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The Best New York City Movies Will Have You Saying, “Hey! I’m Walking Here!”

Cabs not provided, unfortunately.

stills from three of the movies listed
Everett Collection

Ah, New York City. The city that never sleeps! The big apple! It's a place many people dream of living, but if you're looking at your bank account thinking, "Absolutely no way that's happening for me," you can do the next best thing and watch a movie that takes place in New York. There are so many to choose from, because, I'm not biased or anything, all the best movies are set in NYC. They range from hilarious comedies to contemplative dramas, because like the city they're set in, they have range! So here are the very best of the very best New York movies.

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The Devil Wears Prada

Starting this list off with an absolute banger. Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway star in this movie about the magazine industry that has so many quotable lines you're probably reciting at least one of them right now. Gird your loins!!

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Yes, animated New York City still counts! This movie was made by the people responsible for 21 Jump Street, so you could say it's the most fun of the Spider-Man movies and you'd probably be right.

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On the Rocks

This underrated movie stars Rashida Jones as a woman who's trying to figure out whether her husband is having an affair. Her dad, played by Bill Murray, hops on the case as a way to get closer to her. The biggest star of the movie might actually be her SoHo apartment, which is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

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In the Heights

The first, but certainly not the last, musical to appear on this list. This movie didn't get nearly enough love when it came out, but it is an emotional tribute to Washington Heights, and all the people that make it great.

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Moonstruck

Cher!!! In an Oscar-winning role!! This movie is an absolute riot. Nicholas Cage plays her love interest in a performance that is so over-the=top you can't help but love it.

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Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee's third movie follows a young pizza delivery worker named Mookie (played by Lee himself) on one of the hottest days of the summer in Brooklyn. As temps rise, so do the tensions in the neighborhood between Black and Italian residents.

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Uptown Girls

This movie features Brittany Murphy at her absolute best acting-wise before her untimely passing. She plays an unconventional nanny to an uptight young girl (playing by Dakota Fanning) and the unlikely pair has to figure out a way to get along despite their differences.

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Hustlers

Otherwise known as the movie J. Lo should have won an Oscar for, this movie follows a group of strippers who decide they want to make it big, and they do so by conning some of their most loyal clients. It's the crime thriller you didn't know you needed.

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West Side Story (2021)

Yes, the original is a total classic, but the 2021 version makes this list because it completely justified why it was being remade in the first place, which is so small feat. Rachel Zegler, who is about to be in every movie you watch, stars as Maria in a 1950s-set adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.

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Paris Is Burning

If you like Pose, you should definitely watch this documentary, which is, in some ways, the inspiration for that show. It follows a group of real New Yorkers as they participate in ball culture, and it's an exploration of race, class, and sexuality at the end of the 1980s.

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Frances Ha

Have you ever felt completely aimless in your career? And to make it worse, all the people are around you are seemingly finding their purpose? This movie is for you. It stars Greta Gerwig in her pre-director days.

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If Beale Street Could Talk

Director Barry Jenkins' highly-anticipated follow-up to Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk is a heartbreaking portrait of one New York family living through wrongful incarceration, set in Harlem.

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