Entertainment

The Best Movies About Life in the South  

Ranker Film
890 votes 220 voters 2.3k views 22 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest movies in which the Southern setting is so prevalent, it's almost a character of its own.

Close-knit families, Southern hospitality, and a whole lot of good food make the American South a great place to spend some time in real life and in movies. The best Southern movies feature classic characters doing everything in their power to succeed. This is a list of the top movies set in the South including everything from Gone with the Wind to The Blind Side to Driving Miss Daisy.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about the South? The globe-trotting crowd-pleaser Forrest Gump begins during the title character's childhood in Alabama. Though Forrest (Tom Hanks) traveled all over the world, he always returned home, especially to visit his mama. No Country For Old Men is another good film set in the South. New York lawyer Vincent Gambini was a fish out of water when he traveled past the Mason-Dixon Line to defend his cousin in the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinny. Other good films found on this roundup of the best movies about the South include Sweet Home Alabama, Walk the Line, and Django Unchained.

Which Southern-set movie is your favorite? Give the best films a thumbs up and please add any good features that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
2
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
3
Steel Magnolias is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
4
Walk the Line is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, Ginnifer Goodwin
Walk the Line is a 2005 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold and based on the early life and career of country music artist Johnny Cash. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, ...more
5
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
6
Sweet Home Alabama is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
7
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
8
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
9
Driving Miss Daisy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Tandy
Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film adapted from the Alfred Uhry play of the same name. The film was directed by Bruce Beresford, with Morgan Freeman reprising his role as ...more
10
The Client is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Mary-Louise Parker
The Client is a 1994 American legal thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher, based on the novel by John Grisham. A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney ...more
11
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
12
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
13
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more
14
The Firm is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Gary Busey
The Firm is a 1993 American legal thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, and David Strathairn. ...more
15
Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard
Big Fish is a 2003 American fantasy drama film based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Daniel Wallace. The film was directed by Tim Burton and stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy ...more
16
Cold Mountain is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
17
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
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
Hustle & Flow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Taraji P. Henson, Ludacris, Terrence Howard
Hustle & Flow is a 2005 American independent drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer and produced by John Singleton and Stephanie Allain. It was released on July 22, 2005. Terrence ...more
19
Eve's Bayou is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Samuel L. Jackson, Meagan Good, Diahann Carroll
Eve's Bayou is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Kasi Lemmons, who made her directorial debut with this feature. Samuel L. Jackson served as a producer and starred in the film ...more
20
Selma is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Oprah Winfrey, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr.
Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and ...more
21
Django Unchained is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. With the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to ...more
22
Elizabethtown is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Jessica Biel, Kirsten Dunst, Alec Baldwin
Elizabethtown is a 2005 American romantic tragicomedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Alec Baldwin has a small role as a CEO of an ...more