10 Best Movies to Watch Before Visiting New York

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Heading to New York and want some cinematic inspiration for your itinerary? These 10 classic movies are just what you need to set the mood for your trip!

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Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

These are the perfect movies to watch before heading to the Big Apple. Guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and ready to book a ticket to NYC!

1. West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story
Image Credit: Life.

The original 1961 version of the film is a fan favorite. The widely acclaimed, melodramatic musical has many songs in its two-and-a-half-hour run time. If you are not a fan of musicals, there is still a lot to appreciate in terms of cinematography. In the opening prologue and throughout the film, the camera gives us aerial views of the city. It passes over streets giving us an authentic view of Upper Manhattan, New York.

2. Moonstruck (1987)

Moonstruck movie
Image Credit: MGM.

Set in Brooklyn, New York, Moonstruck will leave you laughing. It is undoubtedly a romantic comedy that will leave you hopeful for your own New York romance. You never know what might happen with a bottle of wine, some Italian food, Cher and Nicolas Cage.

3. Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellows movie
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

This movie was a dramatic inside look at mafia life in New York. It was a brutal movie with much violence but authentic to the New York scene. Many of the locations it was filmed in are still around if you want to visit them while you are in New York!

4. Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver movie
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

Suffering from insomnia, a mentally unstable veteran works night shifts as a New York City taxi driver. The movie has been called controversial but also proclaimed a masterpiece of American Cinema. Filmed on the streets of New York, many of the locations are available to drive by on your visit.

5. Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Wolf on Wall Street movie
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Based on the book of the same name, the movie is set in New York and follows the true story of Jordan Belfort and his obscene rise and fall in the financial sector. All the locations we see in the movie help to show how much wealth Belfort and his accomplices possessed, from wild parties to his home.

6. Ghostbusters (1984)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Ghostbusters is a comedy about three friends who start a business together and end up saving New York from a paranormal invasion. This is a classic film with the right amount of humor and magic. This lighthearted movie will get you into a great mood for your New York visit.

7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

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Image Credit: Paramount.

A movie about a girl who falls in love with a man who moved into her apartment building is a classic and a box office favorite. This movie will never go out of style and is one of the reasons why the little black dress became a wardrobe staple.

8. 27 Dresses (2008)

27 Dresses actress
Image Credit: Spyglass Entertainment.

This film doesn’t make the list as a compelling love story; more of a comically predictable and incredibly corny movie. It’s a comedy about a girl who just wants to find true love… and tries on 27 dresses. After trying on so many bridesmaid dresses and hustling from one wedding to the other, will she ever try on her own wedding dress? Out of all the ridiculous things that go on in New York (or any place), this is one of them.

9. King Kong (1933)

King Kong movie
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment.

No New York films list can go without this movie. A crew goes into the jungle and brings back a giant prehistoric ape (what can go wrong?) to show to the rest of the world in New York. The ape climbs the tower with the leading lady, and the rest is history.

10. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

Muppets in Manhatten movie
image Credit: Henson Associates.

Perhaps the most lighthearted movie on this list, The Muppets Take Manhattan and its implausibility, will have you laughing with the happy-go-lucky frog and his band of merry Muppets. With its varying reviews, it may not be their finest work, but it’s got New York in it, and you’ll have fun watching it.

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Top Gun - Maverick
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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the whole nine yards
Image Credit: Lansdown Films

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Tom Hanks
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Image Credit: Pathé Entertainment

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This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.

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