The Fast and the Furious ★★★★

Could anyone have guessed that the little Point Break clone that could would spark a multi-billion dollar franchise? Probably not, but it's sometimes forgotten that The Fast and the Furious made over $200 million in its own right.

It deserved to do well - Rob Cohen's film remains superior, unpretentious popcorn entertainment. Light on clunky exposition and powered by terrific stunts and a genuine interest in the street racing subculture, it's breezy fun 15 years on - despite the dated fashions, music, and cars.

It's unoriginal, but made with real craft - and the six sequels (and counting) lend The Fast and the Furious an oddly mythic quality. So many of the series' themes are present and correct, as is the strong emphasis on characters. Before all the heists, before the globe-crossing adventures, Hollywood's unlikeliest cult franchise started here, and for that reason this one will always be a bit special.