ULTIMATE LIST OF TRAVEL MOVIES
- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
The film took us through a road trip in Spain. The lazy road travel, the breathtaking deep-sea-diving, the super-fun Tomatina festival, and the liberating sky-fall were all just to die for. It makes you want to travel with your friends and discover your own self. In fact, this film has made Spain a popular travel destination for Indians.
This film takes the protagonist and our imagination to Paris and Amsterdam. She discovers her own identity and learns that you don’t necessarily need a partner to have fun in your life. She doesn’t let her honeymoon tickets go waste and decides to take the trip solo and this experience changes her life forever. She gains a new perspective about living life on her own terms.
Tamasha brought to life the beautiful city of Corsica for us Indians. The film showed the place so beautifully that each frame looked like a picture post card. It looked like a perfect getaway for the characters and felt like it would be perfect for us as well. The local flavour was just enough to make Corsica your dream destination, a place where nobody would know you and you won’t know anybody either.
4. Dil Chahta Hai
This film has set travel goals for a whole generation. While the movie is remembered for a whole lot of other things, the idea of friends travelling to just chill on the beaches of Goa is stuff vacation goals are made of! Such was the influence of the movie, Goa became the national holiday spot for the young generation and still remains so.
5. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
This is where the travel craze started. Raj and Simran meet on a Euro trip, fall in love and after a short trip to the mustard fields of Punjab, live happily ever after. The landscapes of Europe are lavish, and the film captures that beautifully. Even the second half of the film, which is shot in Punjab, has inspired a generation to get a picture clicked in the mustard fields.
6. Finding Fanny
Finding Fanny showed Goa like no other film. There were no rave parties in this one, instead it showed lesser known outskirts of the state. The virgin locations in the film became popular overnight. If you’re planning a peaceful trip to the state, this film will totally inspire you.
This film was a journey that you didn’t want to end. The theatre felt like a window seat of a vehicle and you just didn’t want the vehicle to stop. A bride-to-be is kidnapped by a local goon who takes her through roads she has never seen before. It captures the remote Sangla Valley in Himachal Pradesh and drives over to the Aru Valley and Chandanwari near Pahalgam. And it’s not just the scenic beauty of the mountains, the essence of the film is travel and is beautifully conveyed even in the plains of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab.
8. Dil Dhadakne Do
This film was shot on a cruise ship which traveled through Turkey, Spain and Tunisia. The sequences on the cruise ship had beautiful ocean in the background and stunningly dressed people in the foreground. And you’re still looking for reasons to set off for a vacation?
9. Chennai Express
Chennai Express might be known for several other (not-so-flattering) reasons but the film was surely a visual treat. From the majestic Dudhsagar Falls in Goa to the lush hill town of Munnar in Kerala, each frame of the movie was a sight to behold in this film. The landscape shown in the film will surely make you want to be there in person.
10. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Bordered by dense forests and sparkling in their white glory, Gulmarg’s snow-clad peaks are just breathtaking. Even though Gulmarg was passed off as Manali in the film, the film inspired bag-packers to leave everything aside and go on a trek with friends in this region. The film’s second half captures the beautiful palaces and monuments of Rajasthan. The theme wedding in Udaipur showed that Rajasthan is so much more than just deserts.
11. Jab We Met
The film starts off with a train journey from Mumbai and makes some interesting stops at Ratlam, Kota, Bhatinda, Manali and Simla. Each city acts as a stop-over for the characters and the story of the film. This film surely made train journeys look really cool!
12. Chalo Dilli
Two characters from drastically different backgrounds have to travel together by road and train. The destination is Delhi and the road trip makes them both see what they’ve been missing in their lives. The highways they take and the people they meet is what traveling is all about – having new experiences.
A father-daughter duo travels with a taxi company owner from Delhi to Kolkata in this road trip movie. The highways they travel make us want to be on a road trip ASAP. We watch them stopping over in Varanasi which looks beautiful at night and when they finally reach Kolkata, the city’s landscape is instantly likeable.
14. London Paris New York
This film is the journey of two characters through these three cities. They first meet in London while waiting to catch the next flight. They meet again in Paris and then finally get united in New York. These three cities are probably on the bucket list of all of us and the film just captures that fantasy to perfection.
