Film
117 voters

The Best Small Town Movies, Ranked

Updated June 19, 2020 941 votes 117 voters 10.4k 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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  • 1
    Stand by Me
    53
    13

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    What's Eating Gilbert Grape
    35
    12

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape

    Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released1993

    Directed byLasse Hallström

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  • 3
    Fargo
    24
    7

    Fargo

    Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy

    Released1996

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

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  • 4
    Groundhog Day
    22
    5

    Groundhog Day

    Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell

    Released1993

    Directed byHarold Ramis

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  • 5
    Beautiful Girls
    20
    7

    Beautiful Girls

    Natalie Portman, Uma Thurman

    Released1996

    Directed byTed Demme

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  • 6
    Footloose
    18
    6

    Footloose

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon

    Released1984

    Directed byHerbert Ross

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  • 7
    The Sandlot
    20
    12

    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 8
    Doc Hollywood
    16
    6

    Doc Hollywood

    Michael J. Fox, Woody Harrelson

    Released1991

    Directed byMichael Caton-Jones

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  • 9
    Bernie
    15
    5

    Bernie

    Matthew McConaughey, Jack Black

    Released2011

    Directed byRichard Linklater

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  • 10
    The Last Picture Show
    17
    9

    The Last Picture Show

    Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd

    Released1971

    Directed byPeter Bogdanovich

    The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    It's a Wonderful Life
    13
    5

    It's a Wonderful Life

    James Stewart, Donna Reed

    Released1946

    Directed byFrank Capra

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  • 12
    The Goonies
    10
    1

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • 13
    Signs
    13
    6

    Signs

    Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2002

    Directed byM. Night Shyamalan

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  • 14
    Pleasantville
    13
    8

    Pleasantville

    Reese Witherspoon, Paul Walker

    Released1998

    Directed byGary Ross

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  • 15
    Tremors
    13
    8

    Tremors

    Kevin Bacon, Reba McEntire

    Released1990

    Directed byRon Underwood

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  • 16
    American Graffiti
    12
    6

    American Graffiti

    Harrison Ford, Ron Howard

    Released1973

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

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  • 17
    Wind River
    10
    5

    Wind River

    Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen

    Released2017

    Directed byTaylor Sheridan

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  • 18
    Straw Dogs
    10
    6

    Straw Dogs

    Dustin Hoffman, David Warner

    Released1971

    Directed bySam Peckinpah

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  • 19
    The Majestic
    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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    Hell or High Water
    12
    8

    Hell or High Water

    Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine

    Released2016

    Directed byDavid Mackenzie

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  • 21
    My Cousin Vinny
    10
    6

    My Cousin Vinny

    Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci

    Released1992

    Directed byJonathan Lynn

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  • 22
    Napoleon Dynamite
    12
    9

    Napoleon Dynamite

    Haylie Duff, Jon Heder

    Released2004

    Directed byJared Hess

    Napoleon Dynamite is a 2004 American independent art-house comedy film written by Jared and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    Lady in White
    9
    5

    Lady in White

    Katherine Helmond, Lukas Haas

    Released1988

    Directed byFrank Laloggia

    Lady in White is a 1988 American horror film of the ghost/mystery genre. Much of the film was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 24
    Friday Night Lights
    8
    4

    Friday Night Lights

    Amber Heard, Connie Britton

    Released2004

    Directed byPeter Berg

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  • 25
    Take Shelter
    8
    4

    Take Shelter

    Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon

    Released2011

    Directed byJeff Nichols

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