What movie best represents each state?

New York: Taxi Driver. California: Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Ohio: Gummo. Oh boy, do I like this game. Redditor Subtonix put together a map of what films best represent each state, and it’s a fun — if challenging — endeavor. Let’s take a look:

(click to embiggen)

A few of these are definitely un-eff-withable. Hoosiers for Indiana is a solid yes; The Ice Storm for Connecticut is an inspired — and perfect — choice. (Mystic Pizza would also have been acceptable.) Others, though, are a little more open for debate. Washington conjures The Ring for me, and I might go Hairspray over Pink Flamingos for Maryland, although that’s kind of splitting hairs. Delaware gets Wayne’s World, thanks to this:

Heh. I might have gone with Fight Club, but it’s not really Delawarian in any way.

Lilo & Stitch seems like a better Hawaii movie than Tora! Tora! Tora!, and Kentucky screams Coal Miner’s Daughter. Finally, Jesus Camp is a terrific film, but Missouri is Waiting for Guffman territory.

Okay, PopWatchers, is your home state well represented? What films would you switch in?


Comments (413 total) Add your comment
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  • Andy


    • yen

      first and stupid

    • Rush

      Rhode Island should have been Providence.

    • Rush

      Leaving Las Vegas for NV. Or Ocean’s Eleven.

    • nodnarb

      We should play this game for each country.

      • Kat

        Best I can do there is Run Lola Run for Germany and, um, Braveheart for Scotland…but I’m not sure how the Scots would feel about that. I really need to see more foreign films!

      • Karate Pants

        I’d have to tap out after Finding Nemo for Australia.
        How about by U.S. city? Or a music or TV version?
        This article was so fun!

      • KED

        Strength: 135 for Zercher (first time, no pad, extremely weird, no pad next time)CFE S&C: 3:01 w 225Endurance: (wanted to swim but oelpsevrt til after pool closed) 2x 1mile 5:50, 5:44(ME w a nice Kuwaiti Desert Headwind)Love the site. I’m transitioning from SEALFit after helping my hoochmate train for BUDS. Would like focus more on Ironman Training now. And when i get home from deployment I just won’t have the time for SEALFit. Look forward to more workouts!

    • Rush

      Some other fixes:
      Tennessee – Nashville
      Mississippi – Mississippi Burning
      South Carolina – In the Garden of Good and Evil
      Washington – Singles
      Kentucky – Kentucky Fried Movie :) or Coal Miner’s Daughter

      • MelindaB

        Wasn’t “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” set in Savannah, GA?

      • Lisa Simpson

        “In the Garden of Good and Evil” took place in Savannah, GA.

      • Karate Pants

        ^ That is always how I picture Georgia ^

      • Mary

        Wow, I’ve never seen somebody mention Singles before! I LOVE that movie! Campbell Scott — where has he been lately? Love him.

      • DaniVt

        Yay Singles, fabulous movie and a much better choice than The Ring…

      • justjack

        Singles is better for Washington. Much better than First Blood… ugh! Surprised nobody’s suggested Sleepless in Seattle… :D Honestly though, the movie I think of to represent WA (not just Seattle) is Five Easy Pieces….

  • Jack

    Maryland should have been represented by Diner!

    • laylagalise

      100%! It’s really a perfect choice. Though, “Hairspray would be a better choice than Pink Flamingos. Too bad you can’t choose TV Shows like “H:LOTS” or “The Wire.”

      • John R.

        Can’t you just say “Homicide”? H:LOTS sounds like a Korean department store.

  • Hoboken Clerk

    Clerks for New Jersey is an inspired choice. Love that one (althought Mallrats is criminally underrated).

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? True it has Depp, but I think Vegas belongs to the “Hangover” for the time being.

    • DMR

      Agree with you totally about Mallrats. Agree with you totally about the Hangover too.

    • nocturnalgroaner

      Mallrats was shot in Minnesota…which is home to the largest mall in the US and the first full enclosed one. The movie is set in NJ but is also a pretty accurate depiction of suburban MN

      • nocturnalgroaner

        Anyway, Clerks is a great choice for NJ and Fargo is a no brainer for MN

      • lostidol

        Disagree on Fargo for MN. It’s all about stereotypes and is not at all an accurate representation. Anyone from MN would see Grumpy Old Men as a far better choice.

      • Sue Ellen Mischke

        BTW, the city of Fargo is in North Dakota.

      • Ktct

        Juno for Minnesota.

      • MN_Jen

        Agreed. Juno, or Mighty Ducks. Grumpy Old Men, too. And if they just want over-the-top stereotypes then Drop Dead Gorgeous would be better than Fargo.

      • Phil

        HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE would have been a much better choice for NJ. It covers the entire state really!! Hehe

      • Liz

        Except that there are no cliffs like that near Cherry Hill (which is where they supposedly hang-glided to the White Castle)

    • Mu

      I agree with Clerks but I think that Garden State would’ve also been a great choice.