15. Anjaana Anjaani
The protagonists decide to end their lives but before that they must travel a little. Travelling is just the best way to live and what better place to go and explore Las Vegas. The road trip they take from New York to Las Vegas is just stunning to look at. And the barren lands too look breathtaking.
The holy city of Varanasi showed in this film felt so pure in its spirit. The religious divide, the local culture and colour of the city was beautifully captured in the first half of the film. Even the dialect used in the film was true to the city. Banares was not just a location for this film, the city was featured like a character.
17. Road, Movie
Vishnu (Abhay Deol) is on a journey across the scenic state of Rajasthan to deliver his father’s antique, colourful truck to a local museum. The journey proves transformative for every traveler, but especially for Vishnu who discovers life, love and laughter on the Indian highway. This film introduces you to a different Rajasthan. It is rustic, rural & yet enigmatic.
Lootera was a tale set in the ’50s and made us appreciate the beauty of Manikpur, a small town in West Bengal. The second half of the film showcased the alluring snow clad mountains of Dalhousie. If a laid back vacation is your thing, Lootera is just the inspiration you need.
- Katheyondu Shuruvagide
Another film that relies on the travel theme, Katheyondu Shuruvagide shows its protagonist Tarun as a resort owner. Things aren’t going great for him, as the resort is running in losses. His life changes when Tanya comes to stay at his resort. She is supposed to be on her honeymoon, but life has dealt her a hard blow and she is making an attempt to move on. Trips usually help when you are trying to forget the past and move on in life. That’s exactly what Tanya attempts, and has Tarun to help her through it. The Senna Hegde directorial will reignite the wanderlust in you with beautiful shots of driving through the seaside, sunny beaches and quaint homes. The romance between the elderly couple Shashank and Radha is also heartwarming to watch
- Mundina Nildana
This film shows multiple road trips through scenic locales as the protagonist narrates his life’s journey in search of love. The title serves as an indication for the next destination on one’s journey as well as in one’s life. (Partha) Praveen Tej quits his software engineering job to follow his passion of photography. But he battles commitment phobia, having grown up in a broken family. The film deals with modern day issues about career, purpose of life, love and relationships. While the characters are extremely relatable, the long drives will make you miss your road trips with friends. Every frame of this movie is picture-perfect, much like the frames of the photos clicked by Partha. There are lovely song and dance sequences too, which make this a fully enjoyable experience
21. Yevade Subramanyam
Apart from the past few years, the Indian film industry has been obsessed with the format of six songs and five fights, blended with handpicked ingredients that will appeal to the urban, semi-urban and rural pockets. It’s very rare that a film will deviate from these norms and urges viewers to do the same. And, Yevade Subramanyam is one among those. Helmed by debutante director Nag Ashwin in 2015, the coming-of-age travel film showcases the happenings when a corporate guy sets out to the mountains with a girl to fulfil his friend’s wish.
Directed and bankrolled by debutante Krish Jagarlamudi, Gamyam has certainly broken the shackles in Tollywood when it came to realistic narration and hard-hitting climax. The plot of this perfect road film revolves around two guys, one being a thief and the other a filthy-rich youngster, who meet each other in a road journey started by the latter in search of his true love. Released amidst zero expectations, Gamyam bagged immense accolades from all quarters with critics unanimously praising the story, screenplay and the performances of the lead cast.
23. Kshana Kshanam
After a sensational debut with the coming-of-age actioner ‘Siva’, maverick filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma surprised the Indian film fraternity by going ahead with ‘Kshana Kshanam’. Released in 1991, the neo-noir road film went on to register a stupendous victory at the ticket counters and managed to garner a cult following over the years. Bagging a total of four Nandi Awards, the path-breaking flick was screened at several International film festivals. Besides the terrific performances by Venkatesh and the late Sridevi, RGV’s engaging narrative and S. Gopala Reddy’s cinematography received glowing praises from critics.
24. Anaganaga Oka Roju
Post his highly-successful horror outing ‘Deyyam’ in 1996, Ram Gopal Varma returned to the road genre a year later with the light-hearted entertainer ‘Anaganaga Oka Roju’. Starring JD Chakravarthy and the gorgeous Urmila Matondkar in lead roles, the film showcases the unexpected happenings when an eloped couple get entangled in a murder case involving big heads. Released to a fabulous response in the Telugu states, the film boarded an ensemble star cast with the likes of Raghuvaran, Brahmanandam, Kota Srinivasa Rao, and Rami Reddy.
25. Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha
Immediately after the super-hit rom-com BBM, Nani delivered a fantastic experience to the viewers with his brilliant portrayal as the soft-natured Krishna who would go the extra mile when it comes to his girlfriend in ‘Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha’. Blended with action, romance and comedy, the road drama managed to become a success both on the critical and commercial front. Vishal Chandrasekhar composed some terrific songs for the film which introduced Mehreen Pirzada to Tollywood.
Be it the location in which Shekhar and Radhika get married or the place where Rudra gets trained as a soldier, there are many breathtaking locations where the movie was shot. Director Bejoy Nambiar has handpicked locations like Kashmir, Kerala, and Mumbai. The hill station where Ayesha and Trilok ride the bicycle will make you crave for one such ride.
Who can forget the architectural marvel in Jaipur where Tara goes for a business trip! Legendary director Mani Ratnam chose Mumbai and Jaipur primarily for the movie. The locations of the movie are breathtaking that you cannot help but wish to be there.
It was not at all surprising when director Shankar shot the songs and scenes of the movie ‘I’ in exotic locations. The song ‘Pookale Sattru Oyivedungal’ shot in locations like Panjin, Huanglong, and Lexiaguo. Are you ready to visit the famous red beach in China?
29. Kaatru Veliyidai
The mesmerizing ‘Vaan Varuvan’ shot in the snow-covered mountain will push you to take a trip to Ladakh just to experience the snow! Director Mani Ratnam has filmed in locations which have an extraordinary view of landscapes. Ooty, Hyderabad, and Ladakh are some locations from the movie.
- Neelakasham Pachakkadal Chuvanna Bhoomi
Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi Travel movie. The film revolves around Kasi (Dulquer Salmaan) and Suni (Sunny Wayne) who go on a road trip from Kerala to Nagaland.
The film was shot in seven Indian states including Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Nagaland, and Sikkim.
Carbon Travel inpiring Malayalam Movie. The story flies through the journey of Sibi(Fahadh Faasil) how starts to search for a treasure hidden somewhere in a deep jungle.
Shot in Pala, Erumeli, and places in and around Kottayam, Idukki including Ammachi Kottaram (the lodge in the jungle) & Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary
(Doore Doore- song)] and Wayanad.
The movie tells the story of two women(Rima Kallingal, Manju Warrier), who in order to escape the society they are trapped in, unite to travel across North-India.
The film was shot extensively in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, and Kerala.
33.North 24 Kaatham
North 24 Katham revolves around the journey of three strangers(Fahadh Faasil, Nedumudi Venu, Swathi Reddy) who happen to get stranded on a hartal day.
‘Anarkali’, is purely the journey of an ex-naval officer(Prithviraj Sukumaran,) in search of his girlfriend (Priyal Gor), whom he had promised to reunite with. Anarkali was shot mostly in Kavaratti, Bangaram, and Agatti in Lakshadweep. This is one of the featured films that explores the marvelous beauty of Lakshadweep.
The story flies around the journey of a young woman Tessa, (Parvathy) who goes in search of the mysterious and enigmatic man named Charlie(Dulquer Salmaan), whom she has never met.
The film was shot mostly in Fort Kochi, Munnar, Idukki etc
The films show the journey of a Doctor (Prithviraj) who, in order to keep his promise to a dying mother, takes her young boy back to his father who is actually a terrorist.
The film was mainly shot on Ladakh, Kashmir, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Pushkarand, Delhi, and Kerala.
The movie revolves around the story of four friends(Maniyanpilla Raju, Babu Antony, Vijayaraghavan, Pratap Pothen, and Raveendran) reuniting after a long period of time and the journey to their childhood memories.
Idukki Gold was mostly shot in Idukki.
38.Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi
The film moves with the journey of a Nature Enthusiast(Kunchako Boban) to save an unknown tribal village called ‘7000 Kandi’ with the help of 6 likely minded people and the tribes.
The film was set and shot at Wayanad, Idukki, Pune, and Chennai.
Besides being an all-around incredible movie, it takes you into the heart of chaotic Tokyo. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson play two characters adrift in their hotel…at least until they cut loose and explore Tokyo. They are suffering from a self-imposed confinement, and that bonds them together. Together, they escape into Tokyo with its nonstop energy. The sights, sounds, and energy overwhelm you and will have you booking a flight to Japan. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time.
