I Don't Have Friends, I Got Internet Lists: Ranking The 'Fast And Furious' Movies

It's safe to say that nobody saw the success of the Fast and Furious series coming. What began as a straightforward tale of cops, robbers, and illegal street racing has ballooned (exploded?) into a globetrotting saga of espionage, high-stakes action, impossible heists, dramatic intrigue that would make your daytime soap opera of choice feel a little hot and bothered, and, most importantly, the importance of family. There's nothing else quite like these movies and the world is a louder, weirder, nuttier place for their existence.

With the eighth film in the series, The Fate of the Furious, arriving this week, we decided it was time to do what the internet does to every long-running movie series at some point. It was time to rank the Fast and Furious movies.

If you've read some of our other rankings in the past, you know the drill. The entire /Film crew ranked all seven movies in the series (not including the newest movie) from worst to best. Each top choice received seven points, each second choice received six points, and so on, with each bottom choice receiving only one point. The totals were then tallied, resulting in the order seen here.

While each individual ballot was all over the place, there was one constant: every single person who participated in the voting chose the same film for the number one slot. We'll get there in a bit. First, let's see what came in last...

fast and furious movies ranked 2 fast 2 furious

7. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Score: 12

Despite its place on the bottom of our series ranking, I have not come here to bury 2 Fast 2 Furious. I haven't come to praise it, either. I have simply come here to say that the much-maligned second film in the series, while a bad movie, has too much doofy charm to be written off entirely.

Years before the series would truly weaponize glorious idiocy with the brilliant Fast Five, 2 Fast 2 Furious finds the franchise struggling to find its voice and its feet in the wake of Vin Diesel hightailing it out of there. The results are sloppy and stupid and worthy of your fair share of eye rolls, but there are moments to treasure. It's hard to hate any movie that introduces Tyrese Gibson's Roman Pearce and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges' Tej Parker to the world, especially since they'll go on to become two of the series' secret weapons. While the plot is inane, there are just enough practical stunts and just enough silliness and just enough baffling decisions (from both the characters and the filmmakers) to make this movie worthwhile.

Barely. Kind of. Sort of. This is a bad movie. It probably deserves its spot on the bottom of the list. But at least it has a pulse. And it's hard to hate any movie where the accidental sexual tension between the two male leads is so thick that you can cut it with a dull butter knife. (Jacob Hall)

fast and furious movies ranked fast and furious

6. Fast and Furious (2009)

Score: 13

While some credit should be given to Fast and Furious for getting Paul Walker and Vin Diesel back into the franchise and setting the stage for various threads in the future films, this movie is quite the slog. It's fun enough seeing Brian O'Connor and Dominic Toretto forced to go head-to-head again, each with their own motivation for trying to win a street race that gets them on a team of high-speed drug smugglers. It sounds like it has the potential to be a great Fast and Furious movie, but it fails where the previous movies succeeded.

The races and chases in Fast and Furious lack all of the excitement that made the first three movies entertaining. Even 2 Fast 2 Furious had better driving sequences, despite the fact that the movie as a whole is still worse. One of the cornerstone action sequences has Brian and Dom driving for Arturo Braga's drug smuggling team, but it all takes place in underground tunnels, where it's dark and the driving sequences are reduced to lame visual effects instead of impressive stunt driving. There is a fair share of CG in the more recent films, but it's nowhere near as bad as this boring, lame sequence, which really brings the whole movie down. (Ethan Anderton)

fast and furious movies ranked the fast and the furious

5. The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Score: 31

It's obvious to anyone with eyes that The Fast and the Furious is just Point Break with cars instead of surf boards, and while it isn't as brilliantly crafted as Kathryn Bigelow's pop masterpiece, Rob Cohen's 2001 actioner has its own charms. Before Roman, Han, Gisele, Hobbs, and the rest of the team got involved, this movie lays the groundwork for the series' eventual concentration on family, with Dom, Letty, Mia, Vince, and Jesse as the core unit and the fresh-faced Brian O'Conner as the undercover interloper who learns that loyalty is more important than his job.

Plenty of the film is cringe-worthy to look back on now – cheesy CGI that traces the path of NOS through the car's valves, and that awful early '00s soundtrack are peak examples – but a surprising amount of it still works. The budding bromance between Paul Walker and Vin Diesel is terrific, many of the stunts look great, and Jesse's death is unexpectedly poignant (RIP, Jesse). It's amazing that this film series has grown into a billion-dollar mega-franchise that started with this fun little mid-budget action flick, but looking back, you can see the seeds for its success were planted at the very beginning. (Ben Pearson)

fast and furious movies ranked fast and furious 6

4. Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

Score: 35

When the scholars of the distant future put pen to paper and write the definitive chronicle of the Fast and Furious series, the sixth film will go down for one main thing: it existed between Fast Five and Furious 7. Perhaps that's fitting for the most middle-of-the-road Fast and Furious movie, the film that serves as the bridge between part five's perfect evolution of the series formula and part seven's blockbuster lunacy. One only became the other because this movie happened to exist between them.

