Movies About Small Towns

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Movies About Small Towns

Many films have reported on Movies About Small Towns. Here are 25 of our favorites.

Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Robert Zemeckis, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field
Rated PG-13

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Tom Hanks as the titular character, a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and inadvertently influences several defining historical events in the 20th century in the United States. The film follows his life from childhood to adulthood, as he travels the country, meets famous people and finds himself in the middle of some momentous historical events. Along the way, Forrest discovers true love and finds the strength to be a hero. He also learns that life isn't always fair, but that you can still make the best of it.

Stand by Me (1986)

Stand by Me
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Rob Reiner, starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell
Rated R

Stand by Me is a coming-of-age adventure that follows a group of four boys during a journey of self-discovery. The film is set in 1959 in Castle Rock, Oregon and follows four 12-year-old boys—Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern—as they search for a missing boy’s body in order to gain local fame. Along the way, the boys face various obstacles and challenges, including a group of bullies and a train. As they come to terms with their mortality, they learn the importance of friendship and loyalty. The film stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell, and is based on a novella by Stephen King.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Groundhog Day
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky
Rated PG

Groundhog Day is a 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray as Phil Connors, a cynical weatherman who finds himself living the same day over and over in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Despite his growing frustration, Connors slowly begins to appreciate the beauty of the town and its people and make the most of his second chance at life. With the help of a friendly waitress, Rita (Andie MacDowell), he learns to be a better person and ultimately breaks the cycle of time by becoming the person he always wanted to be.

Mississippi Burning (1988)

Mississippi Burning
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Alan Parker, starring Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif
Rated R

Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American crime thriller film directed by Alan Parker, and written by Chris Gerolmo. Set in 1964 during the civil rights movement in Mississippi, the film follows two FBI agents, assigned to investigate the disappearance of civil rights activists Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney. As the investigation continues, the agents, who come from very different backgrounds, must confront their own personal prejudices and the racism and violence of the Ku Klux Klan. As they fight against oppressive forces, the agents uncover a conspiracy of corruption and brutality that ultimately leads to a shocking conclusion.

The Sandlot (1993)

The Sandlot
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From David Mickey Evans, starring Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Art LaFleur, Patrick Renna
Rated PG

The Sandlot is a 1993 coming-of-age comedy film directed by David Mickey Evans. It follows the story of young Scotty Smalls, a new kid in the neighborhood, and his attempts to fit in with the local baseball-playing boys. With the help of his new friends, Scotty learns to play baseball and eventually leads the team to victory against their rival team. Along the way, Scotty and his friends go on all sorts of adventures, from running away from the neighborhood bully to attempting to retrieve a baseball stuck in a junkyard dog's yard. Through the ups and downs, the boys learn important lessons about life, friendship, and loyalty.

October Sky (1999)

October Sky
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Chris Owen
Rated PG

October Sky is a 1999 drama film directed by Joe Johnston and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam, Jr., a young coal miner's son who is inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 to pursue his dream of becoming a rocket scientist. With the help of his teacher and some of his friends, Homer embarks on a journey that takes him from the coal mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia, to the national science fair and beyond. Along the way, Homer learns valuable lessons about hard work, dedication, and following his passions. Ultimately, Homer's dream comes true when his rocket wins the science fair and he is accepted into college—with a scholarship from NASA. October Sky is an inspiring story about the power of dreams and the potential that lies within us all.

The Notebook (2004)

The Notebook
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Nick Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
Rated PG-13

The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s. The movie follows their journey as they face tragedy and heartbreak, but never lose faith in their enduring love. The film also stars Gena Rowlands as an elderly woman recounting the story of the couple's romance to her companion. The Notebook is a timeless and powerful story of love and devotion that still resonates with audiences today.

Atonement (2007)

Atonement
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Joe Wright, starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan
Rated R

Atonement is a 2007 romantic war drama film directed by Joe Wright. It is a romantic tragedy set in England in 1935 and is based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan. The story follows the lives of a young couple, Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) and Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley), whose lives are ruined by a false accusation of rape. Cecilia’s jealous younger sister Briony (Saoirse Ronan) misinterprets a moment between the two and reports it to their parents. Robbie is sent to prison and the two are forced apart. The film follows their lives through the years of World War II and eventually concludes with a heartbreaking reconciliation. The film was a critical success and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

Fried Green Tomatoes
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Jon Avnet, starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker
Rated PG-13

Fried Green Tomatoes is a 1991 drama film directed by Jon Avnet, based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg. The film stars Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jessica Tandy. The film follows two women, Evelyn Couch (Bates), a middle-aged housewife in the midst of a crisis, and Ninny Threadgoode (Tandy), an elderly woman living in a nursing home who tells her stories of life in her hometown of Whistle Stop, Alabama. The film follows their friendship as Evelyn, who is dealing with an unhappy marriage and the death of her mother, is inspired by Ninny's stories and decides to take control of her life. Through Ninny's stories, the film looks back to the 1930s and 1940s and follows the lives of two young women, Idgie Threadgoode (Masterson) and Ruth Jamison (Parker). Idgie and Ruth run the Whistle Stop Café, and face adversity as Ruth falls for a married man, Big George (Stan Shaw). Despite this, the two women remain close friends and support each other through their struggles. The film

Flipped (2010)

Flipped
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Rob Reiner, starring Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Rebecca De Mornay, Anthony Edwards
Rated PG

Flipped is a romantic comedy-drama directed by Rob Reiner. It tells the story of two 8th grade students, Bryce and Juli, who are struggling to understand their growing feelings for each other. Juli is immediately smitten with Bryce when they first meet, but Bryce doesn't feel the same way. As the two slowly become friends, their feelings for one another grow more complicated. The film follows their relationship as it develops, explores their changing feelings, and deals with numerous obstacles that arise. Through it all, Bryce and Juli learn what it means to be in love and how to take a chance on something that may not always be easy.