40. Whale Rider
I remember seeing this movie when it came out. It blew me away. The story follows a little girl in a Maori village and her struggle to get her grandfather’s acceptance. But the real star here is Maori culture. The modern world of a Maori is spotlighted in an accurate portrayal that invokes wonder and sympathy. I met a member of the featured tribe while in New Zealand, who said the film benefited his people greatly. This movie sparked a fascination with Maori culture that is part of the reason why I went to New Zealand.
Another New Zealand–based movie, Peter Jackson’s award-winning epic will leave you stunned by the diverse and beautiful landscape of New Zealand. From glaciers to rivers, mountains, and forests, New Zealand’s beauty was the star of this movie. It launched the country’s modern tourist industry and made it one of the premier destinations for adventure seekers. Die-hard fans can take part in Lord of the Rings tours.
42. Into the Wild
Based on a true story, this movie follows Christopher McCandless as he tries to shed his material life and get in touch with real life and nature. After graduating from college, Christopher sets out on a road trip through the USA before ending up in Alaska. Much of the story is based on second-hand accounts, yet the movie is a poignant reminder that we all could simplify our lives a little bit and just enjoy living. It reminds us that travel is not about what we carry with us but about what we carry inside.
42. In Bruges
Colin Farrell may have thought life in Bruges was hell, but the city provides a beautiful backdrop for this comedy. And I have to admit, until I saw this movie, I really didn’t know much about Bruges. Sure, I knew where it was and that it was famous, but I’d never given much thought to it. After this movie, I wanted to go to Bruges! It looked beautiful. (And, having been there now, I can confirm it is.) Bruges is a great destination for travelers who want to step back in time. This movie will have you including it in your next European adventure.
I don’t like Diane Lane romance movies, and this movie is totally one of them. Girl feels lost in life, starts fresh, meets guy, everything works out. This movie could star any actress because the real movie star here is Tuscany. Tuscany provides a stunning backdrop for this otherwise mediocre movie. This place lives up to all the hype that surrounds it and will make you want to leave home and buy a vineyard in some small Italian village.
A German movie that follows the true-life story of a Jewish family that escapes the Nazis to run a farm in Kenya. The movie deals with how they adjust to their new life and cope with the life they left behind. Anyone who has ever adapted to a new culture will be able to relate. It’s not always easy, but as this movie shows, it’s possible once you open yourself up. The movie is in German but subtitled in English. Besides being an inspiring travel movie, it’s one of my favorite foreign-language movies.
45. Crocodile Dundee
Not only did these movies launch the short career of Paul Hogan but they made everyone want to be an Aussie. Dundee was the MacGyver of the outback. While the movies gave a generation of people clichéd notions of Australia, they also gave Americans a connection to the country. Like us, Aussies were free-spirited pioneers with a love for the wilderness. While it’s cliché and exaggerated, Australians do share a love for nature, and the movie inspired people to visit Oz.
46. Up in the Air
I live in an airport world. Maybe not as much as Ryan Bingham, George Clooney’s character, but when I saw this movie, I found myself relating too much to Ryan’s character. Though in some ways it has a happy ending, I found the movie to be a downer. I was depressed for hours afterward, because I see myself in Ryan’s lifestyle. He’s a man who feels at home in airports and planes and is constantly on the move. As he says, moving is living. The movie is a must-watch for long-term travelers, as it brings up the sometimes mixed emotions we have about living in constant motion.
47. The Beach
Released in 2000, the movie follows Alex Garland’s novel about young backpackers who set out to find paradise but end up destroying it, and it had me drooling over Thailand. Those beaches, those parties, those people. It seemed wonderful. Backpackers in Asia are always reading the book, and the movie plays in all the guesthouses. It says something about our hopes for the road: we want to find our own idyllic, romantic paradise. The one we all think won’t be destroyed, but will. The movie has a different ending, characters, and storyline than the book, but the theme is the same. It is a great reflection on the hopes and realities of travel.
Set in South America, this movie follows the life of Che Guevara from doctor to revolutionary. Starring Gael García Bernal, this poignant tale features amazing images of South America, from the deserts to the rainforest. It shows the heartbreaking poverty of the time period, too. Beautifully cast and directed, this movie will make you want to jump on a motorcycle and explore the continent. Even if you do not agree with the politics of the movie, its acting is first-rate, and this movie transcends the politics of the man it follows. It was critically acclaimed for a reason.