    • KatieO

      It may come as a surprise, but Las Vegas isn’t the only city in Nevada. I like Fear & Loathing more than the Hangover for the purposes of representing Nevada, but I’d like something a little more like The Misfits.

  • Mc Prophet

    I gotta go with The Notebook for South Carolina.

    • WTF?

      Nope. Glory is perfect. Racial tension galore and clinging to the Civil War still.

      • Aleissa

        Seriously?! Not everyone from SC is like that and those of us who aren’t definitely do NOT appreciate that stereotype. How is SC ever going to move forward from this if we always get pidgeon-holed by judgemental as****s like you?

        I was pissed at EW when I saw this assignment. Would it have killed you to suggest The Patriot or The Notebook? Nope, let’s just keep on reinforcing and perpetuating stereotypes.

      • erin

        Change your friggin’ state flag, Aleissa. Then we’ll talk.

      • justjack

        Erin +1

  • Ktct

    I completely agree with “The Ice Storm” for Connecticut. It was the movie to come to my mind!

  • Karate Pants

    Shawshank = Maine?? I had no idea.
    I personally would have like to see “Into the Wild” for Alaska, definitely agree with Mystic Pizza for Connecticut, and I know people will be enraged for me saying this – but Twilight for Washington. Like or hate the movies, the lovely cinematography does make you want to visit/return to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
    And Margaret? Thanks for using the word embiggen again.

    • Tom

      Yeah, The Cider House Rules would have been a much more appropriate pick for Maine

      • Karate Pants

        Tom, that’s PERFECT for Maine – kudos!

      • Jamie

        Yep, my first thought was Cider House Rules, too.

    • silverrose

      i would have gone with IT or Needfull Things for Main, but i guess anything from Stephen King would do.

      • ashlie

        Shawshank is Stephen King

      • DaniVt

        In The Bedroom, great film set in Me.

    • yen

      Can some one name a book of stephen king that is not in maine?

      • Lisa Simpson

        What about “The Stand”? My memory is a bit fuzzy on it, but most of takes place out west, correct?

      • nodnarb

        It’s been a while, but I’m purty sure there are several scenes in Maine.

      • ISM

        I don’t think The Green Mile takes place in Maine

      • firedancerk8

        The Shining. Duh.

      • Rush


      • aleksa

        @ISM, you’re correct, I believe Green Mile took place in either Louisiana or Georgia.

      • Person Who Talks

        The majority of The Stand, Duma Key, The Green Mile and The Shining are the only ones I can think of…a lot of his stuff takes place in Maine, doesn’t it? I’d dare say that his works are probably the best representation of Maine out there.

    • Louhead

      I totally agree with “Into the Wild” for Alaska

    • t. sterling

      I haven’t seen The Ice Storm but I will take Mystic Pizza for representing CT. At this minute, I can’t think of a better movie.

  • allie

    Texas= The Alamo

    • jessica

      My thoughts, exactly. John Wayne’s and Billy Bob Thornton’s versions.

    • batgirl

      I don’t wildly disagree with No Country for Old Men (which I loved) for Texas but have to argue with any version of The Alamo. Too many historical discrepancies. I’d go with Giant which is fact-based, BTW.

      • Coco

        I’d go with Lonesome Dove for Texas.

      • J

        The Last Picture Show is a great Texas film.

  • MichiganMan

    Robocop is great for Michigan, but a few other titles come to mind for the state. Clint Eastwoods- Grand Torino or the extremly under-appreciated Gross Point Blank.

    • heej

      Roger & Me, American Pie

    • Ana170

      Robocop in no way represents Michigan. It wasn’t even filmed in Michigan because the producers decided that Detroit didn’t look bad enough. I’d go with something like “Out of Sight” or “Grosse Pointe Blank.”

      • Lisa Simpson

        “Grosse Point Blank”!

      • S.

        Agree. Robocop works for Detroit, but not the whole state. Grosse Point Blank is great for the Detroit suburbs, but for Michigan as a whole it should be Evil Dead II as it was shot in Michigan, made by Michiganders and every other person in Michigan either has a cottage or knows someone with a cottage in the woods.

      • servo

        I agree. RoboCop was obviously chosen by someone who knows nothing about Michigan. I like the above suggestions and would add ‘American Pie’.

      • anon.

        I agree…BOO to Robocop. Michigan would be much better represented by Escanaba in the Moonlight!

      • Tania

        Shout out for the “Yuppers” with “Escanaba In Da Moonlight”.

      • Sabertoothali

        Virgin Suicides-takes place in Grosse Pointe

    • Peter

      8 Mile
      True Romance
      Out Of Sight

    • Elyse

      ahh, and here i was thinking our great state had nothing good, but i LOVE gran torino. isn’t jumper supposed to be in ann arbor?

