The Best Movie That Takes Place in Every State
The United States of America are divided into 50 smaller districts, called states. Each state has its own personality, tradition, customers, and values. Altogether, states are making the States great – joined under one dream, simply called the American Dream. Moreover, each state is responsible for establishing laws on certain things, such as education, speed limits, regulation of liquor, and so on.
Each state has a unique natural climate and geographical difference, that together with a unique history creates a unique distinct identity. That identity is usually easy to spot in the film. By watching a single movie, you can get familiar with customers and manners in each state… So, what is the best movie in every state? Read on to discover the best movie from every state.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
This is a must-watch movie. The movie explores the dark marks of American history. To Kill a Mockingbird movie is based on an award-winning adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel. The plot is simple: Atticus Finch is a lawyer who must defend a black man accused of raping a white woman.
The case is located in challenging times, when the existing class and racial struggles of Maycomb, Alabama, reach a boiling point. Gregory Peck portrayed famous Atticus Finch, who did a fantastic job. This movie was the first screen performance for Robert Duvall. This is also one of the first movies that put some light on how society treats people with mental illnesses.
Insomnia is a remake of the Norwegian hit of the same name. Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, and Alaska are a strange mix at first glance, but the truth is that they are a fantastic combination.
Pacino plays a detective sent to help Swank in a serial killer hunt, while William is the … We don’t want to ruin this for you. You still must watch the movie! All in, Alaska is the perfects scenery, because whose perpetual daylight becomes as antagonistic as the movie’s villain.
Raising Arizona (1987)
Nic Cage and Holly Hunter star as a criminal-police officer couple who want nothing more than to have a baby, but can’t conceive. The solution? For them the fastest solution is to take someone’s baby. They make a plan and decide to take one of the quintuplets belonging to a wealthy Arizona businessman.
That plan looked like a solution to all of their problems. As expected, their problems are merely beginning. Raising Arizona is in its core a crime comedy, with amazing twists, lines, and situations. Plus, there is a John Goodman character who’s essentially a rough draft of his role in The Big Lebowski.
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
A Face in the Crowd was the first film role for fabulous Andy Griffith. Andy tars as Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, a loud-mouthed drifter whose blunt opinions and folksy charisma catapult him from a jail cell to the world of fame.
A Face in the Crowd is a story about greed and how greed can destroy everyone. This artistic movie is also a warning – how Southern charm can be weaponized against the people who respect it the most. By the time the movie ends, everyone realizes: You can take the boy out of Arkansas, and you can take Arkansas out of the boy.
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Sunset Boulevard is a murder mystery, and it often called one of the best movies ever made. William Holden drives the plot as screenwriter Joe Gillis, who begins the movie floating facedown in a pool and narrating his own death while the leading star is Gloria Swanson.
Fantastic Gloria plays a bitter silent film icon, Norma Desmond. No wonder that the movie was set in Los Angeles, home of the movie business. Back in 1950, Hollywood was already wrestling with its own complicated history, dismantling the myths and lies that power the city to this day. If you are interested in the movie industry and what happens to its crucial players, this is a must-watch movie.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
Yes, South Park is a cartoon, but no movie picture was so dedicated o mining the Centennial State for laughs than South Park. References are above anything is seen before, and overall it seems as the South Park creators did all that they could.
Local storylines and perfectly connected with different phenomena at the state and wider. In this piece, the kids are trying to prevent a meta-war against two filthy comedians, which is a shining example of Colorado specificity elevated to global truths.
Adam and Barbara are living in their perfect house, and spending each day together – day and night. Nothing would be strange about it,m if they weren’t ghosts, who’s house is invaded by humans. New tenants are superficial New Yorkers with post-modern renovation plans. As you may guess, it’s not something that the dead couple appreciates much.
Because Adam and Barbara want their house as it was, they decide to create a master plan – to scare them away. To do so, they team up with a Tim Burton’s version of the devil: Michael Keaton’s slobbering, scruffy ghost-with-the-most, Beetlejuice. By the end of the movie, everyone learns to live in harmony.
Fight Club (1999)
Credit might be got to Delaware for this one, but the Fight Club is almost everyone’s favorite movie. The Fight Club is full of speechless moments and wow scenes. However, THE TWIST is what made everyone think twice about their life.
Did you know that the tax laws in Delaware are the friendliest in the nation? Although it is never directly stated that it takes place in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware City, and Penns Grove, NJ, which are all very close to Wilmington, are mentioned in the car-smashing scene. Interestingly, fifteen tears after the film, an underground bare-knuckle fights start taking place. It seems that life imitates art in a small town of Wilmington.
