Monitor picks: Five travel movies we think you'll really like
From 'National Lampoon's Vacation' to 'Sideways,' it's time to hit the road.
The World's Fastest Indian (PG-13)
Anthony Hopkins is pitch-perfect as Burt Munro, a real-life Kiwi who lugged his lovingly self-tuned 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle from New Zealand to Utah in order to run it on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The crusty Munro is no easy rider, but his refusal to accept limitations – in one memorable scene he substitutes a tree branch for a trailer's lost wheel – coaxes out the chivalry in everyone he encounters.
National Lampoon's Vacation (R)
Long before the full-flower dysfunction of "Little Miss Sunshine," there were the Griswolds. And while this can't be said of all installments of the franchise, "Vacation" has held up since its 1983 release. Somehow we don't tire of well-meaning Clark dragging the family on an overland trek to Wally World – where no less than John Candy awaits with the news that (sooo-ry!) the vaunted park is closed.
The Blues Brothers (R)
In this unlikely 1980 musical comedy, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are two white brothers with a penchant for R&B. On "a mission from God," they crash and sing their way through Chicago in their Bluesmobile, trying to raise money for the Catholic orphanage (said mission) where they grew up. A ridiculously good ensemble cast includes the likes of Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, John Candy, and Carrie Fisher.
Paul Giamatti plays down-on-his luck novelist Miles in 2004's nuanced buddy odyssey, which winds from San Diego to vineyard country. Miles is still reeling from the break-up of his marriage; his friend Jack is engaged, but can't stay faithful. Their struggle to stay grounded is at the heart of "Sideways" – and what a trip it is.
Everything's Illuminated (PG-13)
At the beginning of this Liev Schreiber-directed flick, Jonathan (Elijah Wood) shuttles off to the Ukraine to find a woman who saved his grandfather during the chaos of World War II. He's successful – in a way. Like most good travel movies, what the young protagonist actually finds is a startling glimpse at his heritage and himself.