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Getting Ready to Go to the U.S.: The Best Movies about Los Angeles

Hollywood filmmakers have chosen the best movies about their city. The leader of the list will surprise you!
Dozens of movies have been made about Los Angeles, from Sunset Boulevard to Entourage, but any attempt to compile a ranking of them would be too subjective.Thrillist decided to act more honestly: ask professionals from Hollywood about these films. Respondents were asked to make lists of their five favorite movies about Los Angeles. Thrillist also made a few selections that you can read by clicking on the following post. Films were given ten points for first place, nine points for second place, and so on. A total of 67 films made the list. 

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5. "The Big Lebowski" (1998).


The Coens' famous film was remembered by the majority of those surveyed. To get into the top three, however, he failed.
What the experts say: "I saw "Lebowski" on the day of the premiere in an empty theater in upstate New York. After that I drank only White Russian for a month. I felt a kinship with the Dude - we both hated the hell out of the Eagles! A year later I went to California for the first time and discovered that the In-N-Out fast food joint and Ralph's store from the movie actually existed."- Dan Curry
"I learned about Ralph's, Malibu and In-N-Out from this movie long before I first came to L.A." - Jennifer Semler, producer at Lava Bear Films.

4. "Careless Times at Ridgemont High." (1982)


The Phoebe Cates pool scene has no doubt thrilled many generations of teenagers-especially before the advent of the Internet. More importantly, however, the filmmakers managed to show the life of a teenager in Los Angeles more accurately than ever before.
What the experts say: "Screenplay by Cameron Crowe. Directed by Amy Heckerling. There are not enough words to describe how much of an impact this film has had on a generation."-Jessica Bendiger, "Succeed," "Sex and the City."
"I associated with Jennifer Jason Leigh's character, a growing up girl, as much as I did with Margaret from Judy Blume's 'Are You Here, God? It's Me, Margaret'" - Abby Axe, Focus Features.
"Maybe I was in college when this movie came out. Maybe my friends and I, just like its characters, were trying to order pizza right into the lecture hall."-Bettina Sherrick, Hollywood in Pixels

3. "Clueless" (1995).


Residents of Los Angeles often say that it takes 20 minutes to get anywhere in the city. That's a quote from "Clueless."

What Experts Say: "This Amy Heckerling film is moving even 20 years after its release. The story in 'Feckless' could only have happened in Los Angeles. I think the city itself could be called one of the characters in the film."-Bettina Sherrick

"It was one of the films that defined my entire youth. It showed me the possibilities that were open to me as a teenager from Los Angeles. I wanted to be Cher. I wanted to be friends with Dion and Tay. I wanted to fall in love with Josh. But most importantly, the movie shows what it means to be an L.A. girl - and that's who I wanted to be the most."- Sophie Cassidy

"I was 15 when 'Feckless' came out, so that movie was the embodiment of all my dreams of high school life. I wanted the same closet as Cher, the same friends and, most importantly, the same stepbrother. At 21, I was already living in New York City. I met Paul Rudd, who played Josh, outside a bar and tried to talk to him about making the film. He was kind enough not to run away right away! I was amazed. The beginning of "Feckless" is great in terms of the presentation of the characters and their surroundings. I always set it as an example to the writers I work with."-Abbie Axe

2. "Los Angeles Story." (1991)


One of Steve Martin's best works and one of the best movies about Los Angeles. The jokes from this movie are relevant even almost 30 years later.
What the experts say: "I still remember Sarah Jessica Parker's hair, roller skates and the radio phone in the car. Those images are imprinted in my mind" - Abby Axe.
"This is the only comedy on my list, and it's a real gem."- David Ansen, Palm Springs International Festival
"The scene in which Steve Martin's character gets into a car, drives ten yards and gets out is the real story. It happens all the time in Los Angeles!" - Bettina Sherrick.


1. "Chinatown (1974).

Unexpected winner. The tense thriller starring Jack Nicholson beats its nearest rival by 13 points. "Chinatown" was mentioned by nearly every person surveyed.
What the experts say: "My favorite movie of all time. It made me want to move to Echo Park long before the neighborhood was considered upscale" - Jennifer Semler.
"I worked with 'Chinatown' screenwriter Robert Towne on a project and for the first time I was wary of making any comments, because we had studied the movie in school."- Abby Axe
"I'll tell you what: if another drought comes, everyone should watch or review 'Chinatown.' It's a great study of California's water wars, the effects of which we're still seeing now," - Bettina Sherrick.

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