50 Best American Movies to Inspire a Trip to Every State

Jo and Laurie in Little Women (2019) one of the best American movies

Despite its temperamental political climate and dire public transport options, I have no problem admitting that the USA is still one of the most diverse, exciting and awe-inspiring countries on the planet. Its a country that appears on my bucket list more times than any other. And though I don’t have plans to apply for an ESTA in order to visit all 50 states (unless you can make a case for Indiana, Nebraska or New Hampshire, I ain’t fussed), I still love watching some of the best American movies of all time set in beautiful places across all 50 states. 

Some of the most iconic, top American movies are iconic because of where they were filmed. Stagecoach (1939) isn’t Stagecoach without Monument Valley. I cannot imagine The Notebook (2004) taking place anywhere but the Carolinas and when I think of Christmas in New York City, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) springs immediately to mind.

I’ve attempted to craft a list of some great American movies that will inspire you to travel to each individual state. I’ve also concentrated on modern movies since they’re usually easier to source on streaming. But it’s still a near-impossible task to accomplish perfectly, in spite of how many films I watch. So, I hope you can forgive me if I’ve forgotten some amazing ones!

Apply for an ESTA visa for your next trip to the USA with e-Visa.co.uk

This post is in collaboration with e-Visa.co.uk. They provide an easy, efficient and cost-effective service for UK passport holders to apply and obtain an ESTA for tourist trips to the USA. 

An ESTA is an essential electronic travel document for any traveller wishing to enter the USA. They are mandatory for all passengers entering the country from overseas and any traveller without one will be denied entry into the United States. So it’s super important that you secure one before travelling to America! Luckily, you can submit your application for an ESTA visa online before your trip to avoid the time and expense of applying for a US visa.

Like any travel document or visa to any country, make sure you’re aware of the validity of the ESTA so you can just concern yourself with having an amazing time in the USA! 

Best American Movies set in All 50 States

Alabama – Big Fish (2003)

Tim Burton’s fantastical lighthearted drama was almost entirely set and shot in Alabama. Specifically, the capital city of Montgomery and Jackson Lake Island near the Alabama River. Despite the film’s whimsy and larger-than-life narratives and set pieces, Big Fish is a gorgeously shot film that will absolutely have you booking a trip to Alabama.

Other Movies set in Alabama: Forrest Gump (1994), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Selma (2014)

Alaska – Into the Wild (2007)

Is there a film more synonymous with The Last Frontier state? A dramatic retelling of a true-life story, Into The Wild follows the young Christopher McCandless as he opts out of his cushy, secure life and begins a new existence thumbing and bumming his way across the US to Alaska, where the film reaches its crucial climax.

Other Movies set in Alaska: Runaway Train (1985), White Fang (1991), Big Miracle (2012)

Arizona – Raising Arizona (1987)

Raising Arizona won’t be the only film directed by the Coen Bros on this list of the best American films across all 50 states, but it is the first. This critically acclaimed, highly original comedy is both and set and shot entirely in Arizona. It follows a mismatched couple’s longing for children and their humorous and drastic measures to get them. Not the most conventional or obviously good American movies but one of my guilty pleasures.

Other Movies set in Arizona: Johnny Guitar (1954), Tombstone (1993)

Arkansas – Mud (2012)

Criminally underseen, Mud is a cracking drama set in the Arkansas countryside starring the honeyed toned Matthew McConaughey as a man hiding out on a boat stuck on an island in the Mississippi River. Arkansas is an often overlooked state in terms of tourists, particularly international ones. And though I doubt you’d want to experience how the characters in the film live, Mud does help to shine a light on how beautiful this part of the USA is.

Other Movies set in Arkansas: Fighting Mad (1976), Sling Blade (1996), Walk the Line (2005)

California – La La Land (2016)

There are way too many films set in California to pick just one definitive title, but La La Land is probably the most iconic Los Angeles set film in recent years. Part musical, part fantasy and part love letter to the City of Angels, if La La Land doesn’t immediately make you want to start singing and tap dancing then it will at least make you want to visit California.

