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The Best Movies About Life in the South 

Ranker Film
Updated March 17, 2020 1k votes 242 voters 2.7k views 24 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.

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1
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright

Released: 1994

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Kathy Bates, Mary-Louise Parker, Chris O'Donnell

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jon Avnet

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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3
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland

Released: 1939

Directed by: Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

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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4
Steel Magnolias is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine

Released: 1989

Directed by: Herbert Ross

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

5
Sweet Home Alabama is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Dakota Fanning

Released: 2002

Directed by: Andy Tennant

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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6
O Brother, Where Art Tho... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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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7
Walk the Line is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, Ginnifer Goodwin

Released: 2005

Directed by: James Mangold

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

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8
Driving Miss Daisy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Tandy

Released: 1989

Directed by: Bruce Beresford

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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9
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates

Released: 2009

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

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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10
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio

Released: 1992

Directed by: Jonathan Lynn

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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11
No Country for Old Men ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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

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12
Cold Mountain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law

Released: 2003

Directed by: Anthony Minghella

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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13
Tuscaloosa is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Natalia Dyer, Tate Donovan, Devon Bostick

Released: 2020

Directed by: Philip Harder

Tuscaloosa is a 2020 American drama film directed by Philip Harder and is based on the novel of the same name by W. Glasgow Phillips. Twenty-two and on the verge of entering high society, ...more
14
The Client is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Mary-Louise Parker

Released: 1994

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

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

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15
Midnight in the Garden o... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Kevin Spacey, Jude Law, John Cusack

Released: 1997

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

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
16
What's Eating Gilbert Gr... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis

Released: 1993

Directed by: Lasse Hallström

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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17
Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard

Released: 2003

Directed by: Tim Burton

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

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18
The Firm is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Gary Busey

Released: 1993

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

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

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19
Selma is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Oprah Winfrey, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 2014

Directed by: Ava DuVernay

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

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20
Eve's Bayou is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Samuel L. Jackson, Meagan Good, Diahann Carroll

Released: 1997

Directed by: Kasi Lemmons

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

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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

Released: 2012

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

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

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22
Hustle & Flow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Taraji P. Henson, Ludacris, Terrence Howard

Released: 2005

Directed by: Craig Brewer

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

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23
Elizabethtown is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Jessica Biel, Kirsten Dunst, Alec Baldwin

Released: 2005

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

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

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24
The Death of Dick Long ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Life in the South
Michael Abbott Jr., Virginia Newcomb, Andre Hyland

Released: 2019

Directed by: Daniel Scheinert

The Death of Dick Long is a 2019 black comedy-drama film directed and produced by Daniel Scheinert. Zeke & Earl (Michael Abbott, Jr. & Andre Hyland) attempt to cover up the death of ...more