Magic Mike (2012)
Magic Mike had a budget of only $7 million. This investment brought all together exactly $167.2 million, and that’s massive. Channing Tatum and the boys brought the very best game into making this movie.
Magic Miek is shiny, fun, and overall a laid-back experience. From a far this movie may seem a bit ridiculous, but people usually end up returning to it over and over again. Do you see some Florida in that?
The Color Purple (1985)
Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple is one of the most emotional movies ever. This is also the debut for both Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. All in, this is a true Georgia movie. Life of Celie (Goldberg) can be challenging to watch, especially considering the amount of emotional intensity.
This is a movie adaptation of Alice Walker’s acclaimed 1982 novel, and it’s forever one of the most popular movies ever. Spielberg was widely criticized for leaving out important elements of the story – but it’s the type of movie that lingers in your memory.
From Here to Eternity (1953)
Romantic town, ghosts of the past, and Hawaii… Doesn’t it sound like a paradise already? From Here to Eternity was filmed in far 1953 and it’s still one of the unique movies ever. Them movie was adapted from an 800-page novel of the same name.
In a nutshell, the movie portrays the story of a rifle company stationed on the island of Oahu shortly before the bombing on Pearl Harbor. In such an atmosphere, a forbidden love is born. The movie’s best known for its iconic shot of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr hooking up as waves coming crashing from behind. If you love shocking affairs, this is a movie for you.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Napoleon Dynamite is a cult phenom. The whole movie is around a particular geek, his friends, and his brother, Kip. This is probably the movie with the most interesting outfit. Some would call it quirky styling.
Napoleon Dynamite is all about the humor, rather particular humor at least. Therefore, this creation has a strong influence in the comedy world. It is also a unique portrayal of Napoleon’s hometown, that put its real-life setting, Preston, Idaho, on the map.
The Fugitive (1993)
The Fugitive is a 1993 American action thriller film based on the 1960s television series of the same name created by Roy Huggins. This version from 1993 was directed by the unsung hero of Chicago filmmaking, Andrew Davis.
The Fugitive was based on the true story of Dr. Sam Sheppard. However, the movie plot is different from the real-life events – because here, the husband is not guilty. The Fugitive was nominated form Best Movie, which is not something that is common for action movies.
Hoosiers is the ultimate basketball drama. Yes, the basketball team is in the middle of the plot, but this movie is much more than merely about basketball. Still, people from Indiana can’t get enough of this movie.
Jack Nicholson wanted the role of the coach, but it eventually went to Gene Hackman. Still, Anspaugh and Gene have some difficulties working together. Anspaugh once said “Gene had me on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” Jerry Goldsmith was the composer of the movie and who was the one who wrote the movie’s classic score.
The Music Man (1962)
Iowa loves music, and The Music Man proves it. This Midwestern musical The Music Man is a 1962 American musical film starring Robert Preston as Harold Hill and Shirley Jones as Marian Paroo. It’s set in the fictional town of River City, Iowa, in 1912.
This musical film is great for rainy days, and when you want to watch something wonderful. If you are a Shirley Jones fan, well you will be in for a treat.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
This is a true classic. You may not believe in magic, but Dorothy and her friends could make you think otherwise. This fantasy classic was filmed in far 1939 and ever since no one can say Kansas without thinking about colorful Dorothy and her adventures.
Now, the whole world knows that there is no place like home. Still, this classic offers a space for optimism and offers an optimistic note: you can dream your way to wherever you damn well, please.
Kentucky is a laid-back horse-racing drama, telling the tale 75 years after the Civil War. At the time, Kentucky was a pretty much a neutral state, under Union protection, although it was a slave state.
In this old movie, its actors have one task – to forget their differences and find ground for mutual life. Can they work out their differences to win the Kentucky Derby? Watch it to discover how this Romeo and Juliet affair ended.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
A Streetcar Named Desire is still one of Lanier’s most popular plays. The title is given by a real streetcar line, while the famous Stanley Kowalski was inspired by not only one, by two men – both very important to Tennessee Williams, the writer.
This movie launched the Marlon Brando career, and from there he would go on to be the only one of the four stars who didn’t win an Oscar for his performance, but his career turned out OK in the end. If you want, you can always visit many tours of the French Quarter locations, like the Hotel Maison de Ville, or the restaurant Galatoire’s.
The Iron Giant (1999)
If you are a fan of superhero movies, then you will love The Iron Ginat This is a cartoon, but it comes with numerous teaching moments and emotional conclusions.
