Entertainment

Great Movies Set Along the Coast  

Ranker Film
346 votes 72 voters 8.6k views 30 items

The coast may seem like a serene destination, but some of the most exciting movies of all time take place near the water. The top seaside movies feature stories about friendship, romantic relationships, and coping with life on the waterfront. This is a list of the top movies set in seaside towns featuring everything from Dan in Real Life to Moonrise Kingdom to Mermaids.

What movies will you find on this list of the top coastal films? Many movie fans would vote Jaws straight to the top. Set in the fictional New England town of Amity Island, this Steven Spielberg classic had movie-goers scared to even dip their toes in the water. Even its setting was authentic: much of Jaws was filmed on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Dolores Claiborne is another good film set in a coastal region. The coast proved to be the perfect setting for the coming-of-age story of the ladies of Mystic Pizza. Other good movies featured on this best coastal films list include About Time, Message in a Bottle, and The Ghost Writer.

Which movie set on the coast do you think is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and add any great coastal flicks that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider
Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

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2
Mystic Pizza is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Vincent D'Onofrio
Mystic Pizza is a 1988 American coming-of-age film directed by Donald Petrie. It stars Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, and Lili Taylor. The film also stars Vincent D'Onofrio, William R. Moses, ...more

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3
The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
clash1977 added George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane
The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is an adaptation of the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger, which ...more

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4
Message in a Bottle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Message in a Bottle Hayden Panettiere, Kevin Costner, Paul Newman
Message in a Bottle is a 1999 American romantic drama film directed by Luis Mandoki. Based on a novel with the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the film stars Kevin Costner, Robin Wright, and Paul ...more

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5
Moonrise Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton
Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola. Described as an "eccentric pubescent love story", it features newcomers Jared ...more

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6
Evil Under the Sun is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg, Peter Ustinov
Evil Under the Sun is a 1982 British mystery film based on the 1941 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie.
7
Eternal Sunshine of the ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, written by Charlie ...more

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8
Mermaids is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Cher, Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder
Mermaids is a 1990 American comedy-drama film directed by Richard Benjamin and starring Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci in her first film role. The film is based on the 1986 ...more

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9
The Truman Show is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Ed Harris
The Truman Show is a 1998 American satirical social science fiction comedy-drama film directed by Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol. The cast includes Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, Laura ...more

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10
One Crazy Summer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Demi Moore, John Cusack, Jeremy Piven
One Crazy Summer is a 1986 romantic comedy film written and directed by Savage Steve Holland, and starring John Cusack, Demi Moore, Bobcat Goldthwait, Curtis Armstrong, and Joel Murray. The ...more

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11
The Way, Way Back is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Steve Carell, Amanda Peet, AnnaSophia Robb
The Way, Way Back is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash in their directorial debut. The film stars Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison ...more
12
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo
Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Production started in March 2008. ...more

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13
Dan in Real Life is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Emily Blunt, Steve Carell, Dane Cook
Dan in Real Life is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Hedges, starring Steve Carell, Alison Pill, Juliette Binoche, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney and Dane Cook.
14
The Cider House Rules is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Charlize Theron, Michael Caine, Paul Rudd
The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the ...more

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15
Dolores Claiborne is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Dolores Claiborne
16
It is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter
It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

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17
Sabrina is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden
Sabrina is a 1954 American romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder, adapted for the screen by Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, and Ernest Lehman from Taylor's play Sabrina Fair. It stars Humphrey ...more

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18
About Time is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Rachel McAdams, Margot Robbie, Bill Nighy
About Time is a 2013 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Richard Curtis. A young man (Domhnall Gleeson) with the special ability to time travel tries to change his past in order to ...more

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19
Muriel's Wedding is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter
Muriel's Wedding is a 1994 Australian comedy-drama film written and directed by P. J. Hogan. The film, which stars actors Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Jeanie Drynan, Sophie Lee, and Bill ...more

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20
Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Cape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and a remake of the 1962 film of the same name. It stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and ...more

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21
The Good Son is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Macaulay Culkin, Elijah Wood, David Morse
The Good Son is a 1993 American psychological thriller film directed by Joseph Ruben and written by English novelist Ian McEwan. The film stars Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood.

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22
The Weight of Water is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Elizabeth Hurley, Sean Penn, Josh Lucas
The Weight of Water is a 2000 French-American mystery thriller film based on Anita Shreve's 1997 novel of the same name. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film stars Elizabeth Hurley, Catherine ...more
23
The Lighthouse is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Valeriia Karaman
The Lighthouse is a 2019 black-and-white psychological horror film directed by Robert Eggers. The story of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) on a remote and mysterious ...more

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24
State and Main is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin, Julia Stiles
State and Main is a 2000 comedy film, written and directed by David Mamet and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Stiles, William H. Macy and Alec ...more
25
In the Bedroom is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies Set Along the Coast
Marisa Tomei, Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson
In the Bedroom is a 2001 American drama film directed by Todd Field, and dedicated to Andre Dubus. The film stars Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, and William Mapother. The ...more

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