Entertainment

The Best Southern Movies 

Ranker Film
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13.3k votes 2.1k voters 154.3k views 89 items

List Rules Movies about or set in the region of the American South

When you think about the American South certain things probably come to mind, such as the Civil War, plantations, slavery, cotton fields, hospitality, southern charm, accents, a warmer climate, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement and fried chicken! Some of cinema's most classic films are set in the rich landscape of the South

The southern part of the United States is home to some of the most important historical events in the nation. It's known for its hospitality and comfort food, as well as movies like The Secret Life of Bees, Rambling Rose, and Crazy Heart.

This list features the best Southern movies including: Forrest Gump, Gone With the Wind, Steel Magnolias, The Client, The Notebook, Fried Green Tomatoes, Ray, The Help, The Blind Side, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Radio, The Firm, The Prince of Tides, The Rainmaker, Where the Heart Is, and My Cousin Vinny.

Grab a plate of fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, fried anything else, and vote up your favorite Southern movie. Or, add a film not on the list.
list ordered by
1
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Southern Movies
Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

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#2 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine
Steel Magnolias is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross, based on the 1987 play by Robert Harling. A young beautician (Daryl Hannah), newly arrived in a small Louisiana ...more

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#276 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #206 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

3
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Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more

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#163 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Most Memorable 'Gone with the Wind' Quoteslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
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Kathy Bates, Mary-Louise Parker, Chris O'Donnell
Fried Green Tomatoes is a 1991 comedy-drama film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Directed by Jon Avnet. It tells the story of a Depression-era friendship ...more

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#68 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #212 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

5
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Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom
To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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#4 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Quotes That'll Change How You Thinklisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Dakota Fanning
Sweet Home Alabama is a 2002 American romantic comedy film directed by Andy Tennant, starring Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey and Candice Bergen. The film was released by ...more

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#510 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #19 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

7
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Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard
The Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about ...more

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#82 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #265 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

8
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Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Tandy
Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Alfred Uhry, based on Uhry's play of the same name. The film stars Jessica Tandy, Morgan ...more

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#20 of 67 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In February 2020 #433 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

9
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Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner
The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a ...more

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#96 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #306 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing These Quotes From 'The Notebook' Will Have You In Tears

10
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Southern Movies
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates
The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael ...more

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#703 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Quietly Racist Things You Probably Missed In The Blind Sidelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
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George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with ...more

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#180 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #28 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

12
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Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, John Ritter
Sling Blade is a 1996 American drama film set in rural Arkansas, written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who also stars in the lead role. It tells the story of a man named Karl Childers with ...more

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#487 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #177 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand
Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more

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#68 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #16 of 320 The Best Political Films Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
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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

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#127 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'My Cousin Vinny'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
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Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey
This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey ...more

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#282 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #25 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #282 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

16
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Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd, Maggie Smith
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a 2002 American comedy-drama film starring an ensemble cast headed by Sandra Bullock, directed and written by Callie Khouri. It is based on Rebecca ...more

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#159 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #10 of 26 Great Movies About Old Ladies

17
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Kevin Spacey, Jude Law, John Cusack
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a 1997 American drama film directed by Clint Eastwood, and an adaptation of the book of the same name by John Berendt, which was based on real-life ...more
18
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Natalie Portman, Sally Field, Ashley Judd
Where the Heart Is is a 2000 drama/romance film directed by Matt Williams, in his film directing debut. The movie stars Natalie Portman, Stockard Channing, Ashley Judd, and Joan Cusack with ...more

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#171 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #209 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies

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Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law
Cold Mountain is a 2003 epic drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Charles Frazier. It stars Jude Law, Nicole ...more

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#118 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #410 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
Mud is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Southern Movies
Acres_of_Sun added
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
21
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Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a 1958 American drama film directed by Richard Brooks. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tennessee Williams adapted by Richard Brooks ...more

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#12 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s #9 of 33 25+ Great Movies About Depressing Couples #23 of 67 The Best Movies & TV Shows About Alcohol Addiction

22
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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

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#281 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #146 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

23
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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

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#212 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #368 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

24
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Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard
Ray is a biographical film focusing on 30 years in the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. The independently produced film was written, produced and directed by Taylor Hackford, and ...more

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#135 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #334 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
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Alicia Keys, Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah
The Secret Life of Bees is a 2008 American drama film, adapted from the novel of the same name by Sue Monk Kidd. The film was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and produced by Will Smith, with ...more

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