Other Movies set in California: Mrs Doubtfire (1993), Sideways (2004)

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California USA
Courtesy of Colin Durfee

Colorado – Misery (1990)

The quadrilateral state of Colorado is famous for a few things including a banging craft beer scene, snowy mountain tops, South Park and legal marijuana but sadly not many cheery, wanderlust-inspiring films have been set there. So you’re stuck with the Stephen King adaptation Misery. Maybe the crazed fan who takes her favourite author hostage in the middle of a snowstorm might’ve had a different perspective had marijuana been legal in the 1990s…

Other Movies set in Colorado: The Shining (1980), Interstellar (2014), Our Souls at Night (2017)

Connecticut – Mystic Pizza (1988)

Mystic Pizza is one of those films that made little noise upon its release but it’s grown to be a cult favourite. And for good reason! The real-life fishing town of Mystic is a character in its own right alongside the three multifaceted female leads. Each struggle with their purpose in life (and with men, naturally) and I’m told by a local that the pizza place featured in the film is 100% real, too! 10 house points to Mystic, Connecticut.

Other Movies set in Connecticut: Beetlejuice (1988), Revolutionary Road (2008)

Delaware – Empire Records (1995)

Delaware is a pretty small state with an even smaller back catalogue of films set there, so Empire Records is a rarity. It takes place over a 24 hour period and follows the lives of grungey 20-somethings who work at the store. I’m not sure what’s so particularly Delaware-ian about it but like I said, slim pickings.

Other Movies set in Delaware: Fight Club (2003), Goosebumps (2015)

Florida – Magic Mike (2012)

If the sunny beach scenes in Magic Mike don’t attract you to Florida then maybe the naked men will. Florida for most travellers means DisneyWorld, golfing or clubbing (or a mix of all three), so this Tampa-set film highlights a lesser-known city in the Sunshine state. Hot naked men not guaranteed.

Other Movies set in Florida: Scarface (1983), The Florida Project (2017)

Georgia – The Color Purple (1985)

Based on the best-selling book, The Color Purple documents what life was like in rural Georgia for a young black girl in the early 20th century. Despite the movie’s period setting and heavy themes (racism, domestic violence and poverty to name a few), it’s a sweeping, gorgeous and sentimental film. Plus, it’s one of the best American films of all time according to several lists.

Other Movies set in Georgia: Deliverance (1972), Driving Miss Daisy (1989) Baby Driver (2017)

Hawaii – 50 First Dates (2004)

Do you really need a film to inspire you to travel to Hawaii? Various islands and locales in the 50th state were utilised for the Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler comedy 50 First Dates. Barrymore plays a woman with amnesia who lives the same day over and over again and Sandler is the man trying to win her affections. It might sound silly, but set against an idyllic paradise backdrop it’s a cult comedy classic.

Other Movies set in Hawaii: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), The Descendants (2011)

Idaho – My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves in this LGBTQ, coming-of-age road movie from Portland, Oregon to small-town Idaho. My Own Private Idaho gives a sparse yet beautiful state the attention it deserves. Maybe the next Idaho-set film won’t be a small, niche independent movie that too few people have seen.

Other Movies set in Idaho: Napolean Dynamite (2004), Town & Country (2001)

Illinois – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

John Hughes loved to set and shoot his movies in and around the Chicago area so his filmography is a great place to start when looking for films set in Illinois. One of his greatest is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which sees the titular high schooler explore the Windy City while bunking off school.

Other Movies set in Illinois: The Blues Brothers (1980), A League of Their Own (1992)

Indiana – Hoosiers (1986)

Basketball, baseball, football (or American football to Brits like me)… Many travellers head to the USA just for sports. Hoosiers is loosely based on a true story about a high school basketball team that overcomes the odds to win the state championship. Indiana is an otherwise overlooked state but it seems like a great place to visit if you’re into American sports.

Other Movies set in Indiana: Breaking Away (1979), In & Out (1997), Public Enemies (2009)

Iowa – Field of Dreams (1989)

Rolling with the sports movies, this time we switch to baseball. The uplifting fantasy drama is set on an unassuming farm in Iowa, an unlikely place for a huge baseball field to be built. One of the best American movies, at least one of the most well-loved.