Indy made everyone an archaeologist and an adventure seeker. From Egypt to India, Indy showed us the world and the mythology of ancient cultures. The movie brought out the adventurer in me and helped foster a love for history. It also did wonders for Petra, Jordan. Who didn’t want to see the city after watching The Last Crusade!? Despite the lackluster fourth installment, these movies not only remain some of the best in travel but some of the best of all time.
Released in 1991, this tragic story stars Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as two women driving across the American Southwest in search of adventure and friendship while escaping the law. The movie is stunningly acted, winning many accolades, and also features breathtaking shots of the American West that will make you want to get in your car and see the country.
Released in 1962, this Peter O’Toole classic is set during World War I and follows a British soldier’s interaction with nomadic tribes. O’Toole is T.E. Lawrence, who unites Arabian tribes against the Turks. With stunning images of the desert, you’ll soon be wanting to lead your own expedition through the desert, though probably not for war. Lawrence may remain a controversial figure, but there’s no controversy that this is a great film set in an amazing place.
A movie about Australian drag queens that take a road trip across the desert in order to perform at a lip-synching show. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming, it won a bunch of awards. The stars get shocking reactions as they wander across the Outback toward their show, stopping often along the way. Most importantly, it highlights two of the best things about Australia: the Outback and awesome accents.
53. A Good Year
Made in 2006 and starring Russell Crowe, this movie features him as an uptight banker who finds his soul again when returns to his uncle’s vineyard. All he wants to do is sell it and make some money, but soon the countryside and a pretty French girl have him changing his tune. (French girls always have you changing your tune!) It’s a movie for the wine lover, and along with Under The Tuscan Sun, will have you heading off to the nearest vineyard before the credits finish.
A silly movie about backpacking in Europe, this movie will nonetheless have you wanting to see all the places they filmed. The movie takes you across Europe in a whirlwind of stereotypes, but it’s pretty funny, and anyone who has roamed Europe can probably relate to a few of the situations. The script isn’t deep, and some of the situations are goofy, but it does a good job of sending you across Europe and features a very memorable appearance by Matt Damon.
This movie is about a German mountaineer Heinrich Harrer and his time with the Dalai Lama. Released in 1997 and starring Brad Pitt, it takes an interesting look at Tibetan culture on the eve of the Chinese invasion. You get an outsider’s perspective on this remote nation and of the ruler who now lives in exile in India. It is an interesting movie, even if it’s not 100% historically accurate.
A year after their father’s funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to grieve, bond, and get closer. As the brothers try to find meaning in their loss, they fight, resent each other, overcome barriers, and learn to love India. While not my favorite Wes Anderson movie, I loved the cinematography and scenery of this movie. I felt it did a good job of making you want to jump on a plane to India.
I pretty much love every movie about Paris, but this is one of my all-time favorites, not least because it is set mostly set 1920s Jazz Age Paris — the one time period I would live in above all others. The movie follows Gil, a writer on vacation with his fiancée and her family. At night, he wanders the streets of Paris before stumbling into a time warp that sends him back to the ’20s to meet some of the most famous people of the age. With its lighting, story, and incredible acting, this movie will make your heart swoon for the City of Lights. Even though it plays to all the clichés of Paris, I eat it up!
58. Monsoon Wedding
This Indian independent film tells the story of an arranged marriage and the modern pushback against this tradition by the bride as the family prepares to host a four-day wedding. Artfully shot with intriguing characters and beautiful scenery, this is not only one of my favorite travel movies (and a phenomenal look at Indian culture) but one of my all-time favorite movies ever. I highly recommend you watch this movie.
This movie was better than I thought (and helped create a boom in Icelandic tourism). Walter Mitty, a guy who hates his job and dreams of a more exciting and adventurous life, is the liaison between Life magazine and the mysterious photographer Sean O’Connell. When the magazine wants to use one of Sean’s photographs for the last issue, Walter realizes he lost it and goes in search of Sean. Along the way, he breaks out of his shell, becomes more confident, and starts to turn his daydreams into reality. It’s a story most people can relate to! The breathtaking scenes they shoot around the world only add to the incredible story.