The Goonies (1985)

The Goonies
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Richard Donner, starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman
Rated PG

The Goonies is a 1985 American family adventure film directed by Richard Donner and written by Chris Columbus. It follows a group of pre-teen kids, nicknamed "The Goonies," who live in the "Goon Docks" area of Astoria, Oregon. When a group of misfits set out to save their homes from demolition, they discover an old Spanish map that leads them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willy, a legendary 17th-century pirate. Along the way, they cross paths with a legendary monster and a family of criminals, all hoping to get their hands on the treasure first. With a mix of action, comedy, and adventure, The Goonies is a coming-of-age classic that is beloved by generations of fans.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

What's Eating Gilbert Grape
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Lasse Hallström, starring Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen
Rated PG-13

What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, and starring Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, and Mary Steenburgen. The film follows the story of Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp), a young man stuck in a small town, struggling to take care of his mentally challenged younger brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his obese mother, Bonnie (Darlene Cates). With the help of his friend, Tucker (John C. Reilly), Gilbert attempts to make ends meet while also trying to find a way to escape the monotony of his life. As Gilbert battles his own demons, he also meets and falls in love with Becky (Juliette Lewis). After an intense and passionate relationship, Gilbert's life is thrown into chaos when Becky's past catches up with her and she is forced to leave town. With the help of the townspeople and his own inner strength, Gilbert must make a choice - stay in this small town or follow his dreams and move on. In the end, Gilbert discovers that life is about more than just getting by, but about finding your own happiness.

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

The Bridges of Madison County
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Annie Corley, Victor Slezak
Rated PG-13

The Bridges of Madison County is a romantic drama film released in 1995 and directed by Clint Eastwood. The film is based on the 1992 novel by Robert James Waller. The movie tells the story of Francesca Johnson, a lonely Italian housewife living in rural Iowa in 1965, who has a brief yet intense affair with a National Geographic photographer named Robert Kincaid. Despite the two having a deep connection and mutual attraction, they part ways due to their respective commitments and obligations. The story follows Francesca as she reflects on the decisions she made and the time she spent with Robert. It is an emotional journey of self-discovery, love, and heartache.

My Life as a Dog (1985)

My Life as a Dog
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Lasse Hallström, starring Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Brömssen, Anki Lidén, Melinda Kinnaman
Rated Unrated

My Life as a Dog is a 1985 Swedish film directed by Lasse Hallström. It tells the story of Ingemar, a 12-year-old Swedish boy who is sent to live with his uncle and aunt in rural Sweden when his mother falls ill. Ingemar is a sensitive and imaginative boy, and his adventures during his stay in the countryside form the main plot of the film. He finds solace in his relationship with his beloved dog, Laika, and through his friendship with a young girl, Saga, who helps him cope with his difficult circumstances. Ingemar also develops an interest in the strange phenomena of life - death, art, and God - which helps him to gain a greater understanding of the world and his place in it. The film is a touching and humorous coming-of-age story, and its warmth and humanity have helped it to become a classic of modern cinema.

Field of Dreams (1989)

Field of Dreams
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Phil Alden Robinson, starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan
Rated PG

Field of Dreams is an emotional and inspiring American drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson and released in 1989. The movie follows Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), an Iowa farmer who is compelled to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield, following a mysterious voice telling him, “If you build it, he will come.” Ray's journey is characterized by unexpected encounters, including a ghostly Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta), a reclusive writer (James Earl Jones), and even a long-lost father (Dwier Brown). Throughout the film, Ray learns that faith and dreams can come true, and that love and family are the most important things in life.

Legends of the Fall (1994)

Legends of the Fall
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Edward Zwick, starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond
Rated R

Legends of the Fall is a sweeping epic that follows the story of the Ludlow family of Montana. Tristan (Brad Pitt), Alfred (Aidan Quinn) and Samuel (Henry Thomas) are three brothers who share a close bond until they are torn apart by World War I. Alfred enlists and soon marries Susannah (Julia Ormond). When tragedy strikes and Alfred is reported missing in action, Tristan and Samuel return home to find their father has died and their lives are forever changed. With the help of Susannah, the brothers must confront their pain and try to heal their broken family. They must also come to terms with the moral ambiguity of their situation and the implications of their actions. Along the way, they are accompanied by the wild and mysterious Native American, One Stab (Gordon Tootoosis). In the end, they must find the courage to face the consequences of their choices and the power of their love.

The Judge (2014)

The Judge
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From David Dobkin, starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton
Rated R

American Graffiti (1973)

American Graffiti
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From George Lucas, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith
Rated PG

The Ice Storm (1997)

The Ice Storm
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Ang Lee, starring Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny
Rated R

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

Dolores Claiborne
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Taylor Hackford, starring Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, Judy Parfitt
Rated R

Garden State (2004)

Garden State
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Zach Braff, starring Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman, Ian Holm
Rated R

Nobody's Fool (1994)

Nobody's Fool
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Robert Benton, starring Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, Jessica Tandy, Melanie Griffith
Rated R

Steel Magnolias (1989)

Steel Magnolias
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Herbert Ross, starring Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, Julia Roberts
Rated PG

Local Hero (1983)

Local Hero
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Bill Forsyth, starring Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson
Rated PG

A League of Their Own (1992)

A League of Their Own
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Penny Marshall, starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna
Rated PG

 



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