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The Best Los Angeles Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated January 24, 2020 3k votes 274 voters 9.3k views 87 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! Pretty Woman is a great example of a romantic movie set in Los Angeles.

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. There are also several comedy movies set in L.A. like Friday and Rush Hour.

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

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clash1977 added John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman

Released: 1994

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more

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Genius Fan Theories About What's In The Briefcase In 'Pulp Fiction' #42 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Roman Polanski

Released: 1974

Directed by: 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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#92 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #1,134 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Tara Reid

Released: 1998

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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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'The Big Lebowski' Fan Theories That Really Tie The Film Together #126 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #43 of 130 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

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Once Upon a Time in Holl... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie

Released: 2019

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a 2019 crime thriller film directed by Quentin Tarantino. A TV actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) embark on an odyssey to make a name for ...more

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The History Behind Tarantino's 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' #1,139 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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William Holden, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson

Released: 1950

Directed by: Billy Wilder

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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#113 of 130 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #9 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger

Released: 1997

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

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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#86 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #161 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
clash1977 added Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth

Released: 1992

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

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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#156 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #189 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #67 of 130 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

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clash1977 added Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham

Released: 1997

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

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Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

Released: 2001

Directed by: David Lynch

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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#65 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #640 of 852 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #869 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

Released: 1988

Directed by: John McTiernan

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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'Die Hard' Ripoffs, Ranked By How Hard They Die #27 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #17 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

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Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 1991

Directed by: John Singleton

Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama film directed by John Singleton. Three young men weave in and out of violence, relationships, and racial issues in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los

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Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

Released: 1995

Directed by: Michael Mann

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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#125 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #587 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #16 of 114 The Best Mafia Films

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Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd

Released: 1995

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

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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The Best Outfits from Clueless #50 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #124 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Rita Moreno

Released: 1952

Directed by: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly

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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Every Song in Singin' in the Rain, Ranked by Singability #527 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #296 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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Training Day is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
clash1977 added Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington

Released: 2001

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

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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#15 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #789 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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clash1977 added Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser

Released: 1984

Directed by: Martin Brest

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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#95 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #176 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #24 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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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25 'Blade Runner' Fan Theories That'll Have You Dreaming Of Electric Sheep #79 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #22 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books

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clash1977 added Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover

Released: 1987

Directed by: Richard Donner

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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Surprising Facts Most People Don't Know About 'Lethal Weapon' #63 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #48 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 1982

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

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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#90 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #251 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #62 of 130 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

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Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1955

Directed by: Nicholas Ray

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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#1,244 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #217 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #4 of 30 20+ Great Movies About Teen Life in the 1950s

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clash1977 added Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze

Released: 1991

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

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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Things About Point Break That Are Too Weird Not To Address #233 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #202 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

22
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clash1977 added Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Kaye

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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#184 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #4 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #111 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

23
La La Land is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Albert Rose added Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend

Released: 2016

Directed by: Damien Chazelle

La La Land is a 2016 American romantic musical comedy-drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, and Rosemarie DeWitt. The plot ...more

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Every Song in La La Land, Ranked by Singability #176 of 210 The Best Movies About Musiclisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Christina Hendricks, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan

Released: 2011

Directed by: Nicolas Winding

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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#228 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #356 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #199 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

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Straight Outta Compton ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Los Angeles Movies
Tom Islava added O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell

Released: 2015

Directed by: F. Gary Gray

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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#51 of 210 The Best Movies About Music #307 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #67 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time