Fast and Furious 9 has skidded into cinemas, with Dominic Toretto and his crew once again doing some death-defying stunts to save the world. However, with the latest installment in the Fast Saga now here, you may be going back to explore the rest of the series, perhaps for the first time. With that in mind, you’ll be curious how to watch the Fast and Furious movies in order.
That’s not exactly an easy question to answer as, like the series, there are a few twists and turns along the way – which you might actually expect considering the first movie is titled The Fast and the Furious, while the fourth is Fast and Furious. Confused? Don’t be! We’re here to run down exactly how to watch the Fast and Furious movies in order and why we’ve chosen the below chronological order. Also, we will be keeping spoilers very light.
Why watch the Fast and Furious movies in chronological order?
First things first, let’s talk about why you should watch the Fast and Furious movies in chronological order rather than release order – as, yes, the two are different. Experiencing these movies as they were originally released is no bad way to go, but the producers later retroactively refitted the series so Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift comes fifth in the running order due to the popularity of a certain character.
This method helps with the pacing of the series, as watching in release order means you get two movies without Dominic Torretto as a leading character in a row – and nobody watching the Fast Saga wants that. You will also come to have a deeper appreciation of Tokyo Drift come the time to watch the sequel – in the original order, it’s harder to connect with the movie, hence why the contemporary reviews were so harsh yet, retrospectively as part of the wider series, people love Tokyo Drift.
If you're not taken with this reasoning, at the bottom of this piece, we have the Fast and Furious movies in release order in bullet-point form.
How to watch the Fast and Furious movies in order
The Fast and the Furious
The humble beginnings of a box-office conquering beast. Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor is a police officer sent undercover to infiltrate an LA crew and discern whether they are stealing DVD players. With his 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse, Brian arrives at an illegal street race where Dominic Torretto – played by Vin Diesel – is driving a 1993 Mazda RX-7.
The Fast and the Furious is essentially a remake of Point Break (maybe that should be Point Brake?) with some familiar twists and turns. However, it remains one of the best instalments in the series, introducing everything we would come to love about the Fast Saga: Coronas, fast cars, and Family with a capital F.
The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious
There’s really not a whole lot to say about this short film – it’s five minutes long, and does not very much apart from act as a post-credits scene for The Fast and the Furious. This one’s all about Brian making money and racing cars. It’s the boiled-down essence of the first few Fast and Furious movies.
2 Fast 2 Furious
Following the events of The Fast and the Furious, Brian O’Connor’s on the run. Vin Diesel declined to return for the first sequel, instead reprising the role of Riddick from Pitch Black in the epic, critically mauled The Chronicles of Riddick. As a result, 2 Fast 2 Furious feels more like a spin-off from the main series, but it does introduce some faces you’ll soon get very acquainted with: Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce and Ludacris’ Tej Parker.
Tyrese is the movie’s second lead, with Roman being Brian’s old friend. The pair make for delightful company as they go undercover to infiltrate another crew, this one in Miami – a natural fit for these movies. We’re not quite at the stage where these characters are superheroes, with director John Singleton doing a great job with some fast racing. Sure, the events of 2 Fast rarely ever get mentioned again, and Roman and Tej morph into comic relief characters, but that’s what makes this one the hidden gem of the series.
Fast and Furious: Los Bandoleros
Fun fact: Vin Diesel found fame after writing, directing, and starring in a short film titled Muli-Facial that Steven Spielberg saw playing at a film festival. Spielberg then went on to cast Diesel in Saving Private Ryan and the rest is history.
Fast and Furious: Los Bandoleros marks Diesel’s return behind the camera. The short movie, which comes in around 20 minutes, fills in a few blanks between the movies, with Vin and Michelle Rodríguez’s Letty rekindling their love. The short also introduces Tego Calderón’s Tego Leo, Don Omar’s Rico Santos, and – if you’re watching in chronological order – Sung Kang’s Han Lue. It’s also arguably better than the movie it sets up...
Fast and Furious
We’re skipping over Tokyo Drift for now, as the events of that movie happen later in the chronology. Continuing the story of Los Bandoleros, Dom’s set up in the Dominican Republic with a new crew, but things quickly fall apart. The movie sees Dom and Brian reunited and locking horns once again – plus, there’s another undercover operation to be done.
Fast and Furious marks the beginning of the series turning more action-orientated, though the racing still takes center stage for the most part. The story, meanwhile, is not the series’ strongest, but it lays a lot of groundwork for what’s to come, setting place for future installments. Gal Gadot’s Gisele Yashar first crops up in this one.
The point where the series truly steps up a gear. Fast Five is a bonafide action classic – often viewed as the series’ pinnacle. The majority of the movie takes place in Rio de Janeiro with Brian, Dom, and Jordana Brewster’s Mia bringing together a team for a huge heist job. As a result, Fast Five acts as the Avengers of the Fast Saga, bringing together disparate characters from all the past movies for a thrilling finish.
What’s even more impressive, though, is the impact made by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who plays agent Luke Hobbs. Johnson’s a hulking, sweaty antagonist for the crew to outrun, helping make this an exquisite exercise in pure blood-pumping cinema.
