5. Machete (2010) – Starring Michelle Rodriguez
Starring Danny Trejo as the titular federale-turned-bounty hunter, Machete is a feature-length expansion of a fake trailer from the double feature Grindhouse.
Michelle Rodriguez, better known to Fast & Furious fans as Letty, co-stars as his revolutionary sidekick alongside such actors as Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, and Cheech Marin.
4. Training Day (2001) – Starring Eva Mendes
A couple of years before she was cast in 2 Fast 2 Furious, Eva Mendes got her breakout role in the gritty crime thriller Training Day. An Oscar-winning Denzel Washington stars as the crooked veteran detective tasked with taking Ethan Hawke’s naive rookie out on his first day. Mendes plays a crucial role as the mistress of Washington’s character.
Director Antoine Fuqua keeps the tension simmering throughout the whole runtime, while David Ayer’s script focuses on the characters and their dynamic amidst the violent cops-‘n’-robbers action.
3. Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) – Starring Vin Diesel
Who knew a talking tree could become such a beloved character? Vin Diesel created a globally adored icon with just three words in Guardians of the Galaxy. With nothing more than the phrase “I am Groot” – and, in his heartbreaking final moments, the phrase “We are Groot” – Diesel captured the hearts of audiences across the world.
James Gunn and Nicole Perlman’s airtight script strikes the perfect balance between lighthearted banter, emotionally engaging character work, and action-packed comic book spectacle.
2. Escape From New York (1981) – Starring Kurt Russell
Kurt Russell has one of the longest and most prolific careers of anyone in the Fast & Furious cast. He got his start as a teen actor working for Disney before John Carpenter made him a badass action hero in the 1980s with the role of eyepatch-wearing antihero Snake Plissken in Escape from New York.
This cult classic dystopian thriller takes place in a future where Manhattan Island has been converted into a giant maximum-security prison. When the President’s plane goes down over New York, Plissken is given just 24 hours to save him in exchange for a pardon.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – Starring Charlize Theron
Before playing a villainous cyberterrorist in The Fast Saga, Charlize Theron stole the spotlight in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road from Max himself with her ferocious turn as Furiosa. Fury Road is basically a feature-length car chase with even more vehicular carnage than a Fast & Furious movie.
The breathtaking action sequences in Fury Road were achieved with minimal CGI and maximal practical stunt work. Miller told the story entirely through visuals; Fury Road could be watched anywhere in the world without subtitles and still be understood.