Other Movies set in Iowa: The Bridge of Madison County (1995), Cedar Rapids (2011)

Corn friend in Iowa, USA
Courtesy of TumblingRun

Kansas – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

C’mon, you knew this had to be my pick for Kansas, right? Though most of the Hollywood classic takes place in the magical land of Oz, Dorothy’s unremarkable Kansas home is essential to the story. Despite salons that can dye the colour of your eyes and small men that hand you lollypops for dropping your house on a bad witch, there’s no place like small-town America.

Other Movies set in Kansas: Splendor in the Grass (1961), In Cold Blood (1967)

Kentucky – Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)

Loretta Lynn is a country music legend and one of Kentucky’s most famous residents. Her biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter begins in her home state where you can learn more about Kentucky’s coal mining heritage.

Other Movies set in Kentucky: Goldfinger (1964), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), American Animals (2018)

Louisiana – Steel Magnolias (1989)

Named after Louisiana’s signature flower, Steel Magnolias isn’t so much about the state itself but a tight-knit group of women who were shaped by their southern upbringing. Though it’s ultimately a tragic story, the characters featured are so funny, you’ll want to visit Louisiana just to meet the people. And it’s always a bonus when Dolly Parton is cast in a movie (boy, do I love Dolly).

Other Movies set in Louisiana: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), The Green Mile (1999), Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Maine – The Cider House Rules (1999)

Thanks to Stephen King’s penchant for setting his books in this Northern State, a lot of his film adaptations are also set in Maine! But if stories about a terrifying clown living in a sewer aren’t really what you’d call wanderlust-inspiring, try The Cider House Rules instead. It’s an Academy-award winning film set in World War II-era Maine with picturesque New England autumnal scenes.

Other Movies set in Maine: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Dark Shadows (2012)

Maryland – Liberty Heights (1999)

Filmmaker Barry Levison wrote and directed a handful of films derived from his experience growing up in Baltimore during the 1950s, and Liberty Heights is one of the best. Starring Adrian Brody, the movie focuses on a Jewish family living in Maryland’s capital city and the issues around integration at this time.

Other Movies set in Maryland: Pink Flamingos (1972), The Blair Witch Project (1999), Hairspray (2007)

BONUS: Washington, D.C. – All the President’s Men (1976)

Other Movies set in Washington, D.C.: Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde (2003)

Despite not being an actual state, I had to dedicate a section to Washington, D.C. There are just too many films set in the Nation’s capital! One of the most renowned and popular American movies of all time set in D.C. is All the President’s Men starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford as journalists investigating the real-life Watergate scandal.

Massachusetts – Little Women (2019)

My favourite film of 2019, this adaptation of the classic American novel definitely isn’t the first (it’s the seventh!) but in my opinion, it makes the most of Massachusetts’ famously gorgeous falls. Set in the town of Concord, the film shot all over the state in the most quaint and attractive period houses and areas of stunning natural beauty.

Other Movies set in Massachusetts: Hocus Pocus (1993), Good Will Hunting (1997)

Michigan – American Pie (1999)

Okay, American Pie might not be everyone’s first choice of film to watch before heading off on a trip to Michigan, but hear me out. The cult-favourite sex comedy’s climactic scene takes place on a stunning lake house on Lake Michigan, which makes better use of the state’s great lake than a lot of other Michigan-set films.

Other Movies set in Michigan: Grosse Point Blank (1997), A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Minnesota – A Serious Man (2009)

I did warn you there would be a lot of Coen Bros films on this list of the best American movies to inspire you to visit every state, and now you’re getting two at once! A Serious Man isn’t their best-loved, but it’s set in Minnesota and Michael Stuhlbarg at the leading serious man is absolutely captivating to watch.

Other Movies set in Minnesota: Purple Rain (1984), The Mighty Ducks (1992), Juno (2007)

Mississippi – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

George Clooney at his best, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is set during the great depression in rural Mississippi. Three members of a chain gang break free in search of treasure and their mission to retrieve the goods, while evading the law, takes them on a journey around the state introducing us to a series of colourful characters and mishaps.

