Over its 20-year history, The Fast and Furious franchise has evolved from a relatively modest street racing series to the pinnacle of over-the-top Hollywood action — an evolution that’s led to nearly $2 billion USD at the global box office.
Throughout that time, the franchise’s twelve films (nine mainline, one spinoff, and two shorts) have woven together a convoluted narrative that’s proven a bit difficult to follow. So ahead of next year’s Fast X, we’ve put together this handy guide on how to watch the Fast and Furious movies in chronological order.
At the bottom of the article, you’ll find a second list that orders the films by their actual release dates, if you’d prefer to watch them in that order instead. Considering its lack of importance to the film series’ ongoing narrative, we aren’t including the animated series Fast & Furious: Spy Racers.
The Fast and Furious Movies in (Chronological) Order
1. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
The timeline begins with the franchise’s first film, 2001’s The Fast and the Furious. The fairly straightforward action plot tasks Paul Walker’s undercover cop Brian O’Conner with taking down a crew of carjackers led by Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto. Brian gets involved in illegal street racing, befriends Dom, starts dating his sister (Jordan Brewster’s Mia Toretto), and ultimately chooses those relationships over his duty as a cop. The first film also introduces viewers to series staple Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Letty Ortiz, Dom’s love interest.
Read our review of The Fast and the Furious.
2. The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Where to watch: YouTube
The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious shows how Brian O’Conner, on the run from law enforcement, gets from LA to Miami before the events of 2 Fast 2 Furious. The six-minute short film features no dialogue and a handful of races. It’s nonessential viewing, but it’s here nonetheless.
3. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
The series’ only movie without Dom Toretto, 2 Fast 2 Furious introduces Roman Pearce (Tyrese GIbson) and Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges). The story follows Brian O’Connor and Pearce as they go undercover to take down a drug lord in exchange for having their criminal records expunged — a mission that’s ultimately successful. It also introduces a new love interest for O’Connor in Eva Mendes’s Monica Fuentes, who only appears again briefly in Fast Five.
Read our review of 2 Fast 2 Furious
4. Los Bandoleros (2009)
Where to watch: Vimeo
The second of the series’ two short films, Los Bandoleros takes place between Fast 1 and Fast 4, though its exact placement on the timeline is never specified. Written and directed by Vin Diesel, Los Bandoleros is set in the Dominican Republic, where Dom is lying low after the events of Fast 1. In its 20-minute runtime, the film manages to cover an oil war, corrupt politics, and a prison break, culminating in a romantic reunion between Dom and Letty. Chronologically, it’s also the first time we see Sung Kang’s death-defying Han Lue.
5. Fast & Furious (2009)
Not to be confused with The Fast and the Furious, Fast & Furious is the franchise’s fourth mainline film, though it precedes Tokyo Drift (film number three) in the chronology. It’s a sequel to Fast 1, set five years later, with Dom and Brian teaming up once again to take down a drug lord and avenge the “death” of Letty. Dom is ultimately arrested and sentenced, though en route to the prison, Brian, Mia, and Tego Leo (Tego Calderon) are seen intercepting the prison bus. Fast & Furious also introduces Gal Gadot’s Gisele Yashar. It was the Wonder Woman actor’s first major film role.
Read our review of Fast & Furious.
6. Fast Five (2011)
Frequent series director Justin Lin’s third Fast movie raised the stakes with massive setpieces and a supersized cast featuring Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs. Picking up where Fast & Furious left off, Dom heads to Rio de Janeiro with Mia and Brian after escaping his prison transport. A familiar tale unfolds: They steal and race souped-up street cars while on the run from another government agency, this time Luke Hobbs and the DEA. Eva Mendes’s Monica Fuentes returns in a mid-credits scene to reveal Letty is still alive.
Read our review of Fast Five.
7. Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Fast 6 begins with Dom and his crew once again on the lam. Hobbs, meanwhile, is looking to take down a mercenary group led by Luke Evans’s Owen Shaw. Hobbs recruits Dom by showing him a picture of Letty, whom Dom believes to be dead, and offering him and his crew amnesty back in the U.S. As always, there are vehicular shenanigans and casualties, though things ultimately end well for the crew, and the franchise carries on. The post-credits scene introduces Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw to the series.
Read our review of Fast & Furious 6.
8. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
The wackiest of the Fast movies timeline-wise is the series’ third movie, which actually takes place between Fast 6 and 7. The first Fast movie directed by Justin Lin features a Dom cameo but largely centers around teenage street racers Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) and Twinkie (Shad “Bow Wow” Moss), with series staple Han Lue serving as a mentor to Sean. With a $62 million haul, it’s the series’ least successful entry by box office total.
Read our review of Tokyo Drift.
9. Furious 7 (2015)
The series’ biggest box office success to date is Furious 7, which grossed over $350 million — no other Fast film has cleared $250 million. It’s also the most well-received critically with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 82% (five points better than runner-up Fast Five). Furious 7 picks up at the end of Tokyo Drift, with Statham’s Deckard Shaw serving as the main villain. It was directed by James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring, Aquaman).
This is the last Fast film with Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner, as Walker died during the time of its filming. Furious 7 ends with an emotional farewell to Brian/Walker.
Read our review of Furious 7.
10. The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Where to watch: Rentable on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, or Vudu
Order is restored here as Fast 8 follows Fast 7 in both the real and fictional timelines. The film’s stacked cast includes Charlize Theron, Russell Crowe, Scott Eastwood, and Helen Mirren, alongside series regulars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Dwayne Johson, and Jason Statham. In addition to the expected dose of fast cars, over-the-top action, and double-crossing, Fast 8 finds time for cyberterrorism and the threat of nuclear war.
Read our review of The Fate of the Furious.
11. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)
Where to watch: Rentable on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, or Vudu
The series’ only spinoff film to date stars Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Statham’s Deckard Shaw. The duo, who became buddies after escaping prison together in the previous film, are tasked with saving humanity from a deadly virus. The spinoff also brings the legendary Idris Elba into the fold as villainous super soldier Brixton Lore.
Back in 2020, Johnson said he was working on a Hobbs and Shaw sequel, though he vowed to never again appear in the mainline films due to a feud with Vin Diesel.
Read our review of Hobbs and Shaw.
12. F9 (2021)
The series’ most recent film, once again directed by Justin Lin, pits Dom and the crew against Jakob Toretto, Dom’s estranged brother played by John Cena. The family’s all here for this one, as nearly every major series player to date returns, in addition to new blood like Cena, Michael Rooker, and Cardi B. The plot involves another threat to humanity: Project Aries, a device capable of controlling all of the world’s weapon systems. As always, that plot is foiled, in part thanks to Roman and Tej flying a Pontiac into space.
Read our review of Fast and Furious 9.
How to Watch the Fast and Furious Movies By Release Date
- The Fast and the Furious (2001)
- The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003 – short film)
- 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
- Fast & Furious (2009)
- Los Bandoleros (2009 – short film)
- Fast Five (2011)
- Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
- Furious 7 (2015)
- The Fate of the Furious (2017)
- Hobbs & Shaw (2019 – spinoff film)
- F9 (2021)