Movies About California

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Movies About California

When it comes to Movies About California, there is no limit to the directors reporting on this idea. We assembled 24 of the top ones.

L.A. Confidential (1997)

L.A. Confidential
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Curtis Hanson, starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger
Rated R

L.A. Confidential tells the story of three Los Angeles police officers in 1953, each with their own distinct personalities and motivations. They are the idealistic, clean-cut Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), the ambitious, corrupt, and violent Bud White (Russell Crowe), and the ambitious and calculating rookie Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey). The trio are tasked with investigating a series of murders that are linked to a powerful crime syndicate. As the investigation deepens, they uncover the city's dark secrets and uncover a conspiracy that goes to the heart of the LAPD. The police officers must work together to bring the criminals to justice and save the city. The movie earned several Academy Award nominations and won two Oscars, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Kim Basinger. The movie is considered one of the greatest crime films of all time.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Ford v Ferrari
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From James Mangold, starring Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitríona Balfe
Rated PG-13

Ford v Ferrari is a 2019 biographical sports drama film directed by James Mangold, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. The film follows the true story of visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for the Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966. Through the dedication and driving skill of Miles and the ingenuity of Shelby, Ford was able to secure victory against seemingly insurmountable odds.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Big Lebowski
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi
Rated R

The Big Lebowski is a 1998 crime comedy film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The film stars Jeff Bridges as "the Dude," aka Jeffrey Lebowski, an unemployed Los Angeles slacker and avid bowler. After he is mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, the Dude is dragged into a complex scheme involving a millionaire's trophy wife, a missing ransom, and a group of angry pornographers. Along with his volatile buddy, Walter Sobchak (John Goodman), and his sweetly naive friend, Donny (Steve Buscemi), the Dude embarks on a series of misadventures. The film is a cult classic, praised for its sharp writing, quirky characters, and its status as an example of "postmodern" cinema.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Luis Guzmán
Rated R

Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Set in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley in the 1970s and 1980s, the film follows Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), a high-school dropout who is discovered by porn industry director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). With Horner's help, Eddie re-brands himself as porn star Dirk Diggler, and soon rises to become the biggest star of the pornographic film industry. As his fame and fortune increases, many other porn stars, producers, and directors become involved in his success. Meanwhile, Eddie's personal life of excess and indulgence begins to spiral out of control as he struggles with drugs, fame, and the pressures of being a star. As his career falters and his life begins to unravel, Eddie is forced to confront the darker side of the porn industry and his own mortality. Boogie Nights is a powerful and uncompromising exploration of the human experience in the porn industry, and a portrait of a time when excess was king.

Changeling (2008)

Changeling
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Clint Eastwood, starring Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan, Gattlin Griffith
Rated R

Changeling is a 2008 historical drama directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins, a single mother whose nine-year-old son, Walter, goes missing in 1928 Los Angeles. After a five-month search, the LAPD presents her with a boy claiming to be her son. Despite Christine's protestations that he is not her son, the police force her to take him anyway. When Christine refuses to accept the boy, the corrupt police department attempts to silence her and cover up their wrongdoings. With the help of a crusading Reverend, Christine takes the fight to City Hall, vowing to do whatever it takes to get justice and find her son. With the pressure mounting, the police are finally forced to investigate her case further and uncover a dark conspiracy behind Walter's disappearance. The truth of what really happened to Walter is finally revealed as Christine's fight for justice culminates in a stunning courtroom showdown.

Ed Wood (1994)

Ed Wood
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette
Rated R

Ed Wood is a biographical comedy-drama directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as the titular director, Edward D. Wood Jr. The film follows Wood's rise and fall in Hollywood during the 1950s, as he attempts to break into the industry and make a name for himself. Along the way, he assembles a strange cast of characters, including the cross-dressing actor Glen or Glenda and the has-been Bela Lugosi. Despite the film's comedic elements, it also serves as a tribute to Wood's unique style of filmmaking and his enduring passion for creativity. The film received critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Depp.

Dirty Harry (1971)

Dirty Harry
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Don Siegel, Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni
Rated R

Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action crime thriller film directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood. The story follows San Francisco Police Department detective "Dirty" Harry Callahan, who is tasked with finding a murderous serial killer known as "Scorpio". As the killer continues to terrorize the city, Harry follows a series of clues to eventually track him down and bring him to justice. Along the way, Harry is faced with various ethical dilemmas and must decide whether justice is served by the letter of the law or the spirit of the law. The film received critical acclaim, and is credited with introducing the antihero archetype in the action genre.

Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From David Fincher, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards
Rated R

Zodiac is a crime-drama film directed by David Fincher and released in 2007. It follows the true story of the unsolved hunt for the Zodiac Killer, a serial murderer active in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., and Anthony Edwards as the primary investigators and Michael Chiklis as the killer's potential identity. Set in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the film follows the intense investigation of the Zodiac Killer, a mysterious figure who sent threatening letters with coded messages to the press and terrorized the public. The story focuses on the detectives and newspaper staff who worked tirelessly to discover the killer's identity and stop the bloodshed. Despite their efforts, the killer remained elusive, and the case remains unsolved.