Other Movies set in Mississippi: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958), The Help (2011)

Missouri – Winter’s Bone (2010)

Jennifer Lawrence is sensational in one of her breakout roles in which she also earned her first Oscar nomination. Winter’s Bone wouldn’t be the same set in any other state other than Missouri. Lawrence’s character Ree heads off in search of her missing father in the unforgiving Ozarks region and while it isn’t exactly a cheerful film, the scenery is so dramatic and untouched you’ll never overlook Missouri again.

Other Movies set in Missouri: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Montana – A River Runs Through It (1992)

Who knew a film about flyfishing in Missoula, Montana would be so heartwrenching and tear-inducing? A River Runs Through It is one of the best American movies set in the great state of Montana and follows the lives of two brothers living in the Rocky Mountains during the Great Depression.

Other Movies set in Montana: Certain Women (2016), Wildlife (2018)

Nebraska – Nebraska (2013)

It’s not good to assume, but if a movie is called Nebraska… I think its safe to expect at least part of it to be set in Nebraska. An ageing Montana resident thinks he’s won on a lottery ticket, and the prize must be claimed in Nebraska. It’s a road trip movie so you can expect lots of nice scenery, gas stations and father-son bonding.

Other Movies set in Nebraska: Terms of Endearment (1983), Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002)

Nevada – Casino (1995)

Most films set in Las Vegas, Nevada’s most notable city, involve some kind of terrible misfortune or huge financial losses… So, none are very wanderlust-inspiring, unfortunately! But Casino is one of the best American movies (it’s directed by Scorsese, after all) starring phenomenal actors and everything takes place inside casinos in Sin City. Pack your bank account and head to the neon paradise in the Nevada desert!

Other Movies set in Nevada: Ocean’s Eleven (2001), The Hangover (2009)

Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, USA
Courtesy of Daryl DeHart

New Hampshire – Jumanji (1995)

Okay, there wasn’t a lot of choice for films set in New Hampshire. Can something amazing happen in New Hampshire so they can make a great movie there, please?! Though if you are heading to New Hampshire soon, you can at least watch Jumanji before you go. Yep, it’s a fantasy and only partly takes place in the New England state but at least it’s a fun, light-hearted family movie.

Other Movies set in New Hampshire: Lolita (1962), Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

New Jersey – Garden State (2004)

Sandra Bullock’s undercover FBI agent in Miss Congeniality (2000) was asked, “Why is New Jersey called the Garden State?” And that is the only reason why I know New Jersey is named the Garden State. Why is that its nickname? Maybe you’ll find out if you watch Garden State with Zach Braff and Natalie Portman. It’s got a bit of a cult following as a cool indie film and was shot almost entirely in New Jersey.

Other Movies set in New Jersey: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008), Don Jon (2013), Paterson (2016)

New Mexico – Crazy Heart (2009)

If you want me to instantly adore a film, make Jeff Bridges star as a country music performer. Primarily shot and set in New Mexico with some scenes in Texas, Bridges plays “Bad” Blake, an alcoholic singer touring and staying in cheap motels in deserted, literally desert-ed, towns. Crazy Heart‘s backdrop of cacti and dusty dirt roads is exactly what I imagine New Mexico to look like.

Other Movies set in New Mexico: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

New York – When Harry Met Sally (1989)

There are so many movies I could have chosen for New York, but I personally believe that When Harry Met Sally is one of the best American movies of all time. And it’s also my favourite movie ever. Yup, I said ever. This extremely funny, heart-touching rom-com takes place against a backdrop of autumn and Christmas in New York City with a Gershwin-laden soundtrack. If this film doesn’t make you want to transport yourself to 1980s New York, I don’t think we’d get along.

Other Movies set in New York: Dirty Dancing (1987), Do The Right Thing (1989), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

North Carolina – Logan Lucky (2017)

It was about time someone made a great American movie about rednecks. Soderbergh’s clever heist comedy is set both on and underneath the Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR, ridiculously over-the-top accents and John Denver? There couldn’t possibly be another movie set in North Carolina that could top Logan Lucky.

Other Movies set in North Carolina: Carrie (1976), The Longest Ride (2015), The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

North Dakota – Fargo (1996)

North Dakota is bloody lucky that Fargo exists because otherwise, Hollywood has completely overlooked this Canadian-bordered state. The Coen Bros murder-for-hire comedy makes great use of the rural, snowy landscape of the Dakotas and neighbouring states to create a truly original and hilarious movie.

