Film The Best Los Angeles Movies  

Ranker Film
1.8k votes 129 voters 4.1k views 69 items

List Rules Movies set in, starring, or about the city of Los Angeles, California

Iconic red carpets, a sidewalk dotted with stars in honor of the world’s most famous celebrities, Hollywood, million-dollar homes, designer clothes, sunshine, beautiful beaches, gangs – these are the things that come to mind when we talk about Los Angeles. Located in Southern California, L.A. is the most populous city in the state and the second most populous city in the country (second only to New York City). Home to the film industry, it's no surprise that L.A. often becomes the setting or subject of popular films. This list features the best movies about Los Angeles.

The home of the stars is prominent in some classic, popular movies like L.A. Confidential, Clueless, and Heat. Whether you're craving an action flick, a classic film, a tear-jerker, or a drama that you’re looking for this list is sure to feature a movie to fit your needs!

This list has the best movies about L.A., including: Chinatown, The Long Goodbye, Mulholland Drive, Kiss Me Deadly, Short Cuts, Blade Runner, Die Hard, The Limey, Jackie Brown, Magnolia, Repo Man, The Big Sleep, and Model Shop.

Vote up your favorite film starring the City of Angels or, if your favorite isn't here, add it below.
list ordered by

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clash1977 added John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American black comedy thriller film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, from a story by Tarantino and Roger Avary. The film is known for its eclectic dialogue, ...more

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Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Tara Reid The Big Lebowski is a 1998 stoner comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, an unemployed Los Angeles ...more

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Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Roman Polanski Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film, directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the ...more

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clash1977 added Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams, ...more

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Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

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William Holden, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson Sunset Boulevard—stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.—is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the ...more

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L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of ...more

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Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd Clueless is a 1995 American comedy film loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma. It stars Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, and Brittany Murphy. The film is set in Beverly Hills ...more

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clash1977 added Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills, California to ...more

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Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Rita Moreno Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, and choreographed by Kelly and Donen. It ...more

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Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
clash1977 added Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more

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clash1977 added Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of L.A.P.D. detectives and stars Mitchell Ryan and ...more

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Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

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clash1977 added Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and co-stars Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott ...more

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clash1977 added John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy-drama film directed by Randal Kleiser and produced by Paramount Pictures. It is based on Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs' 1971 musical of the same ...more

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clash1977 added Mel Gibson, Joe Pesci, Danny Glover Lethal Weapon 2 is a 1989 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, and starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Patsy Kensit, Derrick O'Connor and Joss Ackland. It is a ...more

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Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by Cameron Crowe, adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. As a freelance writer for Rolling Stone ...more

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Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr. Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia ...more

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Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Tom Islava added O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical film directed by F. Gary Gray. The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and ...more

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Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on ...more

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Training Day is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
clash1977 added Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington Training Day is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics officers over ...more

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Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. The film stars James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood. Directed by Nicholas Ray, ...more

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Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more

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Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A ...more

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clash1977 added Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze Point Break is a 1991 American action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break, where ...more

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Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino Jackie Brown is a 1997 drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1992 novel Rum Punch, the first adaptation from Tarantino, and stars Pam ...more

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Johnny Depp, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray Ed Wood is a 1994 American period comedy-drama biopic directed and produced by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp as cult filmmaker Ed Wood. The film concerns the period in Wood's life when he ...more

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Willem Dafoe, John Turturro, Jane Leeves To Live and Die in L.A. is a 1985 American action thriller film directed by William Friedkin and based on the novel by former U.S. Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, who co-wrote the ...more

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clash1977 added Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Don Cheadle Colors is a 1988 American police procedural action film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, and directed by Dennis Hopper. The film takes place in the gang ridden neighborhoods of South ...more

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kq added Samuel L. Jackson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Charles S. Dutton Menace II Society is a 1993 drama/hood film and the directorial debut of twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes. Set in South Central Los Angeles, the film follows the life of a hoodlum named ...more

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clash1977 added Dick Elliott, Huntz Hall, David Gorcey Up in Smoke is a film directed by William Beaudine released on Dec 22, 1957.

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Heather Graham, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau filmography This film is a 1996 comedy-drama film about the lives of single, unemployed actors living on the 'eastside' of Hollywood, California during the 1990s swing revival. Written by Jon Favreau and ...more

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Christina Hendricks, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan Drive is a 2011 American neo noir arthouse action directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks. It is adapted from the ...more

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clash1977 added Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss Down and Out in Beverly Hills is a 1986 American comedy film based on the French play Boudu sauvé des eaux, which had previously been adapted on film in 1932 by Jean Renoir. Down and Out ...more

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Blood In, Blood Out is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies

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Daniel Forgie added Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jason Statham Collateral is a 2004 American neo-noir film directed by Michael Mann from a screenplay written by Stuart Beattie, and starring Tom Cruise as a contract killer and Jamie Foxx as a taxi driver who ...more

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Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, Kevin Spacey Billionaire Boys Club is a 2018 American biographical crime drama film directed by James Cox. Led by their fellow preppie friend Joe Hunt (Ansel Elgort), a group of wealthy boys in 1980s Los ...more

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John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen brothers. Set in 1941, it stars John Turturro in the title role as a young New York City playwright ...more

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Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader Less Than Zero is a 1987 American drama film very loosely based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel of the same name. The film stars Andrew McCarthy as Clay, a college freshman returning home for ...more

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clash1977 added John Travolta, John Wayne, Danny DeVito Get Shorty is a 1995 comedy-thriller film based on Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, and Danny DeVito, ...more

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clash1977 added Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Charles Bukowski Barfly is a 1987 American film which is a semi-autobiography of poet/author Charles Bukowski during the time he spent drinking heavily in Los Angeles. The screenplay by Bukowski was commissioned ...more

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Jimmy Buffett, Emilio Estevez, Harry Dean Stanton Repo Man is a 1984 American science fiction comedy film directed by Alex Cox. It was produced by Jonathan Wacks and Peter McCarthy, with executive producer Michael Nesmith, and stars Harry Dean ...more

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Sarah Jessica Parker, Steve Martin, Patrick Stewart L.A. Story is a 1991 American romantic comedy fantasy satire film, written by and starring Steve Martin, and directed by Mick Jackson. Set in Los Angeles, California, it relates a series of ...more

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Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman Magnolia is a 1999 American drama film written, produced, and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Jeremy Blackman, Tom Cruise, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, ...more

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Jon Ausman added Gene Simmons, Rutger Hauer, Robert Guillaume Wanted: Dead or Alive is a 1987 film directed by Gary Sherman and starring Rutger Hauer as Nick Randall, the descendant of the character Josh Randall, played by Steve McQueen in the 1958 ...more

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Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy In a Lonely Place is a 1950 film noir directed by Nicholas Ray, and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, produced for Bogart's Santana Productions. The script was adapted by Edmund North ...more

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Melanie Griffith, Dennis Franz, Deborah Shelton Body Double is a 1984 American thriller film directed by Brian De Palma and starring Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, and Gregg Henry. The original musical score was composed by Pino Donaggio. ...more

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clash1977 added Jack Nicholson, Tom Waits, Madeleine Stowe The Two Jakes is a 1990 American Neo-noir mystery film, and the sequel to the 1974 film Chinatown. Directed by and starring Jack Nicholson, it also features Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, Madeleine ...more

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clash1977 added Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris This movie is a 2004 ensemble drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, California. A self-described ...more