14 Travel Films You Will Love
Because we can’t travel it doesn’t mean we can’t get inspired and immerse ourselves in a good movie. Today we would like to share with you fourteen travel movies you can enjoy while we are all at home, well the majority at home. Movies have the power to captivate our imagination in unique ways, with well-told stories that can evoke the magic of travel, of exploring of being an explorer. Here is the list, with no particular order.
- Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
We all know that during Thanksgiving and any holiday really there is a travel rush leading up to the holiday. This is an old-time comedy with Steve Martin and Neal Page. Steve face a series of travel nightmares on his trip from New York City to Chicago. His flight got canceled due to inclement weather and he ends up sharing his trip home with salesman Del Griffith, played by the late John Candy. This is a great movie to watch regardless of the season.
2. The English Patient (1996)
It’s a love story with cinematic shots. Very few movies in the modern era are as lavishly romantic as this adaption of Michael Ondaatje’s Booker Prize–winning novel. The story is about pre-war Egypt and post-war Italy. If you love a good love story, this movie is for you.
3. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Who doesn’t loves a movie that is based on a real-life experience? We all do. This is the story of Frank Abagnale played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a teenage con artist who manages to avoid the feds while pulling off elaborate schemes. Abagnale famously impersonated a Pam Am pilot and the film plays a lot of vintage air travel footage.
4. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Once we mentioned a movie that is about con-artists, we remembered this one as well. It might be creepy but it happens to be the most beautiful depictions of Italy ever captured on film. The movie includes Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Matt Damon as the titular sociopath showing their luxurious-slash-murderous holiday.
5. In Bruges (2008)
“Maybe that’s what hell is: The entire rest of eternity spent in effin’ Bruges.” Reluctant Ray (Colin Farrell), an Irish hit man lying low in Belgium’s most picturesque city. It’s a comic mob moview that you will enjoy with its touristy beauty, and some great shots to inspire you to explore (when the virus is over of course).
6. Up In The Air (2009)
If you wonder who does most of the firing in corporate America, characters Ryan does, played by George Clooney. Companies hire him to fly all across the country to inform strangers they’ve lost their job) who loves life on the road. An obsessive frequent flyer, he’s also about to reach his goal of getting a million miles. In the movie there is a young star, Natalie (Anna Kendrick) who wants to do the firing process via a conference call. It doesn’t turn out well. This is a great movie to enjoy travel life, get inspired and motivated to work harder not to get fired.
7. Midnight In Paris (2011)
Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson, is a wide-eyed screenwriter and aspiring novelist on a trip to Paris with his fiancée (Rachel McAdams). Like many tourists in the City of Light, he retraces the steps of Parisian creatives past, drinking coffee (and absinthe) in the same places they once did—until, late one night, a car of these very icons appears, sweeping him back in time to an evening of revelry among the literati of the 1920s. Sure it’s time travel, but past or present, Paris always enchants.
8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
Facing widowhood, and the realities of aging, a handful of Brits decide to flip retirement on its head. Rather than succumb to creaking stairlifts and hospital-grade linens that come with retirement at home, they follow advertisements for the Marigold Hotel in Jaipur, India, which promises grandiose accommodations at a bargain—and an exhilarating second act. Cue tangled love stories, easy laughs, and endearing fish-out-of-water moments delivered by a crowd-pleasing ensemble cast (including Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, and Bill Nighy), who prove how deeply travel can stir us, at any age.
9. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Of all the fictional hotels in the cinematic world, none come close to rivaling the top-notch service of the Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s hyper-stylized confection. Complete with a world-class dining room and pink façade, the hotel owes much of its success to Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), the most dedicated concierge of all time. Whether he’s fighting off murderous armies or providing, er, “company” to the older female guests, it becomes immediately clear that Gustave would truly do anything for his beloved GBH.
10. Spectre (2015)
Art imitates life, but this time it was the other way around. The 26th James Bond movie’s intro scene follows Daniel Craig through a Mexico City Dia de los Muertos parade that didn’t actually exist until enough tourists showed up that the city decided to create one in the movie’s image. As in most Bond movies, the plot crosses a multitude of borders, from Austria to Italy to Morocco, as the MI6 agent fights the global criminal organization Spectre and a perfectly villainous Christoph Waltz.
11. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of Rachel Chu, a Chinese-American professor who travels to Singapore to meet her fiancé’s wealthy family. The world of Singapore’s old-money elite is filled with yacht parties and royal weddings, but between all that extravagance, Rachel—and viewers—get glimpses of the city’s greatest hits: Gardens by the Bay, the infinity pool of Marina Bay Sands, Chinatown’s pastel-colored shophouses, and allll the hawker center street food. If you saw the movie and immediately started researching your next trip to Singapore, you’re not alone: Orbitz reportedly saw a 20% spike in inquiries to the city in the week following the movie’s premiere. Now if only we could figure out how to spend the night in the Young family mansion… –C.M.
12. Bright Star (2009)
The look on Matt Damon’s face says it all. His character, Tom Ripley – low-born American charlatan, villainous but compelling impersonator – has come, in the late 1950s, to ‘Mongibello’, an amalgam of southern Italy’s Positano, Procida and Ischia, to spy on Jude Law’s Dickie Greenleaf, a WASP trust-fund brat. It’s not just Law’s startling eyes (blue as borage) and insolently expensive caramel curls that Ripley desires. Everything Tom sees, he covets. The candy-coloured houses clambering up the sparkling coast. The scooters and tans, the rattan bags and sandals. Espresso taken under citrus trees whilst playing at writing novels in the cobbled Amalfi afternoons; to the sound of Chet Baker and swifts and clapping masts in the bay below. But here’s Rome, too, at Christmas, with fairy lights swagged across chilly fountains. And Venice on a vivid blue day out of season, boats transporting socialites in cashmere. The freedom, the glamour and history of Italy! Away from the ‘subways and taxis and starched collars’ of America. All captured in Damon’s expression.
It could be morbid: a film about the hostels in the holy city on the Ganges where elderly Hindus take themselves off to die, having decided enough is enough. They buy their time-slot and simply prepare, seemingly unquestioningly, for the end – families visit, pyres are built along the riverbank, the days tick by. Such hostels exist. And yet… young director Shubhashish Bhutiani, with little to no budget, moves with instinctive swagger and tenderness amongst the crowds with his cinematographer – especially in the scenes along the river, which are pure vérité, catching faces in rhapsodic moments of grief and humour and wonder. There’s a scene during a mass prayer ceremony where many celebrants have been drinking lassi laced with mango and marijuana, singing on the steps of old temples, boats hugger-mugger, flares lit, stars hanging like lamps over green-blossomed champak trees, voices rising in urgent unison. Such wit in every shot, but love, too, and also that sense of a film learning new and quite mystical things about an old, old religion – and an even older country.