60. The Way
Someone who knows me well told me to watch it, and when I did, I was blown away. It was such an emotional movie. I cried a bit. The Way follows Tom, an American doctor who travels to France to pick up the ashes of his dead son. His son died on the Camino and he walks it to finish what his son started. Along the way, he makes friends with some other pilgrims and begins to see why his son loved traveling so much. Martin Sheen is incredible in this film, and the movie totally made me decide to hike the Camino this year.
A Woody Allen movie, this movie follows two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain who become enamored with the same painter as they spend a holiday in Barcelona. When his crazy ex comes onto the scene, all hell breaks loose. This movie not only tells an amazing story but shows off the beauty, excitement, and magic of Barcelona (Woody Allen, what’s with you getting places right?).
Set in Mexico, this movie follows two teenage boys and an attractive older woman who embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, and each other. This movie won countless awards and helped make Gael García Bernal a star.
Based on the novel of the same name, this movie follows Cheryl Strayed as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to restart her life, end her drug addiction, and finally cope with the death of her mother. While I loved the book more (I mean, the book is always better), I thought Reese Witherspoon gave a really strong performance, and the movie still conveys the emotional impact of the book.
64. Before Sunrise
This classic Gen X movie about a young man and the woman he meets on a train in Europe says a lot about the shortness of travel relationships. They only have one night together, but it seems to stretch on forever. I like this movie because it plays with that sense of “travel time.” On the road, days feel like months, and when you meet someone special, one day can feel like a lifetime.
With this movie, I save the best for last. This documentary follows Brook Silva Braga as he prepares for his year-long trip around the world. He films the entire trip and it is the best — THE BEST — movie about long-term travel. It captures the anxiety before your trip, the worry of your friends and family, the ups and downs, the fleeting romances, deep friendships, and stresses of the road like no other movie ever has. Out of all the movies on this list, if you only watch one, watch this movie. Seriously, this is my favorite travel movie. I watched it the day before I came home and “settled” down in NYC and it stirred a lot of emotions. (I did an interview with Brook many, many years ago.)
Based on the true story of Robyn Davidson, this 2013 film stars Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver. It follows Robyn as she attempts to travel solo across the Australian outback with her camels in 1980 — a distance of over 2,000 miles. Much like the book (which is worth a read!), the film captures the grandness of Robyn’s adventure and explores what drives us to takes risks. As someone who has visited some of the places she went, I found it to be a super interesting account of what they looked like long before I came through.
67. Roman Holiday
This 1950’s black and white rom-com earned Audrey Hepburn an Academy Award for her performance. In the film, Hepburn portrays a European princess who escapes her strict royal schedule while visiting Rome to explore the city by herself. She, of course, meets a love interest and the two wander Rome together. The movie was actually filmed in Rome so you can really get a glimpse of what traveling to the Eternal City was like 70+ years ago. It’s a classic movie that still makes you fall in love with Rome!
68. Queen of Katwe
Queen of Katwe is based on the life of Phiona Mutesi, a young Ugandan girl who stumbled into learning chess. She developed a love for the game, using it to transform her life and rise above her impoverished roots. The film doesn’t shy away from the hard realities of life in Uganda, but it’s a Disney film so things don’t get too grim or dark. Overall, it’s an upbeat, inspirational story and a solid “feel good” travel film. Sort of like a real-life version of The Queen’s Gambit.
This documentary is about 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono. He was the first sushi chef to be given three Michelin stars and is considered the greatest sushi chef in the world. This documentary explores his life, his sushi, and his complicated relationship with his son — who has followed in his footsteps and is the heir to Jiro’s world-famous restaurant. As a sushi lover, I absolutely loved this movie. If you love Japan and Japanese culture, this is one not to miss!
“With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. WILD powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.
- 180° South
“180° South: Conquerors of the Useless follows Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Along the way he gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs the longest wave of his life – and prepares himself for a rare ascent of Cerro Corcovado. Jeff’s life turns when he meets up in a rainy hut with Chouinard and Tompkins who, once driven purely by a love of climbing and surfing, now value above all the experience of raw nature – and have come to Patagonia to spend their fortunes to protect it.”
