Film
136 voters

The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked

Updated June 19, 2020 998 votes 136 voters 12.4k views60 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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  • Stand by Me1
    59
    14

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob...  more
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  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape2
    37
    13

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape

    Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released1993

    Directed byLasse Hallström

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and...  more
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  • Fargo3
    24
    6

    Fargo

    Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy

    Released1996

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and...  more
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  • Groundhog Day4
    23
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    Groundhog Day

    Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell

    Released1993

    Directed byHarold Ramis

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  • Beautiful Girls5
    21
    6

    Beautiful Girls

    Natalie Portman, Uma Thurman

    Released1996

    Directed byTed Demme

    Beautiful Girls is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ted Demme from a...  more
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  • Footloose6
    20
    6

    Footloose

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon

    Released1984

    Directed byHerbert Ross

    Footloose is a 1984 American musical-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of Ren...  more
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  • The Goonies7
    14
    1

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

    The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The...  more
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  • The Last Picture Show8
    20
    9

    The Last Picture Show

    Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd

    Released1971

    Directed byPeter Bogdanovich

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  • Doc Hollywood9
    17
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    Doc Hollywood

    Michael J. Fox, Woody Harrelson

    Released1991

    Directed byMichael Caton-Jones

    Doc Hollywood is a 1991 romantic comedy film directed by Michael Caton-Jones, and written by...  more
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  • It's a Wonderful Life10
    15
    5

    It's a Wonderful Life

    James Stewart, Donna Reed

    Released1946

    Directed byFrank Capra

    It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film produced and...  more
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  • The Sandlot11
    22
    15

    The Sandlot

    James Earl Jones, Denis Leary

    Released1993

    Directed byDavid M. Evans

    The Sandlot, also known as The Sandlot Kids, is a 1993 American coming-of-age film Comedy...  more
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  • Pleasantville12
    15
    8

    Pleasantville

    Reese Witherspoon, Paul Walker

    Released1998

    Directed byGary Ross

    Pleasantville is a 1998 American fantasy comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by...  more
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  • American Graffiti13
    13
    6

    American Graffiti

    Harrison Ford, Ron Howard

    Released1973

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming of age comedy-drama film directed and co-written...  more
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  • Signs14
    13
    6

    Signs

    Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2002

    Directed byM. Night Shyamalan

    Signs is a 2002 American science fiction thriller film written and directed by M. Night...  more
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  • Lone Star15
    10
    4

    Lone Star

    Matthew McConaughey, Kris Kristofferson

    Released1996

    Directed byJohn Sayles

    Lone Star is a 1996 drama, mystery, romance film written and directed by John Sayles....  more
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  • My Cousin Vinny16
    12
    6

    My Cousin Vinny

    Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci

    Released1992

    Directed byJonathan Lynn

    My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathan...  more
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  • Tremors17
    13
    8

    Tremors

    Kevin Bacon, Reba McEntire

    Released1990

    Directed byRon Underwood

    Tremors is a 1990 American western monster film directed by Ron Underwood, written by Brent...  more
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  • The Bridges of Madison County18
    12
    6

    The Bridges of Madison County

    Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep

    Released1995

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    The Bridges of Madison County is a 1995 American romantic drama film based on the best-selling...  more
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  • Wind River19
    10
    5

    Wind River

    Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen

    Released2017

    Directed byTaylor Sheridan

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  • Blue Velvet20
    12
    8

    Blue Velvet

    Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper

    Released1986

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Blue Velvet is a 1986 American mystery thriller flm, written and directed by David Lynch. The...  more
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  • Juno21
    11
    6

    Juno

    Jennifer Garner, Ellen Page

    Released2007

    Directed byJason Reitman

    Juno is a 2007 Canadian-American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and written by...  more
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  • Straw Dogs22
    10
    6

    Straw Dogs

    Dustin Hoffman, David Warner

    Released1971

    Directed bySam Peckinpah

    Straw Dogs is a 1971 psychological thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Dustin...  more
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    #80 of 88 The Goriest Movies Ever Made#15 of 45 The Most Controversial Movies of All Time

  • The Majestic23
    10
    6

    The Majestic

    Jim Carrey, Matt Damon

    Released2001

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Majestic is a 2001 American drama film directed and produced by Frank Darabont, written by...  more
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  • Hell or High Water24
    12
    8

    Hell or High Water

    Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine

    Released2016

    Directed byDavid Mackenzie

    Hell or High Water is a 2016 American neo-western heist-crime film directed by David...  more
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  • Hot Fuzz25
    13
    10

    Hot Fuzz

    Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman

    Released2007

    Directed byEdgar Wright

    Hot Fuzz is a 2007 British action comedy parody film directed by Edgar Wright, written by...  more
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