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What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time? 

Ranker Film
Updated June 8, 2020 511 votes 125 voters 6k views 21 items

List Rules Movies must be set in Hawaii, as opposed to simply filmed in Hawaii. Vote up the best movies with Hawaii as a focal point.

With beautiful landscapes, big waves, and an often easy-going vibe, it's no wonder why movies set in Hawaii make the state look so appealing. Sure, not every Hawaii movie boasts a perfect setting or happy tone, but some of the greatest movies based in Hawaii are certainly more light-hearted. Regardless, some great movies have been based in the Aloha State (as opposed to filmed in Hawaii) and you can find the best of them right here. 

When it comes to the best Hawaii movies, Adam Sandler might come to mind for many, as he's done three big-time movies set here, including Punch-Drunk-Love, 50 First Dates, and Just Go With It—he must really love those Hawaiian beaches. Keeping with the comic side of things, Forgetting Sarah Marshall with Jason Segel has got to be a top Hawaii movie, complete with drama, romance, and humor. Of course, you also have some with more serious tones, like the war film Pearl Harbor, as well as hit drama The Descendants. But who could forget the classic Disney flick, Johnny Tsunami? Simply put, there are some great Hawaii movies out there—what's your favorite?

Check out the list of movies set in Hawaii below and vote up the best ones, whether they depict the vacation hot spot it is or the darker side of the Aloha State.

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1
Forgetting Sarah Marshal... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand

Released: 2008

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller

Check out more shows and movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a 2008 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Nicholas Stoller and starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Russell Brand. The film, which was ...more

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2
50 First Dates is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 2004

Directed by: Peter Segal

50 First Dates is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal. Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) has a history of commitment issues until he meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore) who suffers from ...more

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3
Just Go With It is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker

Released: 2011

Directed by: Dennis Dugan

Just Go with It is a 2011 American romantic comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan, and produced by Adam Sandler, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, ...more

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4
The Descendants is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer

Released: 2011

Directed by: Alexander Payne

The Descendants is a 2011 American drama film directed by Alexander Payne. The screenplay by Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash is based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings. The film ...more

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5
Soul Surfer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Carrie Underwood, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb

Released: 2011

Directed by: Sean McNamara

Soul Surfer is a 2011 American biopic drama film directed by Sean McNamara. It is a film adaptation of the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back ...more

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6
Blue Crush is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis

Released: 2002

Directed by: John Stockwell

Blue Crush is a 2002 surfer film directed by John Stockwell and based on the Outside magazine article "Life's Swell" by Susan Orlean. Starring Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanoe ...more

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7
Pearl Harbor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck

Released: 2001

Directed by: Michael Bay

Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American war film with romance and action elements directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and written by Randall Wallace. It features an ensemble cast, ...more

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8
Battleship is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson

Released: 2012

Directed by: Peter Berg

Battleship is a 2012 American military science fiction action film loosely inspired by the classic board game. The film was directed by Peter Berg and released by Universal Pictures. It was also ...more

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9
A Perfect Getaway is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Milla Jovovich, Chris Hemsworth, Timothy Olyphant

Released: 2009

Directed by: David Twohy

A Perfect Getaway is a 2009 American thriller adventure film, written and directed by David Twohy that stars Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovovich, Kiele Sanchez and Steve Zahn. The film was ...more

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10
From Here to Eternity is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Ernest Borgnine

Released: 1953

Directed by: Fred Zinnemann

From Here to Eternity is a 1953 drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. The picture deals with the tribulations of three soldiers, played by ...more

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11
Johnny Tsunami is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Lee Thompson Young, Kirsten Storms, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Released: 1999

Directed by: Steve Boyum

Johnny Tsunami is a 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie. It was nominated in 2000 for the Humanitas Prize as Children's Live-Action Category. Johnny Tsunami is the predecessor to Johnny Kapahala: ...more
12
North Shore is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Nia Peeples, Gregory Harrison, John Paragon

Released: 1987

Directed by: W. W. Phelps

North Shore is a 1987 film about Rick Kane, a young fictional surfer from a wave tank in Arizona, who heads to surf the season on the North Shore of Oʻahu and see if he has the skills to cut it ...more

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13
Mike and Dave Need Weddi... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Nelson Pizarro added Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine

Directed by: Jake Szymanski

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a 2016 American comedy film directed by Jake Szymanski. Mike and Dave (Zac Efron and Adam DeVine) put out an ad for dates to their sister's wedding, and ...more
14
Blue Hawaii is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Elvis Presley, Angela Lansbury, George Halas

Released: 1961

Directed by: Norman Taurog, Mickey Moore

Blue Hawaii is a 1961 American musical romantic comedy film set in the state of Hawaii and starring Elvis Presley. The screenplay by Hal Kanter was nominated by the Writers Guild of America in ...more

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15
Hawaii is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Julie Andrews, Gene Hackman, Richard Harris

Released: 1966

Directed by: George Roy Hill

Hawaii is a 1966 American film directed by George Roy Hill and based on the novel of the same name by James A. Michener. It tells the story of an 1820s Yale University divinity student who, ...more
16
Aloha is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Aloha is a 2015 American romantic comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by Cameron Crowe. The film, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, ...more
17
The Big Bounce is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
The Big Bounce Charlie Sheen, Morgan Freeman, Willie Nelson

Released: 2004

Directed by: George Armitage

The Big Bounce is a 2004 comedy heist film starring Owen Wilson, Charlie Sheen, Sara Foster and Morgan Freeman. It was directed by George Armitage and based on a novel of the same name by Elmore ...more
18
The Hawaiians is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Bette Midler, Charlton Heston, Geraldine Chaplin

Released: 1970

Directed by: Tom Gries

The Hawaiians, released in the UK as Master of the Islands, is a 1970 American historical film based on the novel Hawaii by James A. Michener. It was directed by Tom Gries with a screenplay by ...more
19
Punch-Drunk Love is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson

Released: 2002

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Punch-Drunk Love is a 2002 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Luis ...more

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20
Diamond Head is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, France Nuyen

Released: 1963

Directed by: Guy Green

Diamond Head is a film starring Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, George Chakiris, and James Darren, directed by Guy Green, and released by Columbia Pictures. The original music score was ...more
21
Johnny Kapahala: Back on... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list What's the Greatest Hawaii Movie of All Time?
Nick Jonas, Young Jeezy, Jake T. Austin

Released: 2007

Directed by: Eric Bross

Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board is a Disney Channel Original Movie and is the sequel to the 1999 film Johnny Tsunami. The movie premiered on Disney Channel on June 8, 2007. 1.3 million viewers ...more