Fast and Furious 6 – but not the post-credits scene
The days of Dom being a mere thief of DVD players are long over by this point. Now, the US government is asking the Family for help as they track down Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw’s crew of mercenaries – with one familiar face among them. Fast and Furious 6 continues to build upon the ground formed by Fast Five with massive action set pieces and the characters turn into almost full-on superheroes. For any Brit, watching the crew skidding around London will be borderline uncanny, but the results are fun, though not quite on Fast Five’s level.
Importantly, for everyone following this watch order, do not watch the post-credits! The scene that plays following the main movie is a massive spoiler for Tokyo Drift, so the moment that first name flies onto the screen Shut. It. Down.
Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift
Finally, it’s time to watch Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, the third movie released in the Fast Saga, yet sixth chronologically. By now, you know Sung Kang’s Han and the reason for him being in Tokyo. However, while this movie should have probably centered on Han, director Justin Lin’s first Fast foray focuses on Lucas Black’s Sean Boswell, a Texan school drop-out who’s sent to live with his father in Tokyo.
Watching in this order, Tokyo Drift is a return to the essence of the Fast Saga: fast cars, low-key heists, and found Family. Sure, upon original release, the studio contemplated releasing this one straight to DVD. But now, watching within the context of the wider Fast Saga, Tokyo Drift is an unmissable installment in the series – though, word of warning, there are some very hard-to-watch dialogue scenes between Black and leading love interest Neela, played by Nathalie Kelley.
Fast and Furious 6 post-credits scene
Now that you have seen Tokyo Drift, give the Fast and Furious 6 post-credits scene a watch – it plays perfectly as a Tokyo Drift post-credits scene and offers some new context for the movie. Aren’t you glad you watched in chronological order now? That moment in Tokyo Drift doesn’t have the same heft without the groundwork established by watching in this order.
We’re on pretty easy ground from here on – everything that follows is in release order. Furious 7 is another excellent installment in the Fast Saga, and perhaps the most poignant. Paul Walker died in a single-vehicle accident before the movie completed filming. Director James Wan heavily changed the movie’s plot and Walker’s brother stepped in to film certain scenes, with CGI being used to recreate Walker’s likeness.
The result is a beautiful send-off for the series’ shining star while also introducing some future Fast mainstays: Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody, Nathalie Emmanuel’s Ramsey, and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. Considering all these elements are juggled well, Furious 7 is borderline miraculous. No wonder it made over $1.5 billion at the box office.
The Fate of the Furious
The first Fast movie following Walker’s untimely death ups the ante, the Family going up against another potentially world-ending threat: Charlize Theron’s cyberterrorist Cypher. There are cameos aplenty throughout the movie, which features a ridiculous chase scene including a submarine. While Brian’s missing presence is certainly felt, there’s a lot in The Fate of the Furious that will please Fast Fans. This also marks the movie that saw The Rock and Vin Diesel’s “feud” become public...
Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw
But no worries, because Johnson got his own spin-off! Hobbs and Shaw sees the eponymous characters return, as well as an appearance from a certain Dame who had a cameo role in The Fate of the Furious. The duo are forced to team up against a new threat – Idris Elba’s cybernetically enhanced Brixton Lore – who is working for a mysterious entity.
Hobbs and Shaw ditches any pretense of still being a series about cars (if, that is, you consider the main series having not already done so) and instead features more comedy than its predecessors. That’s probably thanks to David Leitch’s direction, the filmmaker having last helmed Deadpool 2. And like that superhero flick, Hobbs and Shaw features plenty of surprise appearances from A-list actors.
At this stage, they don’t even need to have Fast or Furious in the title – just the letter F and number nine. The crew are assembled once more after Mr. Nobody goes missing. There’s another world-ending scenario about to play out, this one the result of Cypher teaming up with *dun duh duuuuh* Dom’s own brother, Jakob Toretto, played by John Cena.
If you have been watching along with this order, you did not miss any mention of Jakob beforehand. There’s a reason this Toretto has been kept secret, and all’s revealed in F9. It’s also worth noting that the movie features a lot of payoff for what came before, with a bunch of characters from past movies making appearances. And chances are, Fast and Furious 10 will feature even more pay-off…
How to watch the Fast and Furious movies in release order
So, you don't want to watch the Fast and Furious movies in chronological order. Fair enough. You're a person of culture and want the experience that everyone who watched the first time around had. Well, we're got that list right here for you.
- The Fast and the Furious
- The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious
- 2 Fast 2 Furious
- Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift
- Fast and Furious: Los Bandoleros
- Fast and Furious
- Fast Five
- Fast and Furious 6
- Furious 7
- The Fate of the Furious
- Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw
And there you have it: that’s how to watch the Fast and Furious movies in order, including the short films and spin-offs. That’s a lot of screentime, but now you’ve made it through this saga, we can welcome you to the Family. Go on, crack open a Corona and start the series again, you know you want to! For more, check out our interviews with Diesel, Cena, and director Justin Lin on the making of F9.