    • heej

      Anatomy of a Murder

    • NoMustardOnly

      The Crow

    • Tusar

      Dear Ava,I don’t know you in person but my pirsit been touched by you. You are a beautiful little girl who has such a long, great life ahead of you. You have the face of an Angel and your most certainly a true gift from God. I live near the location where you were hit in your Mommys car and your beautiful little soul has touched many of our hearts in the community.Keep holding on Ava, with all of the strength you have and when your ready to take on the world, open those pretty eyes and give your Mommy and Daddy that beautiful smile that they’ve been longing to see. God is not done working His miracles just yet but when He is, you will be healthier than ever as we all claim both internal and external healing in the name of Jesus from the top of your head, to the souls of your feet by the Stripes of Jesus and we declare in Jesus name for you to rise up baby girl and open them gorgeous eyes. In the name of Jesus we thank you Lord for Ava’s miracle to be manifested now, in Jesus name we pray, AMEN<3

  • southerngirl

    Louisiana must be Steel Magnolias.

    • kate

      AMEN!!! My thoughts completely.

    • Loren

      Nah…Northern Louisiana MAYBE, but it’s not the LA I grew up in.

      Uhm, “Panic in the Streets” a 1950 movie about searching for a plague carrier in New Orleans, w/Jack Palance and Zero Mostel as minor hoods who think that the reason the cops are looking for the carrier is that he has smuggled in something valuable, and starring Richard Widmark as the Navy Public Service doctor trying to prevent an outbreak. I think in the 1980’s I lived in the house that is shown as Widmark’s in the movie!

      Or, perhaps, Clint Eastwood’s “Tightrope”, or, more classically, Brando’s “Streetcar Named Desire”. But Panic in the streets gets it for my money.

      • eman

        Used light weights for the staqus today and busted my shins up on a box jump. wa. Had a late night coaching football and feeling sluggish. We won! Anyway, speaking of weaknesses pull ups are mine. I’m 6’1 with long arms and about 185 lbs. Since starting CFE about 2 months ago, I have been getting better but still can’t rattle off ten in a row like I see at the gym. HELP!?S

    • Julie

      I purposely scrolled the comments looking for Steel Mags – thank you.

  • MichiganMan

    Jersy = Garden State hands down.

    • Jack

      Yes! I forgot about this film!

    • Stacy

      I’d totally agree with you if “clerks” wasn’t such a good choice. definitely second place though.

  • reb

    For Texas, I’d offer up The Last Picture Show or Giant over No Country for Old Men. It’s a fine movie, but the other two are such iconic portrayals of the state that No Country pales in comparison.

    • Levente

      Giant!! That’s a great one!

      • Nikki

        The chat room hates me. It won’t let me sign back in. ugh. Reply:March 7th, 2010 at 9:13 pm@ev, It seems to be hating me too. We’ll catch-up some other time send me your adedsrs (privately) at I want to send you some cookies for being the ONLY one to have logged on.

  • Jack

    Some other alternatives:

    Ohio – Major League
    Nevada – Leaving Las Vegas
    Tennessee – Sergeant York

    I really enjoyed this! Great for conversation starting topics! Thanks, EW!

    • Nerwen Aldarion

      Yes Sergeant York for Tennessee!!! Why The Evil Dead in the pic? That just makes no sense.

      • Peter

        This graphic was clearly made by someone under 30.

    • beebo

      For Ohio, definitely Major League or Tommy Boy. Who has even heard of Gummo?

  • Dublin

    I’d say “Mystery, Alaska for Alaska, “Mystic Pizza” for CT and “Birdcage” for FL

    • Dublin

      And “The Big Easy” for LA

    • Laura

      Yeah, The Birdcage is a far more appropriate representation of Florida than Scarface. And having lived in Minnesota, I can say that Juno and The Mighty Ducks are much more accurate depictions of life there than Fargo, which is a comic exaggeration.

      • Monty

        THANK YOU! Fargo isn’t even IN Minnesota!

        Ditch Fargo, Go Mighty Ducks!

      • lostidol

        No no no, it’s Grumpy Old Men all the way! THAT movie really captures Minnesotan life. (and even though Fargo the city isn’t in MN, the movie definitely takes place in MN.)

      • Peter

        @Monty, most of Fargo takes place in Brainerd.

      • Anissa

        Completely agree. Fargo is not at all accurate. What about Drop Dead Gorgeous?

      • Brittany

        Grumpy Old Men ftw!

  • heej

    California – American Graffiti, Chinatown, L.A. Confidential …

    • justjack

      CHINATOWN, definitely!

  • Kristen

    Can’t open the map since I am at work but is Illinois “Risky Business” or “Sixteen Candles”? Really. There is more to the state than Chicago. How bout “Grandview, USA”? Or “The Informant!”?

    • laylagalise

      Illinois is “The Blues Brothers.”

    • juju

      I was thinking “Risky Business” for Illinois, as well, but you’re right — it’s still Chicagoland. But “The Informant” is perfect for downstate Illinois.

      • Emily

        Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

    • Julie

      I was also thinking “Adventures in Babysitting”

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