets flipped when her ex tosses their 11-year-old son, Peter, on her lap. We watch her struggle to balance her old life with the demands of raising a kid on the go. It’s a story of responsibility, found family, and the unique challenges of being a trucker. Trucker reminds us that even on the loneliest stretches of highway, we’re not that far from connection.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China injects some serious nitrous into your next break. Kurt Russell stars as Jack Burton, a trucker who hauls more than just cargo – he hauls himself into a crazy Chinatown underworld. Filled with mystical battles, creepy crawlies bigger than your rig, and a sorcerer with a glowing eye (not a load light malfunction!), this action-comedy is like hitting a bump in the best way. It’s a wild ride that reminds us – sometimes the most epic adventures start with a wrong turn.

Duel (1971)

Duel, a 1971 classic, cranks the tension to eleven for us trucker fellas. Dennis Weaver plays David Mann, a mild-mannered salesman who makes the mistake of passing a monstrous Peterbilt. Big mistake. This ain’t your average tailgater – this chrome nightmare tries to run David clean off the road! Buckle up for a white-knuckled chase through the desert with nothing but your wits (and maybe a CB radio) to survive. Duel is a reminder that even the most scenic route can turn into a fight for survival – respect the road, respect the rigs, and whatever you do, don’t tick off a trucker!

The Ice Road (2021)

The Ice Road (2021) throws trucker Mike McCann, played by Liam Neeson (need we say more?), into a frozen fight for survival. A diamond mine collapses, burying miners beneath tons of ice. Who gets the call? Mike, of course. He leads a ragtag crew of big rigs on a daring rescue mission across a treacherous, thawing ice road. It’s a race against time, the elements, and some surprises lurking beneath the ice. The Ice Road is a white-knuckle adventure that reminds us – even the toughest haulers need a good mechanic, a cool head, and maybe a thermos full of something stronger than coffee to conquer the iciest roads.

White Line Fever (1975)

White Line Fever (1975) blasts the corruption wide open! Jan-Michael Vincent stars as trucker Coy “Cannonball” Rollins, a maverick fighting for fair pay and safety on the Arizona highways. Cannonball gets mixed up with a dangerous web of stolen goods and crooked officials. Buckle up for high-octane action, thrilling chases, and a whole lot of trucker rebellion! White Line Fever is a classic that reminds us – sometimes you gotta shift gears and fight for what’s right, even if it means putting the pedal to the metal and leaving the bad guys in the dust.

Land of Gold (2022)

Land of Gold (2022) is a heart-warming detour from your usual solo route. Kiran, a Punjabi truck driver with a bumpy road ahead of fatherhood, stumbles upon a hidden cargo – a young Mexican-American girl named Elena. Suddenly, Kiran’s looking in the rearview mirror at a chance to redefine family. Their unexpected journey throws them together, sparking culture clashes and unlikely friendships. It’s a moving tale about trust, responsibility, and finding connection on the open road. Land of Gold proves even the toughest trucker’s spirit can haul a heaping load of compassion.

Flatbed Annie and Sweetie Pie: Lady Truckers (1979)

Buckle up with Ginny “Sweetie Pie” LaRosa, a trucker’s wife thrown a curveball when her hubby gets injured. With bills piling up, Sweetie Pie stumbles onto a gutsy partner – Flatbed Annie, a firecracker driver with a rig and a dream. Together, these unlikely allies navigate the male-dominated trucking world, dodging repo men, outsmarting criminals, and proving that women can handle anything the open road throws their way. It’s a fun and feisty ride that celebrates female camaraderie and kicking butt behind the wheel.

Do you have a favorite movies trucker movies? Share in the comments.

You may also enjoy 7 Hobbies for Truck Drivers and How to Start Them


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