Like any other superhero movie, the main hero needs to fight with inner demons and saves the community. You may be the man of steel yourself, but you won’t be able to hold back tears as The Giant (voiced by Vin Diesel) utters “SUUUPERRRMAAAN” and saves the day.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch Project was so huge when it first premiered in far 1999. Sundance was marked by this movie and in no time, this movie became the talk of the festival. Did you know that the initial budget for this movie was only $30,000?
In return, the movie earned $140 million. What made this movie so different was the fact that it was created as a compilation of real footage by three hikers who died under mysterious circumstances. A number of sequels for film, but the original one still remains one of the most influential horror films to this day.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)
The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a 1973 American neo-noir crime film directed by Peter Yates and starring Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. It’s also one of the most memorable no-nonsense crime movies. Peter Yates directed a movie that premiered in 1973, about Massachusett’s low-lives and the audience loved it.
Legendary Robert Mitchum is one of the movie’s biggest stars, while the entire film is inspired by the book by prolific novelist George V. Higgins. Many compare this movie with Good Will Hunting, pointing out just how much The Friends of Eddie Coyle is better.
Detroit, Michigan, went through a lot when the city’s automobile industry collapsed. Yet, the RoboCop was filmed primarily in Dallas, where summer temperatures regularly exceeded 100 degrees. Thanks to the suit, Weller would lose up to 8 eight pounds a day.
Overall, the RoboCup is a movie that both feeds and skewers America’s militarized thirst for blood. When Detroit beat cop Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is murdered on the job, he’s brought back as the titular cyborg by Omni Consumer Products, a tech company looking to make big bucks by moving into law enforcement. Everything from there is pure history.
Just by reading the title, you can feel the sound of North Dakota, right? The plot of this movie takes place in Minnesota, where characters go through a string of different events. Characters are funny, relatable, and at least admirable.
Fargo is a crime dramedy that earned its writer-directors their first screenplay Oscar — cementing them in Hollywood as a creative force to reckon with — and star Frances McDormand her first acting Oscar.
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
When you read this title, you may think that it’s about something nice and romantic. It almost sounds like a dialogue between those in love, right? Well, this is far from the truth, because this movie is about detectives and action.
Sidney Poitier as out-of-town detective Virgil Tibbs and Rod Steiger as racist police chief Gillespie is one swampy movie, a thriller that’s more likely to give you pit-stains than chill you to the bone. Plus, this movie is full of catchphrases that you will simply love.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Meet Me in St. Louis is a 1944 MGM musical movie. It tells the story of a family living in St. Louis, Missouri, at the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World’s Fair in 1904. Even if you have never watched the film, you have probably heard the famous “The Trolley Song” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
Starring Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien, this musical was an instant hit. The movie was based on a series of short stories by Sally Benson. This movie presents a unique Missouri experience and family values. All in, its a real family movie.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges are the dreams, team of this evergreen hit. Directed by Michael Camino, who also directed The Deer Hunter, this movie opened the Hollywood door to Cimino.
Montana is seen in every scene, while Klint and Jeff are giving their best to create this unique laid-back atmosphere. Jeff Bridges received the film’s only nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Clint tried life as a director.
How hard can it be to run in school elections? Well, according to the loverly Nebraksa-based movie, it’s extremely difficult. Reese Witherspoon did an amazing job as an honor student who showed the world just how difficult it is to be overachieving.
Although it seems innocent, the movie actually set high bars on directing, developing characters, and answering one fo the oldest question ever – How far will I go to win, and what’s the point of winning if you lose your sense of self? Writer and director Alexander Payne obviously love his home state, he’s never ready to let his characters off the hook.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Director Steven Soderbergh gathered an amazing cast to do a remake of Ocean’s Eleven. Originally, Ocean’s 11 is a 1960 American heist film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring five of the Rat Pack. This version from 2001 is nothing less special, and it’s still one of the most beloved movies of the modern generation.
George Clooney plays Danny Ocean, a mastermind of casino heist. At the same time, he manages to lead his team, to keep things under control, and even deal with a love affair. All in, Ocean’s Eleven is an ode to cool as expected sequels were born.
22. New Hampshire
What About Bob? (1991)
Bill Murray is the main star here. Should we say more? If Bill showed us one thing so far, it’s that every movie is either a mainstream hit or remarkable film creation. What About Bob is no exception?
This is a dark comedy masterpiece. A simple New England getaway for psychiatrist Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) turns into a neurotic nightmare when Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) shows up. This is one of those movies that serve as an ideal counterweight to the self-obsessed, therapy-addicted New Yorkers satirized relentlessly throughout the movie.
