Film

The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
348 votes 50 voters 3.9k views 56 items

The best small town movies do more than entertain you, they capture a way of life. Living in a small town is much different than living in a big city. Everyone knows everyone else, and because there's less to do, people make their own fun. The top small town movies understand that. In the best cases, these films create such a realistic atmosphere that the towns themselves practically become full-fledged characters.

Some of the most important movies about small towns include The Last Picture Show, Wind River, and Breaking Away. Although their stories are all very different, they have in common an ability to capture what life is like in more isolated locations. Groundhog Day is a great example of a small town comedy and Tremors is an awesome small town horror film.

Use the list below to vote for the greatest small town movies, or to find suggestions for good movies to watch. If you don't see your favorite on the list, add it and then check back to see how other users are ranking it. 

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26
Mud is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Paulson
Mud is a 2012 American drama film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, and Reese Witherspoon. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film
27
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio
My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathan Lynn. The film stars Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Lane Smith, Bruce ...more
28
Mystic Pizza is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Vincent D'Onofrio
Mystic Pizza is a 1988 American coming-of-age film directed by Donald Petrie. It stars Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, and Lili Taylor. The film also stars Vincent D'Onofrio, William R. Moses, ...more
29
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
David Bowie, Heather Graham, Kiefer Sutherland
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is a 1992 American psychological horror film, directed by David Lynch and written by Lynch and Robert Engels. The film can be viewed as both prologue and epilogue ...more
30
Footloose is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow
Footloose is a 1984 American musical-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of Ren McCormack, an upbeat Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of ...more
31
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Amber Heard, Connie Britton, Tim McGraw
Friday Night Lights is a 2004 sports drama film, directed by Peter Berg, which documents the coach and players of a high school football team and the Texas city of Odessa that supports and is ...more
32
Son in Law is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Tiffani Thiessen, Brendan Fraser, Carla Gugino
Son in Law is a 1993 American comedy film starring Pauly Shore, Carla Gugino, Lane Smith, Cindy Pickett, Tiffani Thiessen, Patrick Renna, Dan Gauthier and Dennis Burkley.
33
Juno is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Jennifer Garner, Ellen Page, Jason Bateman
Juno is a 2007 Canadian-American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody. Ellen Page stars as the title character, an independent-minded teenager confronting an ...more
34
Take Shelter is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon, Katy Mixon
Take Shelter is a 2011 American drama-thriller film written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young ...more
35
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker
Deadwood: The Movie is a 2019 American western film directed by Daniel Minahan, based on the television series. In 1889, the residents of Deadwood are reunited to celebrate South Dakota's
36
Blue Velvet is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern
Blue Velvet is a 1986 American mystery thriller flm, written and directed by David Lynch. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern. The title is taken ...more
37
Mean Creek is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Josh Peck, Carly Schroeder, Rory Culkin
Mean Creek is a 2004 American independent drama film written and directed by Jacob Aaron Estes and starring Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan, Josh Peck, and Carly ...more
38
Breaking Away is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley, Daniel Stern
Breaking Away is a 1979 American coming of age comedy-drama film that follows a group of four male teenagers in Bloomington, Indiana, who have recently graduated from high school. It stars ...more
39
The Death of Dick Long is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Michael Abbott Jr., Virginia Newcomb, Andre Hyland
The Death of Dick Long is a 2019 black comedy-drama film directed and produced by Daniel Scheinert. Zeke & Earl (Michael Abbott, Jr. & Andre Hyland) attempt to cover up the death of ...more
40
Extra Ordinary is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte
Extra Ordinary is a 2019 Irish horror comedy film directed by Mike Ahern and Edna Loughman. Rose Dooley (Maeve Higgins) is a sweet and lonely driving instructor in rural Ireland who has ...more
41
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery
Downton Abbey is a 2019 British historical period drama film directed by Michael Engler, and a continuation of the TV series.
42
Pleasantville is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Reese Witherspoon, Paul Walker, Tobey Maguire
Pleasantville is a 1998 American fantasy comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Gary Ross. The film stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, J. T. Walsh, and ...more
43
Napoleon Dynamite is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Haylie Duff, Jon Heder, Diedrich Bader
Napoleon Dynamite is a 2004 American independent art-house comedy film written by Jared and Jerusha Hess and directed by Jared. The film stars Jon Heder in the role of the title character, for ...more
44
Straw Dogs is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Dustin Hoffman, David Warner, Peter Vaughan
Straw Dogs is a 1971 psychological thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. The screenplay by Peckinpah and David Zelag Goodman is based upon Gordon M. ...more
45
The Majestic is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Jim Carrey, Matt Damon, Rob Reiner
The Majestic is a 2001 American drama film directed and produced by Frank Darabont, written by Michael Sloane, and starring Jim Carrey, Martin Landau, Jeffrey DeMunn, David Ogden Stiers, James ...more
46
The Sandlot is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
James Earl Jones, Denis Leary, Karen Allen
The Sandlot, also known as The Sandlot Kids, is a 1993 American coming-of-age film Comedy directed by David M. Evans, which tells the story of a group of young baseball players during the summer ...more
47
Burn is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Suki Waterhouse, Harry Shum Jr.
Burn is a 2019 American thriller film directed by Mike Gan. When a gas station is held at gunpoint by a desperate man (Josh Hutcherson) in need of cash, a lonely and unstable gas station ...more
48
Artik is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Chase Williamson, Jerry G. Angelo, Lauren Ashley Carter
Artik is a 2019 American horror action film directed by Tom Botchii Skowronski. A boy befriends a mysterious stranger who threatens to reveal his family's horrible secret.
49
Harlan County, USA is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Harlan County, USA is a 1976 Oscar-winning documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike", an effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover ...more
50
Crawl is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked
Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson
Crawl is a 2019 American horror film directed by Alexandre Aja. A young woman (Kaya Scodelario) becomes trapped in a flooding house trying to save her father (Barry Pepper) during a Category 5 ...more