Film The Best Small Town Movies  

Ranker Film
117 votes 9 voters 45 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.

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. 

list ordered by
1
4 1
The Last Picture Show is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman
The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted from a semi-autobiographical 1966 novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry. Set in a small town in ...more
2
4 1
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack
Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more
3
3 1
The Ice Storm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Katie Holmes, Christina Ricci, Sigourney Weaver
The Ice Storm is a 1997 American drama film directed by Ang Lee, based on the 1994 novel of the same name by Rick Moody. The film features an ensemble cast of Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Tobey ...more
4
3 1
Wind River is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Jeremy Renner, Ashley Olsen, Jon Bernthal
Wind River is a 2017 American thriller film directed and written by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water) in his directorial debut. US Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert ...more
5
3 1
Bernie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Matthew McConaughey, Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine
Bernie is a 2011 black comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, and written by Linklater and Skip Hollandsworth. The film stars Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. It is ...more
6
3 1
Signs is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin
Signs is a 2002 American science fiction thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Executive producers for the film comprised Shyamalan, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Sam ...more
7
3 1
The Sandlot is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
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
8
2 0
Groundhog Day is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Michael Shannon
Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott. It was written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, based on a story ...more
9
3 2
The Bridges of Madison County is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Debra Monk
The Bridges of Madison County is a 1995 American romantic drama film based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Robert James Waller. It was produced by Amblin Entertainment and Malpaso ...more
10
2 1
Son in Law is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
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.
11
1 0
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
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
12
2 2
Tremors is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Kevin Bacon, Reba McEntire, Fred Ward
Tremors is a 1990 American western monster film directed by Ron Underwood, written by Brent Maddock, S. S. Wilson and Underwood, and starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, ...more
13
2 2
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
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
14
2 2
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Darlene Cates, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Peter Hedges wrote the ...more
15
2 2
Out of Time is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Eva Mendes, Denzel Washington, Sanaa Lathan
Out of Time is a 2003 American thriller film, directed by Carl Franklin featuring Denzel Washington.
16
1 1
Mud is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
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
17
1 1
Nebraska is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk
Nebraska is a 2013 American comedy-drama black-and-white road film directed by Alexander Payne and written by Bob Nelson. It stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, and Bob Odenkirk. The film ...more
18
1 1
Hell or High Water is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster
Hell or High Water is a 2016 American neo-western heist-crime film directed by David Mackenzie. The film follows two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who carry out a series of bank robberies ...more
19
1 1
October Sky is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper
October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's ...more
20
1 1
Lone Star is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Matthew McConaughey, Kris Kristofferson, Frances McDormand
Lone Star is a 1996 drama, mystery, romance film written and directed by John Sayles.
21
1 1
Doc Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Michael J. Fox, Woody Harrelson, Bridget Fonda
Doc Hollywood is a 1991 romantic comedy film directed by Michael Caton-Jones, and written by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman. The film stars Michael J. Fox, Julie Warner, and Woody Harrelson, ...more
22
1 1
About Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, June Squibb
About Schmidt is a 2002 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne, starring Jack Nicholson in the title role. It is very loosely based on the 1996 novel of the same title by Louis ...more
23
1 1
Breaking Away is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
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
24
1 1
Mean Creek is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
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
25
1 1
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Small Town Movies
Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand
Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more