Play It Again, Sam (1972)

Play It Again, Sam
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Herbert Ross, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Jerry Lacy
Rated PG

Play It Again, Sam is a 1972 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross and starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, and Tony Roberts. The film follows the story of neurotic film critic Allan Felix (Allen) as he attempts to build his own confidence by seeking the help of Humphrey Bogart's ghost. Having recently separated from his wife, Allan is frustrated with his lack of success in the dating world. He turns to the "ghost" of Humphrey Bogart for advice, who helps him out with dealing with women, such as when confronting his boss's wife. Along the way, Allan meets and falls in love with Linda Christie (Keaton), and must learn to open up and trust in order to make the relationship work. Play It Again, Sam is a unique blend of comedy, romance and drama. It is a lighthearted, but thoughtful, look at relationships and the process of self-discovery. It also features an iconic performance from Woody Allen and helped launch Diane Keaton's career.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan
Rated R

Lethal Weapon is a 1987 action film directed by Richard Donner and starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as mismatched police officers who team up to fight a crime syndicate. The film follows Martin Riggs (Gibson), an unpredictable and unstable veteran of the Vietnam War, and Roger Murtaugh (Glover), a by-the-book detective approaching fifty. While investigating a drug-trafficking case, they uncover a larger plot involving an international crime syndicate. With the lives of their families in jeopardy, the two officers must work together to bring down the syndicate and its members. With its mix of intense action, comedy, and strong performances, Lethal Weapon has become a classic of the genre.

Milk (2008)

Milk
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Gus Van Sant, starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna
Rated R

Milk is a biographical drama about the life of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. The film follows Harvey as he moves to San Francisco in the 1970s and starts his activism career. It also examines the struggles he faced as a member of the LGBT community in an era of fierce discrimination and inequality, and his personal relationships with his partner, Scott Smith, and his friends and allies in the gay rights movement. The film culminates with the assassination of Harvey and Mayor George Moscone in 1978 at City Hall. Through the story of Harvey's life, Milk showcases the courage, determination and passion of someone who changed history and left a legacy of hope for generations to come.

Blow (2001)

Blow
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Ted Demme, starring Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths
Rated R

Blow is a 2001 drama directed by Ted Demme and based on the true story of American cocaine smuggler George Jung. The film follows Jung's rise to become one of the key players in the cocaine trade between the U.S. and Colombia in the 1970s and 1980s. After starting a marijuana smuggling business, Jung is introduced to the cocaine trade by Diego Delgado and Pablo Escobar. He quickly rises to become a major player and earns millions of dollars in the process. However, his criminal lifestyle eventually catches up with him and he is arrested and sent to prison. Despite his success in the drug trade, Jung's criminal lifestyle has caused his relationships with his wife and daughter to suffer, and he must face the consequences of his decisions.

The Banker (2020)

The Banker
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From George Nolfi, starring Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long
Rated PG-13

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Licorice Pizza
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits
Rated R

Basic Instinct (1992)

Basic Instinct
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Paul Verhoeven, starring Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Rated R

Gangster Squad (2013)

Gangster Squad
★★★★
★★★★
2.7 out of 4 stars

From Ruben Fleischer, starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi
Rated R

Narrow Margin (1990)

Narrow Margin
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Peter Hyams, starring Gene Hackman, Anne Archer, James Sikking, J.T. Walsh
Rated R

Elysium (2013)

Elysium
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Neill Blomkamp, starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga
Rated R

Internal Affairs (1990)

Internal Affairs
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Mike Figgis, starring Richard Gere, Andy Garcia, Nancy Travis, Laurie Metcalf
Rated R

American Gigolo (1980)

American Gigolo
★★★★
★★★★
2.5 out of 4 stars

From Paul Schrader, starring Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo, Nina van Pallandt
Rated R

True Confessions (1981)

True Confessions
★★★★
★★★★
2.5 out of 4 stars

From Ulu Grosbard, starring Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Charles Durning, Kenneth McMillan
Rated R

Hustle (1975)

Hustle
★★★★
★★★★
2.5 out of 4 stars

From Robert Aldrich, starring Burt Reynolds, Catherine Deneuve, Ben Johnson, Paul Winfield
Rated R

The Rookie (1990)

The Rookie
★★★★
★★★★
2.4 out of 4 stars

From Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga
Rated R

PVT CHAT (2020)

PVT CHAT
★★★★
★★★★
2.4 out of 4 stars

From Ben Hozie, starring Peter Vack, Julia Fox, Keith Poulson, Buddy Duress
Rated Unrated

 



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