- Life of Pi
“Embark on the adventure of a lifetime in this visual masterpiece from Oscar winner Ang Lee*, based on the best-selling novel. After a cataclysmic shipwreck, an Indian boy named Pi finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a ferocious Bengal tiger. Together, they face nature’s majestic grandeur and fury on an epic journey of discovery.”
- Life in a Day
“Life In A Day is a historic film capturing for future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24th of July, 2010.
- 74. Lost in Translation
“Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson star in this flat-out hilarious film about two Americans who develop a surprising friendship while venturing through Tokyo.” – Google Play
Maybe not a movie you’d normally find on a list of best travel movies, but I love Up! “Carl Fredrickson, a retired balloon salesman, is part rascal, part dreamer who is ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, Carl sets off to the lost world of his childhood dreams. Unbeknownst to Carl, Russell, an overeager 8-year old Wildnerness Explorer who has never ventured beyond his backyard, is in the wrong place at the wrong time — Carl’s front porch! The world’s most unlikely duo reach new heights and meets fantastic friends like Dug, a dog with a special collar that allows him to speak, and Kevin, the rare 13-foot tall flightless bird. Stuck together in the wilds of the jungle, Carl realizes that sometimes life’s biggest adventures aren’t the ones you set out for.”
- Up in the Air
“Ryan Bingham (Academy Award® winner, George Clooney) is truly living the high life. Flying all over the world on business, he never stops moving…until he meets Alex, a fellow passenger and learns that life isn’t about the journey, but the connections we make along the way.”
- The Endless Summer
“They call it The Endless Summer, the ultimate surfing adventure, crossing the globe in search of the perfect wave. From the uncharted waters of West Africa, to the shark-filled seas of Australia, to the tropical paradise of Tahiti and beyond, two California surfers, Robert August and Mike Hynson, accomplish in a few months what most people never get to do in a lifetime – they live their dream.”
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
“Two young American women, Vicky and Cristina come to Barcelona for a summer holiday. Vicky is sensible and engaged to be married; Cristina is emotionally and sexually adventurous. In Barcelona, they’re drawn into a series of unconventional romantic entanglements with Juan Antonio, a charismatic painter, who is still involved with his tempestuous ex-wife Maria Elena. Set against the luscious Mediterranean sensuality of Barcelona, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA is Woody Allen’s funny and open-minded celebration of love in all its configurations.”
- Two For the Road
“On their third identical voyage from London to the French Riviera, Joanna Wallace (Audrey Hepburn) and husband Mark (Albert Finney) explore their 12-year marriage in a series of wry and illuminating flashbacks. They reminisce about the glorious beginning of their love affair, the early years of marriage and the events that led to their subsequent infidelities. As they try to understand their relationship, they must accept how they have changed if they are to rekindle their original love… The film is arguably one of the most stylistically influential movies from the ’60s.”
“From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.”
- Away We Go
“John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) star in the heartfelt film that explores the comedic twists and turns in one couple’s journey across contemporary America. Anticipating the birth of their first child, longtime couple Burt and Verona embark on an ambitious itinerary to visit friends and family in order to find their perfect home.” – Universal Studios
- The Bucket List
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman star in the comedic drama The Bucket List, a touching, no- holds-barred adventure that shows it’s never too late to live life to its fullest. “Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.”
“A five-year-old Indian boy is adopted by an Australian couple after getting lost hundreds of kilometers from home. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.”
- Crazy Rich Asians
“This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family.”
- Letters to Juliet
“In Verona, Italy – the beautiful city where Romeo first met Juliet – there is a place where the heartbroken leave notes asking Juliet for her help. It’s there that aspiring writer Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) finds a 50-year-old letter that will change her life forever. As she sets off on a romantic journey of the heart with the letter’s author, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave), now a grandmother, and her handsome grandson (Christopher Egan), all three will discover that sometimes the greatest love story ever told is your own.”
- The Art of Travel
“Conner Layne is about to embark on an adventure – just not the one he had planned. After discovering his fiance is having an affair with his best friend, he leaves her at the altar and heads off on his honeymoon alone. While experiencing the wonders that South America offers, he meets a friendly couple – Darlene and her husband, Christopher, who are planning a dangerous trip across the Darien Gap. Along with a ragtag group of foreigners, they venture on a 100-mile long journey through the undeveloped jungle that separates Panama and Columbia. Ready to leave his past behind, Conner joins the unknown for the quest of a lifetime.”
