155 voters

The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked

Updated March 27, 2021 1.1k votes 155 voters 14.7k views63 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. 

  • 1

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman
    Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob...  more

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  • 2

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape

    Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio
    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and...  more

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  • 3


    Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy
    Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and...  more

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  • 4

    Groundhog Day

    Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell
    Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis. A derisive...  more

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  • 5

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin
    The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The...  more

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  • 6

    Beautiful Girls

    Natalie Portman, Uma Thurman
    Beautiful Girls is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ted Demme from a...  more

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  • 7

    It's a Wonderful Life

    James Stewart, Donna Reed
    It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film produced and...  more

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  • 8

    The Last Picture Show

    Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd
    The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted...  more

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  • 9

    Doc Hollywood

    Michael J. Fox, Woody Harrelson
    Doc Hollywood is a 1991 romantic comedy film directed by Michael Caton-Jones, and written by...  more


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  • 10

    The Sandlot

    James Earl Jones, Denis Leary
    The Sandlot, also known as The Sandlot Kids, is a 1993 American coming-of-age film Comedy...  more

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  • 11


    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon
    Footloose is a 1984 American musical-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of Ren...  more

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  • 12


    Kevin Bacon, Reba McEntire
    Tremors is a 1990 American western monster film directed by Ron Underwood, written by Brent...  more

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  • 13

    Blue Velvet

    Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper
    Blue Velvet is a 1986 American mystery thriller flm, written and directed by David Lynch. The...  more

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  • 14


    Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix
    Signs is a 2002 American science fiction thriller film written and directed by M. Night...  more

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  • 15

    Hell or High Water

    Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine
    Hell or High Water is a 2016 American neo-western heist-crime film directed by David...  more

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  • 16

    Hot Fuzz

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

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  • 17

    Napoleon Dynamite

    Haylie Duff, Jon Heder
    Napoleon Dynamite is a 2004 American independent art-house comedy film written by Jared and...  more

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  • 18

    American Graffiti

    Harrison Ford, Ron Howard
    American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming of age comedy-drama film directed and co-written...  more

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  • 19

    Son in Law

    Tiffani Thiessen, Brendan Fraser
    Son in Law is a 1993 American comedy film starring Pauly Shore, Carla Gugino, Lane Smith,...  more

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  • 20


    Jennifer Garner, Ellen Page
    Juno is a 2007 Canadian-American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and written by...  more

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  • 21

    The Majestic

    Jim Carrey, Matt Damon
    The Majestic is a 2001 American drama film directed and produced by Frank Darabont, written by...  more

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  • 22
    Harlan County, USA is a 1976 Oscar-winning documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike",...  more
  • 23

    Lady in White

    Katherine Helmond, Lukas Haas
    Lady in White is a 1988 American horror film of the ghost/mystery genre. Much of the film was...  more

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  • 24

    Take Shelter

    Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon
    Take Shelter is a 2011 American drama-thriller film written and directed by Jeff Nichols and...  more

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  • 25

    October Sky

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern
    October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake...  more

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