Philadelphia January 16, 2018
11 Incredible Movies About Philadelphia You Need To See
Is Philadelphia the next Hollywood? Well, no, probably not. But there have been some absolutely astounding movies made about life in the City of Brotherly Love. This list is by no means comprehensive, but I think it covers the 11 best movies about Philadelphia. Have you seen them all?
There's no way
Rocky wasn't going to be #1 on this list. Not only is it the movie that showed the world the spirit of Philadelphians, but it put Sylvester Stallone on the map. Several Rocky movies and two Creed films later, there's no questioning the impact this series has had on the city. Many have mused that the Rocky series did more for the city of Philadelphia than anything else in recent history, and all it takes is one trip to the Art Museum to see what they mean. Plus, in Rocky IV, Balboa beats communism with just two fists. How can you top that?
Philadelphia was the first major Hollywood film to tackle the issues of homophobia and AIDS discrimination. The story of a top Philly lawyer who is dismissed because of his medical condition and the hateful arguments against him when he takes his former employer to court exposed to the public the grim reality for hundreds of thousands of Americans. Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington both portrayed their characters with heart, and to this day, it's one of the most important movies to be filmed in the city. The Academy Award winning song "Streets of Philadelphia" was written by Bruce Springsteen for the film.
3. The Sixth Sense
M. Night Shyamalan's first real thriller was a movie that took the world by storm. It was set and filmed in Philadelphia and really helped put the city on the movie map. Audiences everywhere were captivated by the story of a child psychologist (played by Bruce Willis) on a mission to help a distraught patient (played by Haley Joel Osment) and the twist ending shocked all of us.
4. Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook was about as realistic of a portrayal of South Philly life as we've seen since Rocky. The way the Solitano family lives and dies by the Eagles success (illegal betting aside) is relatable to everyone who clears their Sundays for 16 weeks every year. This fantastic film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper was nominated for (and won!) multiple Oscars and Golden Globe awards. By the way, the diner featured in the film is Llanerch Diner in Upper Darby.
5. The Philadelphia Story
This classic Philly movie depicts Main Line life in the 1940s, and it's just as entertaining today as it was nearly 80 years ago. Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart are the stars in
The Philadelphia Story, and even if old-time cinema isn't your favorite genre, you'll really enjoy watching this film.
6. In Her Shoes
In Her Shoes is a sibling rivalry film set in Center City, starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette. The two sisters have nothing in common - except their shoe size. When they move in together, comedic disaster unfolds and the sisters part ways. It takes a grandmother's intervention to bring the family back together again.
7. Best In Show
This hilarious mockumentary is a glimpse into the world of dog show that's set in a fictional Philadelphia hotel. As someone who shows my own dog, I can assure you that the portrayal is spot on! Yes, us dog people are actually that crazy. If you haven't seen
Best In Show, do yourself a favor and track it down right now. It's a classic comedy directed by the man who brought the world This Is Spinal Tap.
While it didn't get much attention from snooty movie critics, the film adaptation of the Broadway musical is fun and loveable as it tells the story of the founding of our nation. Set on the streets of Philadelphia, you get to know the human side of Jefferson, Adams, and the wholly entertaining Benjamin Franklin.
9. Trading Places
Trading Places is a hilarious depiction of what goes on when a wealthy businessman from Society Hill has his life turned upside down and a hustling con-man gets to live a life of luxury - all for the purpose of an elaborate $1 bet. This movie is truly a masterpiece, with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy starring as the victims of an elaborate prank.
10. Twelve Monkeys
This sci-fi thriller stars Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt and is set in Philadelphia. A horrific plague is threatening the world, and the way the movie is filmed shows off all of the creepiest corners of the city. I never want to see a post-apocalyptic City Hall again! Particularly eerie are the scenes involving Eastern State Penitentiary, which is a little spooky even in broad daylight.
11. The Woodsman
The Woodsman is a highly underrated movie produced by Philadelphian Lee Daniels and starring native Philadelphian Kevin Bacon. The tension and suspense you'll experience as you get to know Bacon's character— a fresh-from-prison pedophile —is what makes this movie shine.
One thing I like to do when I’m watching movies about Philadelphia is look out for landmarks. You would be surprised how many times you can spot City Hall! Of course, it helps if you know what to look for… usually, I spot one of these
12 Iconic Places Every True Philadelphian Will Instantly Recognize.
What other movies about Philadelphia (or filmed in the city) do you know of? We’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!