21. New Jersey
On the Waterfront (1954)
For his role in this classic, Marlon Brando won his first Oscar for Best Actor. Brando plays a young man, Terry Malloy, who once showed promise as a boxer — he really coulda been a contender! — but ends up a dockworker in Hoboken.
The plot of the film, which involves Terry testifying about corruption and being ostracized within his community, is often interpreted as an apology by director Elia Kazan for his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Some claim that this movie has some Tony Soprano vibes, or otherwise.
20. New Mexico
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
This Spaghetti Western is so popular that no special introduction is needed. Premiered in 1966, Clint Eastwood’s star-cementing role in the final film of the “Dollars Trilogy” centers on a hunt for gold during the American Civil War.
This Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, who perfectly presented the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Interestingly, the film’s story was improvised in a meeting, and Clint Eastwood had some serious salary demands that delayed filming. Luckily, they agreed on terms.
19. New York
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Magic happens when Scorsese decided to film a movie in New York. For a while, he was the director to go to if you want o see New York and its colorful characters on the big screen. At least that was the case before Spike Lee stepped on the scene.
When filming Do the Right Thing, Lee was young and he dedicated his story to a rough NY neighborhood. Little is known, but Lee wrote the screenplay in just two weeks. The move has perfect characters, that you really want to meet in person. There is brutality, love, police brutality, but also some heartwarming moments that you will see as your own.
18. North Carolina
Blue Velvet (1986)
In 1951, Tony Bennett released the song “Blue Velvet” that served as an inspiration from the film. Like most of David Lynch’s work, this movie doesn’t lack drama and interesting shoots. Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) returns from college after learning his father has suffered a stroke.
On the surface, the movie tells the story of MacLachlan’s young hero and a coincidental investigation involving a nightclub singer and a cadre of crazy criminals, led by Frank Booth, played with maniacal glee by Dennis Hopper. When looking at a bigger picture, the movie is actually more a battle between what’s real and what is just an appearance.
17. North Dakota
The Overnighters (2014)
The Overnighters is so amazing creation, that although it is a documentary it had to be on this list. The Overnighters shows a pastor who opens his church to the destitute men who arrive penniless in the oil boomtown of Williston.
The entire documentary is filled with shocking twists and breathtaking turns you’d swear they were made up, so we won’t spoil anything here. This documentary will shake you to the core.
Heathers was supposed to be the teen film to end all teen films. As you know now, this is not the last teen movie. Heathers only had a $3 million budget, but that didn’t’ stop the crew from making one of the most iconic movies ever.
Heathers is far from a cute teenage movie. This is a dark comedy with an amazing plot, vibrant dialogues, and some murderous scenes. The plot is simply a bad boy falls for a girl and murders start happening. If you are a fan of satirical sense you will love this Ohio creation.
Twister is one of the best disaster movies ever. It premiered in 1996 and made a big buzz because this isn’t a typical blockbuster movie. The plot may seem like any other movie – Helen Hunt’s character becomes a storm chaser because of the trauma suffered when her father got sucked into a tornado, a tornado hits, and things happen.
In reality, tornado season in Oklahoma is not like it is presented in Twister. Yes, the twisters are unpredictable, terrifying, and obscenely destructive, and the people who chase them have the wild-man mentality of Bill Paxton’s character, also named Bill, but whose nickname is serious “The Extreme.” If you choose to watch this movie today, you will be amazed by the cow scene.
Wendy and Lucy (2008)
Wendy and Lucy is a 2008 American drama film directed by Kelly Reichardt, who adapted the screenplay from his short story. Over time, a short story turned into a significant movie, with one major question during the movie – does the dog die?
Michelle Williams travels to Alaska with her trusting partner, dog Lucy. During their adventure, a number of things – usually unplanned, happens. Major trouble includes car break, missing dog, weird tows, and so on. Reichardt perfectly captures the search effort with a patented, Pacific Northwest chill.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Bill Murray in a movie always means quality. Groundhog day made a living in a small-town super fun, exciting, and dynamic. This is one of those moves that every generation can easily watch and understand its point.
Waiting for a groundhog to see its shadow has never been so fun! Having to do it over and over again, until you’ve finally lived the good life is above this world. In a way, this is an ultimate philosophical art creation.
12. Rhode Island
The Conjuring (2013)
For those who love goosebumps and dark scenes, the conjuring seems like a logical choice for Saturday movie night. Add to that mystical scenery of Rhode Island and you in for a treat. Director James Wan made the haunting of a particular Harrisville, Rhode Island farmhouse engaging with a sympathetic cast of victims and heroes.
