The Best Movies Set in New Jersey

New Jersey has been the scene for many fantastic movies over the years and native director, Kevin Smith, has often chosen the Garden State as the backdrop for his films. That includes the movie Chasing Amy, which was released in 1997 and stars Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams.

Affleck plays a young comic book writer called Holden, who falls in love with lesbian Alyssa. Both Holden and his best friend, Banky are struggling to understand the situation as Holden realizes Banky is becoming jealous of his blossoming friendship with Alyssa. It soon becomes apparent that Banky is actually in love with Holden, and he fails to deal with the situation, ultimately ruining both relationships in what is a tremendous comedy, despite the seemingly serious subject matter. 

Being a native to the area, Smith often incorporates aspects of his adolescence into the films with New Jersey’s insatiable appetite for sports often playing a prominent role in both Jersey girl and the infamous Ice Hockey scene of Chasing Amy, which is fitting as New Jersey is now at the forefront of legal online gambling, so should you be interested in wagering on a match you can take advantage of this sugarhouse sportsbook promo code.

Next, we come to Atlantic City, and this movie stars Susan Sarandon. As the name suggests, this film is set in Atlantic City and follows the life of Sally, who has hopes of becoming a blackjack dealer in Monte Carlo. Burt Lancaster plays the role of an elderly mobster, and he drags Sally into a drug deal only to begin having feelings for her. A relationship develops between the pair, despite their age difference, and the leaves Pascal, the character played by Lancaster, with a choice to make.

Atlantic City is set against the backdrop of the late ’70s and early ’80s when casinos and hotels were appearing thanks to the legalization of gambling in the city. Atlantic City was only the second city in the United States to legalize gambling, so it was a big deal at the time and that was the perfect environment for director Louis Malle to create the movie.

For those who like their movies to include a superstar cast, look no further than Cop Land. Set in a world of police corruption in a small New Jersey town, Cop Land stars Sylvester Stallone, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, and Harvey Keitel. Stallone plays the role of a local sheriff and along with an internal affairs investigator, played by De Niro, they work together to bring down NYPD officers involved in police corruption and racial profiling in the town. There is a shootout near the end of the film and needless to say, it is Stallone who wins the day.

There are many other highly acclaimed movies that are set in New Jersey. They include Clerks, another New Jersey film directed by Kevin Smith, The Toxic Avenger, which has since become a cult classic and led the way in terms of 80’s B-movies, The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke as Randy “The Ram” Robinson, The Hurricane, a second New Jersey movie involving sport, this time boxing, and Garden State, which saw the debut of New Jersey director, Zach Braff.