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Great Movies Set Along the Coast

Updated March 23, 2020 579 votes 105 voters 13.3k views31 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.

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  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind1
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    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst

    Released2004

    Directed byMichel Gondry

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  • Jaws2
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    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • The Perfect Storm3
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    The Perfect Storm

    George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg

    Released2000

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • Mystic Pizza4
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    Mystic Pizza

    Julia Roberts, Matt Damon

    Released1988

    Directed byDonald Petrie

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  • Shutter Island5
    19
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    Shutter Island

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams

    Released2010

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • Dolores Claiborne6
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  • Message in a Bottle7
    14
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    Message in a Bottle

    Hayden Panettiere, Kevin Costner

    Released1999

    Directed byLuis Mandoki

    Message in a Bottle is a 1999 American romantic drama film directed by Luis Mandoki. Based on...  more

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  • The Lighthouse8
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    The Lighthouse

    Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson

    Released2019

    Directed byRobert Eggers

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  • Evil Under the Sun9
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    Evil Under the Sun

    Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg

    Released1982

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

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  • The Way, Way Back10
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    The Way, Way Back

    Steve Carell, Amanda Peet

    Released2013

    Directed byJim Rash, Nat Faxon

    The Way, Way Back is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nat Faxon and...  more
  • Mermaids11
    9
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    Mermaids

    Cher, Christina Ricci

    Released1990

    Directed byRichard Benjamin

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  • The Cider House Rules12
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    The Cider House Rules

    Charlize Theron, Michael Caine

    Released1999

    Directed byLasse Hallström

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  • One Crazy Summer13
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    One Crazy Summer

    Demi Moore, John Cusack

    Released1986

    Directed bySavage Steve Holland

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  • About Time14
    9
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    About Time

    Rachel McAdams, Margot Robbie

    Released2013

    Directed byRichard Curtis

    About Time is a 2013 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Richard Curtis. A young...  more

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  • Cape Fear15
    13
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    Cape Fear

    Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte

    Released1991

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • Blow the Man Down16
    5
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    Blow the Man Down

    Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe

    Released2020

    Directed byBridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy

    Blow The Man Down is a 2020 American dark comedy directed by Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle...  more
  • Dan in Real Life17
    11
    14

    Dan in Real Life

    Emily Blunt, Steve Carell

    Released2007

    Directed byPeter Hedges

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  • The Truman Show18
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    The Truman Show

    Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti

    Released1998

    Directed byPeter Weir

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  • The Good Son19
    7
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    The Good Son

    Macaulay Culkin, Elijah Wood

    Released1993

    Directed byJoseph Ruben

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  • Moonrise Kingdom20
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    Moonrise Kingdom

    Bruce Willis, Bill Murray

    Released2012

    Directed byWes Anderson

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  • It21
    7
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    It

    Tim Curry, Seth Green

    Released1990

    Directed byTommy Lee Wallace

    It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same...  more

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  • The Weight of Water22
    5
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    The Weight of Water

    Elizabeth Hurley, Sean Penn

    Released2000

    Directed byKathryn Bigelow

    The Weight of Water is a 2000 French-American mystery thriller film based on Anita Shreve's...  more
  • Sabrina23
    7
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    Sabrina

    Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1954

    Directed byBilly Wilder

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  • Muriel's Wedding24
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    Muriel's Wedding

    Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths

    Released1994

    Directed byP. J. Hogan

    Muriel's Wedding is a 1994 Australian comedy-drama film written and directed by P. J. Hogan....  more

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  • State and Main25
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    State and Main

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin

    Released2000

    Directed byDavid Mamet

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