Other Movies set in North Dakota: The Revenant (2015)

Ohio – Heathers (1989)

For me, Ohio seems to be one of those states used in American movies where they just want to represent typical ‘small-town America’ and Heathers is no different. Exploring High School cliques, young love and a murderous thirst in the 1980s, the setting might be a fictional Ohio school but you know you know this school. In a way, we all went to Westerburg High School in Sherwood, Ohio.

Other Movies set in Ohio: Super 8 (2011), Liberal Arts (2012)

Oklahoma – Twister (1996)

Nothing says “please visit my state” like extreme and devastating weather, am I right? Twister might be a disaster movie but it has an adventurous side too. The film follows a group of storm chasers as they attempt to discover more about tornados during particularly severe storms in Oklahoma. First Kansas, now Oklahoma… Maybe don’t visit America’s Heartland if you’re scared of bad storms.

Other Movies set in Oklahoma: Oklahoma! (1955), August: Osage County (2013)

Oregon – Wild (2014)

Wild is based on the best-selling memoir by Cheryl Strayed who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican border in California to the Canadian border in Washington. So there are lots of beautiful scenery from a few different states featured throughout the film. But it’s the scenes in Ashland, Oregon that stand out for me the most. Especially when Cheryl exclaims “hello, Oregon cow! when crossing the state lines.

Other Movies set in Oregon: The Goonies (1985), Stand By Me (1986)

Pennsylvania – Rocky (1976)

There is not a film more synonymous with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s biggest city, than Rocky. Fight me on it. I dare you. Sylvester Stallone plays a working-class Italian American who hits the big time when he gets the chance to win the world heavyweight championship. Shot all over the City of Brotherly Love, Rocky’s statue stands at the bottom of the steps up to the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Other Movies set in Pennsylvania: Groundhog Day (1993), My Girl (1995)

Philadelphia Museum of Art Rocky Steps in Pennsylvania, USA
Courtesy of Brad Hagan

Rhode Island – Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Whimsical director Wes Anderson’s seventh film was set in the smallest US state and largely shot there too. Moonrise Kingdom is about a scouting troop enjoying a camping trip when one of their own goes missing and they must form a search party. The movie is, of course, gorgeous because of the film’s aesthetics (duh, its a Wes Anderson film) but the rugged New England coastline and lush green forests are crucial to the overall feel of the movie.

Other Movies set in Rhode Island: High Society (1956), The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

South Carolina – The Notebook (2004)

Love it or hate it, The Notebook was a sensation upon its release and made international superstars out of Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. Set in the 1940s in Seabrook Island in South Carolina, it’s a romantic drama that will make you ugly cry with every rewatch. The pièce de résistance of The Notebook is the Windsor Plantation, a humble home us mere mortals could only dream of owning. But let’s face it, that kind of elegant manor would look totally out of place anywhere but South Carolina.

Other Movies set in South Carolina: Days of Thunder (1990), The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

South Dakota – Calamity Jane (1953)

This has got to be one of the earliest, best American movies with LGBTQ representation. And the perfect film to represent South Dakota. Sure, she ends up with Wild Bill Hickok at the end of the film, it was a Hollywood film made in 1953 after all. But still, pretty revolutionary! Doris Day plays Calamity: a gun-toting, spit hocking 1800s American folk hero living primarily in the Dakota Territory. You know, the Blaaaack Hills of Dakota…

Other Movies set in South Dakota: Little Big Man (1970), Badlands (1973), The Rider (2017)

Tennessee – The Thing Called Love (1993)

It’s not the most well-known or well-liked films, but I think The Thing Called Love is a great movie to inspire you to visit Tennessee. Specifically, Nashville, the country music capital of the USA. It’s about a young singer-songwriter from New York who loves country music and wants to hit the big time. It features scenes shot in the real-life Bluebird Cafe and several country music stars like Trisha Yearwood.