- Hector and The Search for Happiness
“Hector is a quirky psychiatrist who has become tired of his humdrum life, yet he’s offering advice to patients who are just not getting happier. So he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive secret formula for true happiness.”
- Couples Retreat
Couples Retreat is another romantic comedy movie that’s set in such a beautiful place, I just had to include it!
- A Map for Saturday
“On a trip around the world, every day feels like Saturday. A MAP FOR SATURDAY reveals a world of long-term, solo travel through the stories of trekkers on four continents. The documentary finds backpackers helping neglected Thai tsunami victims. It explains why Nepal’s guesthouses are empty and Brazil’s stoplights are ignored. But at its core, SATURDAY tracks the emotional arc of extreme long-term travelers; teenagers and senior citizens who wondered, “What would it be like to travel the world
- Encounters at the End of the World
“Welcome to Antarctica – like you’ve never experienced it. You’ve seen the extraordinary marine life, the retreating glaciers and, of course, the penguins, but leave it to award-winning, iconoclastic filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) to be the first to explore the South Pole’s most fascinating inhabitants…humans. In this one-of-kind documentary, Herzog turns his camera on a group of remarkable individuals, “professional dreamers” who work, play and struggle to survive in a harsh landscape of mesmerizing, otherworldly beauty – perhaps the last frontier on earth.”
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
“An award-winning, all-star cast, led by Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson, lights up this “buoyant comedy laced with genuine emotion”. When seven cash-strapped seniors decide to “outsource” their retirement to a resort in far-off India, friendship and romance blossom in the most unexpected ways. Smart, life-affirming and genuinely charming, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a “true classic that reminds us that it’s never too late to find love and a fresh beginning at any age”.”
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
“THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of legendary concierge Gustave H. and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft of a priceless painting; a raging battle for an enormous family fortune; and a desperate chase on motorcycles, trains, sleds, and skis – all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing continent.”
- The Tourist
“Frank (Johnny Depp), a mild-mannered American on vacation in Venice, Italy, is befriended by Elise (Angelina Jolie), a breathtakingly beautiful woman with a mysterious secret. Soon, their playful romantic dalliance turns into a complicated web of dangerous deceit as they are chased by Interpol, the Italian police, and Russian hit men in this suspense-filled, international action thriller.”
- The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
“Resplendent in flamboyant ballgowns, looking down over the vast red Australian desert: for three showgirls it was the dream of a lifetime, a four week cabaret engagement in Alice Springs. The problem is simply getting there intact, along with their bus Priscilla.”
95. Almost Famous
Cameron Crowe was a 15-year-old journalism genius who traveled with Led Zeppelin and others and turned his memories into a road-trip masterpiece about his coming of age. “It’s as if Huckleberry Finn came back to life in the 1970s, and instead of taking a raft down the Mississippi, got on the bus with the band,” said Roger Ebert. And you’re invited along — to sing “Tiny Dancer” along with everyone on the bus.
96. Green Book
In a feel-good take on a complex time, an Italian-American bouncer (Viggo Mortensen, The Lord of the Rings) chauffeurs an upper-crust black pianist (Mahershala Ali, True Detective) on a tour of the picturesque but perilous 1960s South. The odd couple squabble and become pals, while these two fine actors perform an exquisite duet.
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Never has taking a drug-induced trip across the Mojave desert to Las Vegas looked so fun. Not everyone thought that, though, as Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel proved to be incredibly divisive upon its release. That didn’t stop its exploration of drugs and Sin City from blossoming into a cult classic with a devoted audience.
- Little Miss Sunshine
A powerful and superb comedy drama about a dysfunctional family driving to California so Abigail Breslin can take party in a beauty pageant, Little Miss Sunshine boasts one of the best acting ensembles in years, thanks to the work of Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, and Alan Arkin. The latter picked up the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his efforts.
A surprise hit when it was released back in 2009, Zombieland superbly mixes gore and laughs. It follows Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and a scene-stealing Woody Harrelson as they try to stay alive while zombies ravage the Southwest of America. It also features Bill Murray in the best cameo in modern movie history.
Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church going on a week-long wine tour in Santa Barbara really shouldn’t have made for a film as incredible as Sideways. However, the forty somethings soon start acting like a pair of squabbling teenagers, and the result is a comedy-drama that seamlessly deviates from sad to funny to profound.