There’s one thing for certain: the Fast & Furious movies are dope. And Fast X, the eleventh movie in the Fast franchise comes out May 19th, which, according to the car-god Vin Diesel himself, will be the final installment in the saga. But where will it land in our extremely objective ranking of the franchise thus far? Well let’s see where the other movies in the series definitively stand for now.
#10 — Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
This is barely a Fast & Furious movie, so perhaps it doesn’t count, but I just wanted to quickly say: screw this movie. It sucks. In a franchise where every movie takes a leap toward getting wackier and wackier, this movie takes a step back, assuming that what everyone likes about the franchise is, I guess, bad one-liners. Wrong. It’s a franchise about people whose superpower is cars and are powered by family. And that’s why it’s the best live action anime franchise of all time. If they really wanted to make this a hit, they should have just leaned into the rom-com aspect and let Hobbs and Shaw kiss at the end, but they were too scared — instead, opting to let each actor trade back and forth winning fights so that neither one would look bad. Cowardice! Also Ryan Reynolds shows up to basically just be Deadpool in this for no reason, which feels insanely out of place.
#9 — The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Despite not being an official spin-off film, this movie features the fewest number of mainstay Fast & Furious characters, with just one: Han. And yes, I know that Dominic Toretto shows up for one silent moment at the end. For some reason, Tokyo Drift, however, stars a 45-year-old high school student named Sean who has to learn how to perform a Tokyo Drift. But worst of all, it does the unforgivable: it KILLS OFF Han! This is a decision that proved so devastating, the series was forced to make the next four movies prequels to this so that Han could stick around a bit longer.
#8 — Fast & Furious (2009)
Outside of Letty’s death, which pays off incredibly well down the line, and Gal Gadot’s introduction, which also happens, you could probably just cut this movie from the series and you wouldn’t miss much. It’s definitely a hint at what’s to come for the franchise, dipping its toes into the cold waters of “what if these guys aren’t street racers? What if they are actually like… I dunno, spies or something?” But in a franchise that has 11 movies, this is probably the least essential of that bunch.
#7 — 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
It’s immediately strange that the sequel to The Fast and the Furious does not include Dominic Toretto, but I guess that’s on him for straight up refusing to be in the movie, instead opting to star in The Chronicles of Riddick, which is a movie that we can all agree exists. It’s also weird that this film marks the introduction of Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej Parker (Ludacris), who show back up in the fifth movie and continue to be a main part of the franchise since, even if they are really not that similar to the characters introduced here (Ludacris goes from street racer to world-renowned hacker in the span of 8 years?).. But at the end of the day, this movie gave the world perhaps the most iconic sequel name of all time, and something to be parodied until the oceans rise and engulf the Earth (2026).
#6 — F9 (2021)
I’ll be honest, I think you can shuffle around a lot of these middle ones. They go to space in this movie. We see flashbacks of young Dom. We are introduced to Dom’s brother John Cena. Roman and Tej discuss the very real likelihood that they are immortal, (which I think is something they should lean into). I think this movie is very stupid and fun, but it’s also where the entries start to get a bit repetitive, without adding too much new stuff. At one point, each Fast & Furious movie was way more insane than the last, but it started to slow down. And if this franchise is going to compete with the likes of the Mission Impossible franchise, Vin Diesel is going to have to outdo learning to fly a helicopter and performing an actual on-camera Halo Jump. Bringing back Han from the dead for no reason is a funny start, though.
#5 — The Fast and the Furious (2001)
2001 is the year the world changed forever, with the advent of
9/11 The Fast and the Furious. This franchise has driven down a long and winding road, but sometimes it’s important to remember your roots, and visit your hometown: remaking Point Break but with cars. It’s a very simple story, but it’s a good fun movie about being an undercover cop and wanting to have sex with your target’s sister. Who hasn’t lived that life? The Fast & Furious series has gotten insane over the last two decades, but it wouldn’t have been so fun if it didn’t start with such humble beginnings. These are purely original characters (stolen from Point Break) and not some comic book adaptation or 1960 reboot and it’s a joy that we have been able to watch them grow up on the silver screen all these years.
#4 — The Fate of the Furious (2017)
F8 is a weird one. There’s some really cool stuff in it, like cars racing over a sheet of ice in Russia to escape a nuclear submarine, causing The Rock, while driving a car, to hang out of it and kick a missile away from him, which then explodes. Charlize Theron also makes it rain cars at one point, taking control of them remotely, which is the perfect antithesis to the human-powered cars of our heroes. But this is also the beginning of the feud between Vin and The Rock behind the scenes, causing certain parts of the movie to play weirdly due to the fact that they refused to work together (despite their characters being in many of the same scenes). Not to mention, there’s also the awkwardness surrounding the character who is obviously supposed to be New Brian. F8 is still a dumb blast, but it’s definitely the beginning of the “how many more of these do we need?” feeling that I think exists today, ahead of the franchise’s supposed final film.
#3 — Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
The sixth movie in the Fast & Furious franchise has all the stuff that you need for a good Fast & Furious movie. All the important characters are here, and by this point in the franchise, the characters are essentially superheroes. They’re jumping across cars, getting chased by airplanes, and battling people whose last name is Shaw. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this one, but I’m pretty sure someone drives a tank in it. Han is still around because we’re still in prequel-Tokyo-Drift territory, but this one ends with Han’s car exploding in Tokyo, the first of TWO retcons of this scene from 7 years ago.
#2 — Fast Five (2011)
Often considered the first good movie in the franchise (impressive, five entries in!), Fast Five is the first Fast & Furious movie to do what many thought was impossible: introduce a second extremely muscular bald guy. That’s right, this one is Vin Diesel vs. The Rock and it’s a movie about street racers who use cars to perform a huge heist, not by breaking into a vault but by attaching a vault to a car and stealing it. The vault scene in this movie rules. The whole movie rules. Fast & Furious 6 is not that much better than F9, but Fast Five is considerably better than Fast & Furious 6. Not to mention, because it’s a goddamn heist movie, it’s got a great “get the gang back together scene,” except it’s better than usual because this franchise has been around so long, we actually get to bring back great one-off characters from the older entries. Vroom vroom.
#1 — Furious 7
Furious 7 is a genuine masterpiece of action movie camp. Every second of this movie is insane and fun. In a world where every big action movie is so absolutely embarrassed to exist, it has to constantly wink at the audience to show that it knows it’s not cool, Furious 7 just goes for it. The characters in this movie fly cars. Twice. Dominic Toretto steals a car out of the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, flying it from one tower to the next, crashing through the Terracotta army. The Rock says “daddy’s gotta go to work,” flexes out of a full-arm cast, steals an ambulance, drives it off a bridge, lands on a drone, and then shoots the drone in its face. There’s a sword fight with crowbars and windshield wipers. There’s a THIRD MUSCULAR BALD GUY in Jason Statham. Letty comes back from the dead. Dom dies and comes back to life due to the healing power of family. And on top of it all, the film ends with a strange and loving goodbye to actor Paul Walker — who died in real life, but in the movie, does not die! He just retires and Dom names his baby after him! This movie is out of its mind. 10/10. This is the greatest superhero movie of all time. It is hard to imagine the Fast & Furious franchise will ever have all the pieces together to reach these heights again.