Other Movies set in Tennessee: Nashville (1975), That Evening Sun (2009)

Texas – Giant (1956)

It was especially tough to pick a film that really encompasses a great state like Texas. But in the end, no film accomplishes what Giant does. It’s a true epic covering the lives of a wealthy cattle rancher and the culture clashes with his East Coast wife, the racist treatment of Mexican-Americans and a working-class hero who strikes oil. Giant was also shot on location in Marfa, Texas and features James Dean’s third and last cinematic performance.

Other Movies set in Texas: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Friday Night Lights (2004), Boyhood (2014)

Utah – 127 Hours (2010)

You absolutely should go hiking or climbing or canyoning in Utah. It sounds awesome and there are many cool places to choose from. The snowy peaks and canyons are one of the main reasons why you should visit Utah. But what you shouldn’t do is go off by yourself, not tell anyone your whereabouts and not take some kind of phone or any proper supplies with you. 127 Hours perfectly demonstrates why. So while the plot isn’t the most light-hearted and it can get a bit visceral and gory at the end, the scenery is pretty spectacular.

Other Movies set in Utah: Promised Land (1987), The Mountain Between Us (2017)

Vermont – Dead Poets Society (1987)

Vermont is not only the birthplace of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but it’s also the setting of Dead Poets Society. Robin Williams plays an inspirational English teacher at a Vermont-based boarding school and changes the lives of his students forever. You know what, I think you should watch Dead Poets Society and book a trip to Vermont right away. Carpe Diem! Seize the day!

Other Movies set in Vermont: The Trouble with Harry (1955), Funny Farm (1988)

Virginia – Loving (2016)

Loving is just an incredibly beautiful film: a beautiful story set in a beautiful part of Virginia. Based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving (yes, that really was their late name), an interracial married couple who are arrested for violating Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage. One of the best American movies of the last ten years, in my opinion, and really underrated!

Other Movies set in Virginia: Shenandoah (1965), Mission: Impossible (1996), Hidden Figures (2016)

Washington – Captain Fantastic (2016)

My favourite film of 2016, Captain Fantastic fulfils my fantasy of going off-grid and bringing up children that are incredibly astute and well-read. Both of those seem unlikely to happen. While much of the film is shot in California and New Mexico, the idyllic opening scenes where the family live off the land are set and shot in Washington State Forest. I challenge anyone to watch this film and not be sucked in by the romantic view of very simple living.

Other Movies set in Washington: Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Twilight (2008)

West Virginia – October Sky (1999)

If I know anything about West Virginia (lol, which is basically nothing), it’s that coal mining is a HUGE part of their heritage, especially in rural areas. October Sky is a biopic about a West Virginia native and coal miner’s son who, against the odds, grows up to work for NASA. Though I don’t envy the life of a coal miner, the mountainous landscapes are so picturesque in this movie and I imagine it’s an incredible place to live and visit.

Other Movies set in West Virginia: Patch Adams (1998), We Are Marshall (2006)

Wisconsin – Wayne’s World (1992)

Though cable-access performers (and wannabe rock stars) Wayne and Garth live in Aurora, Illinois, it’s attending an Alice Cooper concert in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where their lives are turned upside down. Wayne’s World shines a light on an otherwise forgotten state and maybe it might inspire you to visit, too.

Other Movies set in Wisconsin: The Straight Story (1999), The Lake House (2006)

Wyoming – Wind River (2017)

My favourite film of 2017 and one of the best American movies featuring Native American actors and stories. Set on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Elizabeth Olsen’s FBI Agent and Jeremy Renner’s Wildlife Tracker must team up to solve the murder of an indigenous woman in an unforgiving part of the country. Beautiful, at times horrifying, but an important film if you want to gain a tiny bit of insight into Native American communities. Particularly in states like Wyoming, as there are so few to reference.

Other Movies set in Wyoming: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, USA
Courtesy of Chris Heald

And those are 50 of the best American movies to inspire you to travel to every state! Have you watched any of these famous American movies? Or been inspired to visit a state because of a film? Let me know in the comments below!

Another thanks to e-Visa.co.uk for collaborating with me on this post. Do check them out if you need to obtain an ESTA for your next trip to the United States!

Read next: 18+ Best Summer Camp Movies & TV Shows set in the USA


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