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The Best Movies About Life in the South

Updated May 12, 2020 1.4k votes 272 voters 3.1k views25 items

List RulesVote 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
    151
    20

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Fried Green Tomatoes
    61
    19

    Fried Green Tomatoes

    Kathy Bates, Mary-Louise Parker

    Released1991

    Directed byJon Avnet

    Fried Green Tomatoes is a 1991 comedy-drama film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Steel Magnolias
    60
    24

    Steel Magnolias

    Sally Field, Dolly Parton

    Released1989

    Directed byHerbert Ross

    Steel Magnolias is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross, based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Gone with the Wind
    61
    28

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    49
    22

    O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    George Clooney, John Goodman

    Released2000

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Walk the Line
    46
    21

    Walk the Line

    Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2005

    Directed byJames Mangold

    Walk the Line is a 2005 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold and based... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Sweet Home Alabama
    52
    28

    Sweet Home Alabama

    Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey

    Released2002

    Directed byAndy Tennant

    Sweet Home Alabama is a 2002 American romantic comedy film directed by Andy Tennant. A young... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Driving Miss Daisy
    45
    25

    Driving Miss Daisy

    Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd

    Released1989

    Directed byBruce Beresford

    Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Tuscaloosa
    21
    4

    Tuscaloosa

    Natalia Dyer, Tate Donovan

    Released2020

    Directed byPhilip Harder

    Tuscaloosa is a 2020 American drama film directed by Philip Harder and is based on the novel... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    The Blind Side
    38
    29

    The Blind Side

    Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins

    Released2009

    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Cold Mountain
    29
    19

    Cold Mountain

    Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman

    Released2003

    Directed byAnthony Minghella

    Cold Mountain is a 2003 epic drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    No Country for Old Men
    31
    25

    No Country for Old Men

    Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

    Released2007

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Arkansas
    1
    4

    Arkansas

    Vince Vaughn, John Malkovich

    Released2020

    Directed byClark Duke

    Arkansas is a 2020 American crime-drama film directed by Clark Duke. Kyle (Liam Hemsworth) and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    The Client
    24
    17

    The Client

    Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones

    Released1994

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    The Client is a 1994 American legal thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher, based on the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    What's Eating Gilbert Grape
    31
    26

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape

    Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released1993

    Directed byLasse Hallström

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Big Fish
    29
    25

    Big Fish

    Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor

    Released2003

    Directed byTim Burton

    Big Fish is a 2003 American fantasy drama film based on the 1998 novel of the same name by... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    My Cousin Vinny
    28
    24

    My Cousin Vinny

    Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci

    Released1992

    Directed byJonathan Lynn

    My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathan... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
    24
    19

    Released1997

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a 1997 American drama film directed by Clint... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    The Firm
    22
    18

    The Firm

    Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman

    Released1993

    Directed bySydney Pollack

    The Firm is a 1993 American legal thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Eve's Bayou
    16
    18

    Eve's Bayou

    Samuel L. Jackson, Meagan Good

    Released1997

    Directed byKasi Lemmons

    Eve's Bayou is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Kasi Lemmons, who made her... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Selma
    22
    31

    Selma

    Oprah Winfrey, Common

    Released2014

    Directed byAva DuVernay

    Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Django Unchained
    22
    32

    Django Unchained

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

    Released2012

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino.... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Hustle & Flow
    13
    24

    Hustle & Flow

    Taraji P. Henson, Ludacris

    Released2005

    Directed byCraig Brewer

    Hustle & Flow is a 2005 American independent drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Elizabethtown
    9
    26

    Elizabethtown

    Jessica Biel, Kirsten Dunst

    Released2005

    Directed byCameron Crowe

    Elizabethtown is a 2005 American romantic tragicomedy-drama film written and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    The Death of Dick Long
    2
    11

    The Death of Dick Long

    Michael Abbott Jr., Virginia Newcomb

    Released2019

    Directed byDaniel Scheinert

    The Death of Dick Long is a 2019 black comedy-drama film directed and produced by Daniel... more on Wikipedia