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10 Road Movies That Will Take You On an Adventure

 The lockdown imposed on us due to the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t allow any of us to go on road-trips or journeys of any kind at the moment, but don't get discouraged. These 10 road movies will satisfy your appetite for adventures. They are unforgettable, not just because of what is depicted on the screen, but because of their free spirit. So get ready to hit the road without even getting off the couch. 

1. Easy Rider (1969)

Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper), two Harley-riding hippies, decide to go on a cross country motorcycle trip, in search of spiritual truth. They start in Los Angeles, ride through the southern states and plan on finishing their journey in New Orleans, just in time for Mardi Gras. Easy Rider is an iconic film, not only for the journey the two main characters embark on but also in the way it encapsulates America at the end of the 1960’s - the split between the establishment and the younger generation starving for a change.

2. Roman Holiday (1953)

If you fancy a nostalgic view of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, this one is for you. Audrey Hepburn plays Ann, the wealthy and bored crown princess of an unnamed European country, who decides to escape her guardians and take a night off her rigorous schedule while in Rome. She ends up in the apartment of the American reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), who is not aware of Ann’s regal identity. When he realizes who she really is the next day, he bets his editor at 'American News Service' he can get an exclusive interview with the princess. Romance soon gets in the way of both Ann’s and Joe’s plans, while they stroll around the city on a moped…

3. Thelma and Louise (1991)

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Thelma and Louise became a sensation when it was released in 1991.  Thelma (Geena Davis) and Lousie (Susan Sarandon) are two friends who leave everything behind and go on a journey of self-discovery throughout the US, which turns into more of a manhunt than a road trip. The movie, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, stood out for its underlying themes of female empowerment and its iconic ending scene at the Grand Canyon. 

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4. Into The Wild (2007)

Into the Wild, which was written and directed by the award-winning actor Sean Penn, tells the true story of Christopher Mccandless (played by Emile Hirsch). Christopher, a recent graduate, makes a radical decision to denounce his comfortable life and promising future, go off the grid, and hitchhike to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Besides the captivating story, the movie is full of breathtaking nature shots.

5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

This comic adventure flick is based on a short story of the same name, first published in The New Yorker in 1939 and then in book form in 1942.  Walter Mitty leads a monotonous life as an employee at Life magazine, who spends every day developing photos for the publication. To escape the humdrum of his life, Walter inhabits a world of exciting daydreams in his mind, in which he is an undeniable hero. He finally gets a chance at a real-life adventure, when he sets out to Greenland in search of a mysteriously lost photograph that could be perfect for the final print issue.

6.  Eat Pray Love (2010)

Liz Gilbert, played by the amazing Julia Roberts, is a successful author who realizes that in order to live out her true dreams she needs to turn her life upside down. She divorces her husband and sets out on an epic journey of self-discovery, which stretches over 3 countries and 2 continents. Italy, where Liz indulges in eating the best food in the world, India, where she learns how to open up to spirituality and finally Indonesia; where she finds love…

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7. Out of Africa (1985)

There is a good reason why Out of Africa won no less than 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, as well as 3 Golden Globes. Danish aristocrat Karen Blixen, portrayed by Meryl Streep, travels to Kenya in 1914 in the quest to become a dairy farmer and to join her husband Bror Blixen; who instead spends their money on a coffee plantation. After realizing Bror is unfaithful, Karen develops feelings for a British hunter named Denys (Robert Redford) and needs to face a series of obstacles to understand how to navigate her new life; all against the beautiful backdrop of the Kenyan landscape. 

8. Lost in Translation (2003)

The movie depicts an encounter between two very different, but equally lost characters.  Bob Harris (Bill Murray), is a lonely aging movie star in Tokyo filming a commercial for Japanese whiskey, while Charlotte (Scarlett Johanson) is accompanying her celebrity-photographer husband on a work trip. The two form a heartfelt and meaningful bond in the unfamiliar and unique Japanese capital.

9. The Straight Story (1999)

You must have heard about car and motorcycle trips, or even pilgrimages done on foot. But have you ever heard of someone going all the way from Wisconsin to Iowa on a lawnmower? This is exactly what Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) does in this profoundly human movie by David Lynch. Straight is not licensed to drive a car due to his old age and poor eyesight. However, when he hears that his distant brother Lyle suffered a stroke, he is determined to go see him and make things right between them while he still can.

10. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

The story is based on that of the revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevarra. The plot takes place in 1952 and focuses on Guevarra’s early life before he became a political leader while he was still a 23-year-old medical student. During a break before the last semester in university, young Ernesto travels with his friend Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) from Brazil to Peru by motorcycle. On their way, the two men witness the disparities and inequalities of South America. This journey is an awakening for Guevarra and prompts him to develop his values and political views.

 

Cover Image Source: Karlis Dambrans / Flickr

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