The List: Ranking road trip movies

Erica Thompson
“Little Miss Sunshine”

In this week’s cover story, Kevin J. Elliott compiles a list of Ohio driving destinations for those who want a quick getaway. Road trips are a great setup for cinema, but not all movies deliver. Here’s a selection, ranked worst to best.

“Wild Hogs”

Why can’t Martin Lawrence make another decent film? And thank goodness John Travolta’s abhorrent turn in another Disney film, “Old Dogs,” put the kibosh on “Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride.”  


Once upon a time, Britney Spears was known for more than bikini photos on Instagram. She was the biggest pop star in the world. Her reputation was so great that she could still gross over $60 million at the box office with a god-awful movie that somehow recruited Dan Aykroyd to co-star. 


Not even Robin Williams could save this movie.

“Are We There Yet?”

"Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in this SUV.” 

“Adventures in Babysitting”

One of my favorite movies growing up, although the stereotypes (the white heroine encounters a black carjacker, black and Latino gangs and a cantankerous black bluesman during her travels in the big city) make me cringe now that I’m older. 

“Road Trip”

At a middle spot in this list only because “road trip” is in its name. I never saw the movie, but I long for simpler times when I was in high school and Tom Green had a career. 

“National Lampoon’s Vacation”

Enough Americans have deemed this film series a classic, so here we are. 

“Thelma & Louise”

When Geena Davis came to Columbus last year, I was beside myself. She was a staple of my childhood. I watched her in “The Fly,” “Beetlejuice,” “A League of Their Own” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight.” My mom let us watch R-rated movies, but somehow, I didn’t discover “Thelma & Louise” until I was an adult. A classic film and Brad Pitt’s big break in the industry. 

“Almost Famous”

When print journalism was healthy and both Hunter S. Thompson and rock ’n’ roll were alive and well. 

“Poetic Justice”

A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, legendary rapper and Oscar-winning actress get into a mail truck. Oh, and some dude named Chicago.

“Little Miss Sunshine”

“I just want everyone here to know I’m the preeminent Proust scholar in the United States.” My favorite line delivered by the hilarious Steve Carrell, who joins an equally excellent cast in one of the best films of the last 15 years.