The Conjuring was terrifying both on a story and a scare level, and it would soon pave the way for the horror world’s version of a cinematic universe. The Conjuring is clear evidence that big-budget horror movies can be good. From here, two sequels were made.
11. South Carolina
The Notebook (2004)
Who doesn’t love a good love story? Moreover when you see a rain-soaked Ryan Gosling passionately intones, “It still isn’t over!” – you get goosebumps. Gosling and Rachel McAdams have a chemistry that was perfectly transformed into lovely characters.
Telling a story of love is never easy, especially when its the love that you get once in a lifetime. The Notebook is a must-watch movie. It has it all from wonderous scenery to forbidden love and some tough life decision. Don’t be surprised if you decide to move to South Carolina after watching this movie.
10. South Dakota
Director Terrence Malick had a rather unusual debut. For Badlands, Terrence took overs Kit (Martin Sheen) and Holly (Sissy Spacek) and placed them into the wilderness and let the roam. That wilderness was actually South Dakota.
South Dakota provides amazing scenery that fits perfectly into the storyline. More than a few Westerns have been shot in South Dakota, including Kevin Costner’s Oscar-winning epic Dances With Wolves, but Malick’s images have a radiance that can’t be matched.
The Evil Dead (1981)
The 1980s really gave the world some amazing movies. Some of them are non-forgettable, such as The Evil Dead. Sam Raimi’s infamous horror movie, about a group of Michigan State University kids who ride up to a Tennessee cabin in the woods, has as much of the 80’s vibes as possible.
This low-budget movie turned up to be the masterpiece and sort fo a cult. What people saw in this movie is not easy to recreate in a Los Angeles backlot.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
“All right, all right, all right.” When this movie first appeared, people couldn’t notice just hoe comedic tone it has. Truth be told, the creator, Richard Linklater might be the patron saint of Texas filmmaking. He is the one who put Austin’s independent filmmaking scene on the map.
Richard also introduced American audiences to an eclectic cast of local burnouts and philosophers. Still, Dazed and Confused is his mainstream coming-of-age comedy, that really captures the relaxed cool of the Lone Star State.
127 Hours (2010)
Would you cut your arm so you could live longer? This is no spoiler alert because the plot here is very basic – passionate outdoorsman Aron Ralston slipped into a crevice of Blue John Canyon and his right forearm trapped under a boulder.
Eventually, Ralston had to amputate his arm with a pocket knife, then repel back down to safety. Utah beauty is perfectly included in every scene, even in those really difficult ones. Moreover, the natural scenery only added to the claustrophobic agony of the situation. All in, the result is mesmerizing.
Super Troopers (2001)
Super Troopers is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, and do far 87% of those who watched the movie would recommend it to their friend. That must matter something, right?
There’s a reason Super Troopers entered the cult-comedy canon, and to understand ti full, you should really watch it. There is even a sequel.
Remember the Titans (2000)
Remember the Titans offer the real-life story on football, high school success, and segregation. Desegregated T.C. Williams football team has a new head coach who is black, over a popular, white coach.
A number of different events lead to unity. Still, t get there a massive effort is needed. Denzel Washington’s sheer charisma would probably make him a half-decent coach in real life, and while the movie indulges in many of the expected cliches, it’s got heart and grit to spare.
First Blood (1982)
John Rambo was an innocent veteran who was traveling across Washington, heading North. However, the stumps upon a bad police officer and everything goes down the hill from there. Based on a novel by David Morrell, Rambo became a worldwide success franchise.
Fantastic Pacific Northwest provides the perfect cover for Rambo as he evades Sheriff Will Teasle’s goons. If you feel that there is a hidden warrior in you, this movie could get it out.
3. West Virginia
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
The Night of the Hunter is a 1955 American thriller film directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish. Needless to say that these actors made this movie legendary, next to its plot.
Based on the true story of murderer Harry Powers, this hyper-stylized 1955 film is half film noir and half fairy tale. Robert Mitchum stars as Reverend Harry Powell, an unnerving preacher with “L-O-V-E” and “H-A-T-E” tattooed along his knuckles, creating a unique appearance of Southern Gothic.
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig’s hilarious wedding movie changed the game. Having fun before the wedding is no longer reserved only for boys. Bridesmaids changed the game completely.
The movie came not long after the first Hangover movie, so it was more than fun to compare these two. This movie had one message – we need more female-led ensemble comedies!
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Brokeback Mountain is based on a novella written by Annie Proulx, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. In its core, its a movie about life change, accepting who you are, and finding your soul mate.
Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist spend a summer herding sheep and discover feeling for each other. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both received Oscar nominations for their intimate relationship, and portraying cowboys for modern audiences.