Got a Train Movies
List. Just Got to Avoid Train Puns…
A lesser man would start a list of the 10 Best Train Movies with some terrible cliche, like “all aboard.” Luckily for you, I may be a lesser man, but I am a lesser many some semblance of self-respect. In movies, the train has always served as the perfect tool to trap people in a confined space with no escape. Despite the fact that train travel isn’t what it used to be, audiences still get the gist of what Hollywood is throwing down, and with two train movies heading down the track, it looks like Hollywood isn’t going to stop throwing it down. That’s why I’ve decided to round up the best train movies I could find. The only real rule was that the MAJORITY of the movie had to take place on a train (sorry Before Sunrise). So, put on your conductor’s cap and start shouting “choo-choo,” because this list is chugging its way to you.
… Man, that was a lot of train cliches. I just couldn’t help it
10. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
Sometimes when I do these 10 Best lists, what I’m really saying is “a-lot-of-good-and-some-bad-movies-related-to-the-topic.” Back before he because a Macy’s Day float specializing in straight to DVD movies, Steven Seagal was a real action hero in Hollywood. Taking on bad guys wherever they might lurk. This time they just so happened to be lurking on a train. Now, I’m not going to say this is a great train movie, but I feel like it does deserve the mild honor of being on this list.
Unstoppable was a really weird train movie. It felt very much like Michael Bay was trying to make a film loosely (and I mean very loosely) based on true events. The actual event was a runaway train meandered down the track at about the pace as an old woman speed walking through the mall. Of course, that’s not nearly exciting enough so the studios tossed in Chris Pine, Denzel Washington, and some dangerous chemicals just to keep things interesting.
8. The Darjeeling Limited
Wes Anderson is probably one of the few true auteurs, which is just a fancy way of saying when you’re watching a Wes Anderson movie, you know it’s a Wes Anderson movie. That’s the case with his train movie featuring the usual suspects of Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrian Brody. His odd mix of vivid colors and elements combined with nearly apathetic performances create quite the contrast. Somehow it makes for quite the train ride though.
7. Source Code
Technically Source Code mostly takes place on a train. That’s because Jake Gyllenhaal is constantly sent back in time to try to discover the methods terrorist will use to attack it. Think of it as Groundhog Day if it was a train movie instead. The thing is that Jake doesn’t really have a lot of luck when it comes to getting out of each scenario alive. The good news is that he’s got a pretty handy spawn point, so he gets to enjoy his morning commute over and over and over again.
6. Silver Streak
Not only is this a great train movie, but it marks the first pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor together on the big screen. That fact alone is reason enough to include it on this list. The other reason is that train movies are never really that funny, so Silver Streak kinda felt like a perfect fit. It’s a fun twist on Hitchcockian themes as Wilder finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery on board a speeding train from Los Angeles to Chicago.
5. Train to Busan
Now that there’s a comedy on this list, how about a zombie train movie? The recent Train to Busan turned out to be a surprise horror hit from Korea as a train races through a country slowly being taken over by zombies. Soon the undead make their way on the train and the passengers are forced to fight for their lives. If you liked the idea of snakes on a plane, then you’re probably going to love zombies on the train. Best of all, it’s still available on Netflix to stream.
This Chris Evan’s train movie is popping up on quite a few of the lists on Stars & Popcorn. The second movie on this list out of Korea features a dystopian future where the world has frozen over and the only way to stay alive is on a train that is somehow moving too fast to freeze. It’s a great idea until people get involved and create a caste system and pretty soon rebellion become inevitable. Luckily, Captain America is on hand to lead the revolt.
3. The Great Train Robbery
Now any self-respecting film student would say that the 1903 silent classic deserves a spot on this list. Well, I think I’ve made it clear how much self-respect I’ve got, so I’m going to go with the 1979 film starring Sean Connery as a gentleman bandit who is bound and determined to get his hands on some gold. The whole film is filled with twists and turns as the thieves try to outsmart their marks and vice versa. Plus it’s got Donald Sutherland with muttonchops.
2. Murder on the Orient Express
First, it was a book. Then it was a movie. Then it was a remake. Now, I’m not here to comment on the remake but the 1974 film is one of the best train movies of all time (that’s probably why it’s number two on this list). The film involves a group of people caught on a train with a murderer among them. Much to the killer’s misfortune, there is also a world-famous detective. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but let’s just say it’s a heck of a ride.
1. Strangers on a Train
Alfred Hitchcock was a master when it came to making thrillers, so I had to include his fantastic train movie on this list. Strangers on a Train is about two young men who both want someone dead in their lives and trade victims so they won’t get caught. It’s kind of a given that an arrangement like this won’t go smoothly, but then again nothing in a Hitchcock movie ever does. If you haven’t seen it yet, then for crying out loud go out and get yourself some culture. It’ll make you a hit at all the fancy parties.
So, there you have it. The best train movies that Hollywood has given us over the years. Since rail travel is on the decline I’m not sure how much I’ll have to update this list. But I would love to hear if there’s a movie that you think deserves to be on the list. So, make sure you leave a comment below!