Monday, July 4, 2022
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DC Cinema Scene: 10 Best Movies Filmed in Town


Another round of Academy Awards have found their winners and, for the first time in history, a non-English movie stole the show. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’Parasite sent several American productions home with less than they expected by winning the Best Picture at the February 9 ceremony in Los Angeles.

Hollywood, however, still remains the world’s biggest, richest and most populous cinema industry. It is where tens of absolute blockbusters originate from each year. And history is the strongest testament to its unparalleled success.

Capital City in the Background

Of all the locations Hollywood producers and directors chose for their movies, the nation’s capital holds a particular importance as it makes a great background for high-intensity productions on political, legal and military confrontations. The result of their efforts is rarely disappointing but millions of viewers enjoyed their best with the following movies:

Minority Report

Starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell, Minority Report (2002) by Steven Spielberg was a terrific eye-opener about free will’s future at the time of rapid technological advancements.

With most of their acts shot in D.C. and Northern Virginia, the movie’s cast takes its audience on a breathless journey of crime, mystery and chase. It is not surprising that it has received a score of 7.6/10 from nearly half a million users on IMDB, the leading online database for movies worldwide.

Thank You for Smoking

Can you remain a role model for your kids while working for more people to pick up one of the deadliest habits in history? Playing a major tobacco company’s spokesman in Thank You for Smoking (2005), Aaron Eckhart performs one of his career’s best acts to portray this dilemma.

Watching him engage politicians, media and the courts with cunning tactics as a “merchant of death” could serve as a reminder of how vulnerable individuals are against organized evil. Like the Minority Report, it has an IMDB score of 7.6/10.

A Few Good Men

Having mentioned the complexity of uncovering the truth against the powerful, it would be utterly unfair to disregard the mesmerizing success of lieutenants JoAnne Galloway and Daniel Kaffee.

Playing the two young officers in A Few Good Men (1992), starring Demi Moore and Tom Cruise deserve nothing less than a standing ovation. Nor does Jack Nicholson as the screenplay’s bad guy.

The trio does a fantastic job in reflecting the rigid hierarchy within military structures and how simply “following the orders” could sometimes do so much harm to so many innocent lives. With an IMDB score of 7.7/10, it is an absolute must-watch.

Advise & Consent

It is now time to remember an old movie that couldn’t be filmed anywhere else than D.C. Advise & Consent (1962) centers on the story of a secretary of state nominee, Robert. A. Leffingwell, who has a controversial past and committed perjury in the course of his confirmation proceedings at the Senate.

With Leffingwell’s political demise, the president’s career becomes at stake, as well. In the process, more secrets break their chains. It has an IMDB score of 7.7, too.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

A far more popular movie with an equal score on the database, though completely from another genre, is Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).

Viewers, who already watched the series’ first movie based on the famous Marvel Comics character, can expect the continuation of intense action in the world of agents and assassins. Only this time, Captain America resides in our beautiful D.C. Brace for a heavy dose of adrenalin with Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson!

Strangers on a Train

Before letting your stress hormones reduce, it would be best to close the chapter of best thrillers filmed in D.C. with two more movies.

The first one is also the oldest production on our list: Strangers on a Train (1951). The story of a psychopath and a tennis player, who considered swapping the murders they planned in order to get away with their crimes, is certainly not an ordinary one.

And it is why with far less advanced cinematographic technology at his disposal, Alfred Hitchcock has managed to steal as many critics as his fellow directors who filmed their movies more than half a century later. It has an IMDB score of 8.0/10.

The Exorcist

Horror productions are not everybody’s passion and stress-free life advocates are definitely not fond of the idea of consuming too many of them. However, one such book has become a bestseller against all odds: William Peter Blatty‘s 1971 novel The Exorcist.

The acclaimed writer adapted his traumatizing story to cinema two years later under the same title. The result of his and director William Friedkin‘s work has compelled even the most fastidious critic to recognize the movie’s success. It, too, has an IMDB score of 8.0/10.

All the President’s Men

Now sit back and take a deep breath for it is time to look back on much calmer performances that have gained even more fans across the film industry. Alas, we have only three more reviews left on this list of top 10!

First of those three final recaps will be a eulogy to All the President’s Men (1976), the story of two journalists investigating one of the greatest political wrongdoings in the U.S. history — The Watergate Scandal.

With this thriller, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman have carved a golden step in their acting careers. And the movie’s significance nationwide was recognized in 2010 when the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry. It has an IMDB score of 8.0/10.


The word significance brings us to Oliver Stone‘s JFK (1991), a political thriller on the events that led up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

For all the controversy it stirred with how it portrays one of the saddest episodes in the lives of millions of Americans, the movie has received top-notch reviews from critics for the performance of its cast and directing. Starring Kevin Costner certainly made a lot of difference to that end. On IMDB, over 130,000 users rated it 8.0/10.

Forrest Gump

And finally crowning our list is none other than Robert ZemeckisForrest Gump (1994) starring Tom Hanks as a man somewhat dull with a giant heart who has helped make a meaningful difference in so many more lives than most people around him thought he would.

The scene where Forrest speaks inaudibly at a peace rally after returning from Vietnam and later runs into the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial to reunite with his life’s love, Jenny, is one of its most memorable. The comedy-drama cult movie has an 8.8/10 rating on IMDB.

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