If you prepare your trip or just coming back from holidays, here is a list of the best movies, the ones which are going to give you the travel bug! Adventures, comedies or drama, there are more and more films talking about the purpose of our live and how travelling can actually help to redefine it. Enjoy your movies road-trip and click on the titles if you want to buy them!
The Top 20 of Travel Movies, the must see
The fantastic road trip which helped Ernesto Guevara become the Che. With his friend Alberto Granado, the two Argentines, freshly graduated from Medecine University are going to discover South America, its wonderful landscapes but also its inequalities. A great movie with Gael Garcia Bernal.
A very funny road-trip by three brothers looking to find their mother who disappeared a few years ago to embrace the buddhist lifestyle. A real life-changer for these three hilarious guys looking to find their way in the subcontinent. Less realistic and less dramatic as other movies on India, such as Slumdog Milionair, it is still showing pretty well the reality in India: Atmosphere, noise, people and wealth inequalities. With Adrian Brody and Owen Wilson.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Another excellent movie featuring Walter Mitty, a middle-aged man with a quiet life working at the photo department of a prestigious magazine who suddenly need to travel to the other side of the world to enquire about a missing picture from their nomad photographer. Even if sometimes unrealistic, we spend an excellent moment following Ben Stiller’s steps from Iceland to Himalaya. A special trip going to change his life and ours!
One of the most famous movie about the feeling of leaving everything to discover ourselves during a trip. Christopher McCandless is a young brilliant student with a promising professional future but decides to escape from this future to connect to nature and leave in autonomy. A great opportunity to see the magnificent wilderness of American continent. Sometimes a bit harsh, the movie details the challenges and difficulties when man and nature have to live in perfect conjunction.
Even if this movie is now a bit old, the main actors Leonardo di Caprio, Virginie Ledoyen and Guillaume Canet are very realistic as young Western backpackers looking to become adults throughout multiple experiences in South-East Asia. A special journey realized by Danny Boyle telling about the specific backpacker atmosphere in this part of the world, with up and downs. From Khao San Road to Ko Phi Phi, you will easily recognize the famous places of Thailand!
Sophia Coppola is bringing us to the Japanese capital where a famous American actor (Bill Murray) which came to make easy money for a TV ads feels himself completely lost due to language difficulties, cultural differences and existential interrogations. Nice movie to help understand better the occasional difficulties by some expats when it is about adapting to a new environment and loneliness.
A trip in the middle of the outback and an example of the harshness of Australian land. Based on a true story when magazines and travel books likeNational Geographic ou Lonely Planet were just beginning. A interesting story between Mia Wasikowska and people and animals of the Outback, and a good opportunity to feel amazed by wonderful landscapes. For Oz-lovers!
Adapted from a famous novel telling about prisoners escaping the atrocious life conditions of Sovietic goulag, published in 1956 by one of the prisoners. Indeed this movie allows us to follow the extraordinary adventures of these mens an women reaching India after walked through Mongolian valleyx and Gobi desert. A truly amazing experience.
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter!) is lost in the green inferno of Amazonian rainforest! An increadible story based on true events to realize how big and harsh is this part of the world, very often forgotten by travellers (and not complicated to see why!) When the bacpacker dream is becoming a nightmare, we are losing as well our confidence watching this great movie. Such an hostile environment…
An amazing road-trip throughout America by a torn family who is trying to become more united than ever to allow the youngest one to realize her dream. A inspiring story, funny and touching, for this movie which was very successful when it was released.
Brad Pitt (now banned from China as he acted in this movie enhancing the Tibetan way of life and culture) pour avoir joue dans ce film valorisant la culture ancestrale tibétaine!) is impressive as a young Western man discovering and learning the fundamentals of this particular culture. Great film by Jean-Jacques Annaud and amazing landscapes which will make you wanting to to travel to Himalaya. A touching, cultural surprise!
Julia Roberts does a burnout and now wants to enjoy life at its best. An hedonistic and optimistic movie about taking some time for herself, a big trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovers during her travels. It is adapted from a 2006 memoir by American author Elizabeth Gilbert.
Not a famous movie but an original one, maybe the only one on Rapa Nui, Easter island and its particuliar custom. A wonderful escape to the ancient times of this mysterious island when different tribes were competing for the award of “man-bird”. Unmissable if you already know this magical island!
A classic for a trip to Africa. If many films, with a more or less positive message have been released on Africa, you will definitely like this one, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep for a surprising adventure in traditionnal Africa.
Similar to “Into the wild”, this movie tells about the existential trip of Reese Witherspoon’s character after facing past difficulties in a personal life. A good opportunity to admire a wild American west coast. Even if the movie is a bit slow, with not a lot of humour, the story of that girl travelling alone to find personal answers about herself during a long walk throughout beautiful landscapes is touching.
Midnight in Paris is a surprising trip in romantic Paris as it is dreamt by Americans and other foreigners visiting the capital. With endearing actors, particularly Owen Wilson, this film by Woody Allen allows us to see Paris under an original point of view, a magical tour in this city with multiple aspects.
Worth watching if you are attracted by a life like Ro. If you want to isolate yourself and choose an almost “deserted island” for your next trip, then this movie is worth watching! A great performance by Tom Hanks in the wonderful remote and pristine landscapes of Fiji islands. Although the beginning and the end of the film are very slow and not very interesting, the middle part is very touching and we feel immersed.
For this movie taking place in Siberia and particularly in Baikal lake, in this very cold and hostile environment, the director adapted a French novel by the writer Sylvain Tesson and telling about a man running away from his frenetic and urban lifestyle to go back to more traditionnal roots, quite and peaceful. A disorienting and beautiful story of solidarity between men having to adapt in a difficult environment.
A real immersion in the merciless universe of Maras and other very violent drugs cartels in Central America. Far away from traditional touristic routes, this movie is a wonderful opportunity to realize the huge difficulties and the reasons leading young immigrants who want to reach USA. A nasty reality that the tourist is not exposed to but which exists for a part of the population over there. Beautiful movie, to be watched in Spanish language of course.
Finally a trip to mystical Japan to finish our top with Spirited Away, one of the greatest success of Ghibli Studios. We are really transported by this magical story which allows us to understand better about Japanese myths and legends which contributed to build the island identity. Miyasaki offers us a beautiful story following Chihiro trying to find her way in this mysterious environment. And we love the soundtrack!
And other movies…
Among other movies on travel, or to look at to find ideas about possible exotic destinations, we could have quoted:
- Lot of documentaries, like Micromosmos or the Winged Migration.
- All others Ghibli Studio movies, such as the ones from Hayao Miyazaki, like Princess Monoke or Ponyo
- On Africa, Gorillas in the Mist (Blood Diamond, Invictus or The Last King of Scotland are very negative (but realistic) movies, which could make you run away !)
- About the Mountain, The Mountain between us or Everest, as you can definitely feel the change and the negative temperatures, comfortably sit on your sofa!
- On Asia, Bollywood Indian movies or Western movies on India, such as City of Joy, Slumdog Millionair or Lion (both with Dev Patel), the Chinese movies insisting on their traditional culture and history (Tigers and Dragons, The Great Wall, Heros…) ou japanase, recent or older (for examples, Rashomon or the seven samourais for the classical ones, Departures or Like father like son for the modern ones ). Memoirs of a geisha is excellent as well.
- Lastly, the famous and good adventures movies, such as Indiana Jones, or The Lost City of Z.