As a link between movies, Fast and Furious 6 is fascinating, an example of cinematic escalation that only becomes more interesting as the series gets wilder. As a standalone action movie starring characters we've grown to love, it's very good. The action is nutty, Dwayne Johnson's increased role is welcome, and the evil doppelgängers that Dom and his crew must face reflect the series' growing self-awareness. Most of all, this movie doubles down on what made Fast Five work so well: this crew is at its best when everyone is allowed to chill out and have a little bit of fun. After all, you come for the car chases, but you stay for the family. (Jacob Hall)

3. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Score: 37

When I was in middle school, a group of pimply white boys were so obsessed with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift that they performed the theme song by the Teriyaki Boyz at the school talent show. It was after the second verse of "Fast and furious!! Drift, drift, drift!" that I resolved to never watch Tokyo Drift. That was until a few months ago, when I marathoned the entire Fast and Furious franchise and discovered what a gem of a movie Tokyo Drift was.

Following the thrilling swagger of The Fast and the Furious, the franchise was almost dead in its tracks after the slog that was 2 Fast 2 Furious. But then came Tokyo Drift, which in concept sounded like a complete disaster. A troubled American teen gets sent to live with his ex-pat father in Japan, where he ultimately learns the secret skill of Japanese car drifting? Sounds like a recipe for every terrible white savior movie. And it almost was — the teen at the center of the film (Lucas Black) is a forgettable hero with a bad Southern accent who bumbles his way through most of the movie. But thankfully, he is the least important part of the film. It was the energetic direction of Justin Lin and the brilliant introduction of Sung Kang's Han that saved Tokyo Drift, as well as the electrifying depiction of the neon-drenched underbelly of Tokyo's racing scene — which acted as a wonderful homage to the rich counterculture of Japan. It's also fun to watch the film in retrospect and see familiar faces like Westworld's Leonardo Nam, and — if there are any fellow j-drama lovers out there like me — Sailor Moon Live Action actress Keiko Kitagawa.

It helped too that the plot of the movie is basically a Japanese drama — outsider boy accidentally angers a yakuza gang member, who challenges him to a race for the heart of a girl. It's an obscenely simple and soapy plot, but if you're going to make a pulpy movie like Tokyo Drift, you might as well go all the way. It's easy to see from Tokyo Drift why Lin — who injected life and respect into a stale and appropriative plot — was brought on to direct the next three Fast and Furious movies. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

fast and furious movies ranked furious 7

2. Furious 7 (2015)

Score: 40

This is a classic revenge story – a new villain (Jason Statham) vows to make Vin Diesel and his "family" pay for the wrongs they committed against his brother (Luke Evans). Forget the fact that when we first meet Statham's character Deckard Shaw, he's just wreaked destructive havoc on the hospital that is keeping his comatose brother alive, because that's too logical for a sequel that continues to throw physics out the window in favor of a damn good time at the movies.

In addition to the introduction of Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody, we're talking about a movie that has skydiving cars leading into a high speed chase/heist for a MacGuffin. It's a movie where Paul Walker and Vin Diesel jump a car from one skyscraper to another. Plus, let's not forget the fact that this movie has Dwayne Johnson merely flexing his arm in order to break out of a cast so he can go shoot down a drone with an M134 Minigun. Those are just a few of the ridiculous and satisfying moments in this movie.

But what really makes Furious 7 work is the heart that's at the core of the whole thing. Due to the loss of Paul Walker, we have to say goodbye to Brian, who gets a lovely, fond farewell. The bonds of family have never felt stronger in the franchise then they have in Furious 7, and it's rare that you get to have such tender, genuine emotion in a movie that has so much ludicrous action. (Ethan Anderton)

fast and furious movies ranked fast five

1. Fast Five (2011)

Score: 56

I have never been a Fast and Furious die-hard. The original film and Tokyo Drift were enjoyable movies, but it wasn't until Fast Five that I was really sucked into this fun series. I think there are a number of key reasons why this one is the best of the series:

  • The introduction of Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs brought a fun cat-and-mouse interplay to the movies. This was particularly nice coming of the series' worst and most serious installment. The interaction between the ensemble cast in this film is unmatched and The Rock is the perfect counterbalance to Vin Diesel.
  • Setting the film in Brazil gave a whole new flavor and energy to the proceedings. Instead of a film full of more street races, the story offers new kind of action, like an inventive gun-fueled foot chase through the grungy favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Fast Five transforms the franchise from a campy street racing series to a ridiculously fun ensemble heist series.
  • Forget the physics: Justin Lin's energetic high-octane, sometimes preposterous action scenes elevate everything into something special and magical. The more absurd the action and plot gets, the better the series becomes.
  • Borrowing a bit from the likes of Marvel, Fast Five begins to feel more like a cinematic universe, complete with an end credits scene that helps establish what's coming next.

Fast Five is everything I want from a popcorn movie. This is the type of movie that you can put on television in the background and just keep it playing on repeat. It's dumb but clever in its execution. It's fun and spectacular without feeling too formulaic. It's charismatic and self-assured without becoming obnoxious. It's the best movie in the series by far. (Peter Sciretta)