Top 10 Movies About New Jersey That You Need Watching Update 06/2024

Movies About New Jersey

It’s no secret that New Jersey is a favorite within the entertainment industry. The Garden State is the setting for many of Kevin Smith’s best-known films. We focus on the best.

While many movies are set in either Los Angeles or New York, New Jersey is frequently mentioned in pop culture as the setting for many stories. Despite the fact that its close proximity to New York City may have helped it gain notoriety, residents of the Garden State recognize that the city has its own unique character and culture. New Jersey is the setting for a vast list of books, television shows, and movies, and this list focuses on the greatest of those, including some cult classics that have found their way into the mainstream. Films like these 10 are a credit to the state.

1. Big Night

Big Night

An tiny New Jersey Italian restaurant managed by the Primo and Secondo brothers serves food in an old-world way. Their guests are being stolen by another restaurant in the neighborhood.

The brothers decide to throw a lavish dinner party for a high-profile guest in an attempt to revive their failing firm. It dawns on them that the competing restauranteur, whom they believed a friend, had misled them when their guest fails to show up. So, it’s not like the night was a complete waste. Not only does this critically acclaimed film cover Italian cuisine, but it also goes deep into what it means to be Italian in New Jersey.

2. Welcome To The Dollhouse

An independent film with a low budget received surprisingly positive reviews for this dark coming-of-age comedy. Cringe-inducing humour may be the reason for this. Dawn, an uncomfortable 11-and-a-half-year-old with few acquaintances, is the focus of Welcome to the Dollhouse. Her family life is bleak, and her parents openly show favoritism toward her younger, spoilt sister. One of the all-time greats of the indie film genre, this one puts New Jersey proud.

3. Garden State

Garden State

Zach Braff’s directorial debut is Garden State, a film set in New Jersey.

Andrew Largeman is a character played by Braff in the film. Andrew has moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. Only his psychologist father seems to believe that he suffers from a mental illness that he is heavily medicated for. While attending the funeral of his late mother, Andrew undertakes an experiment by withdrawing off his medication. To devote himself fully to himself and his new relationship, the man rediscovers sentiments he had forgotten he possessed. Garden State comes to mind almost immediately when picturing a movie set in New Jersey.

4. The Hurricane

In this biopic of former middleweight boxing champion Ruben Carter, also dubbed “The Hurricane,” Denzel Washington takes on the role. His life is irrevocably changed when he is sentenced to 25 years in jail after being wrongly accused of a triple crime. The film is about a man who, in the face of insurmountable odds, maintained his commitment. A crime he didn’t commit has left Carter reeling after his release from prison. Critical appreciation was high for this New Jersey-set film.

5. The Wrestler

The Wrestler

In this film about a professional wrestler named Randy “The Ram” Robinson, the legendary method actor Mickey Rourke stars. Despite his deteriorating health and the fact that he is getting older, Randy will not retire from the ring. He wants to relive the glory days of the 1980s, when he was at the height of his success. Many people believe that this film and its protagonist represent New Jersey to the fullest extent.

6. The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger is Troma Entertainment’s first film. This 1980s B-movie cult hit has become an emblem of the genre. Toxic waste barrels turn Melvin into an unusual superhero when bullies follow him and he falls in. Toxie, the Toxic Avenger, emerges from this transformation. He’s also been horribly scarred as a result of the transformation.

Tromaville’s streets are kept clean by Toxie’s relentless pursuit of scumbags and criminals. This does not sit well with the local mafia lord, who attempts to assassinate him. Even the villainous mayor has grown tired of the hero’s antics. They protect their hero in the end, and he continues to fight in future sequels. Cartoons, comic books, and toy lines have all been inspired by the film series. This picture became a cultural touchstone for New Jersey.

7. Clerks


The movie Clerks is a veritable cult favorite. It’s impossible to talk about New Jersey movies without mentioning Kevin Smith and his creative masterpieces. Black and white comedy about two men caught in dead-end employment is part of New Jersey’s rich film tradition.

When Dante is summoned to work on his day off, the film revolves around that moment. He learns about an ex-death, girlfriend’s which prompts him and his best buddy, Randal, to have a philosophical discussion.

8. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

When it comes to combatting crime, the Hong Kong Cavaliers are led by Buckaroo Bonzai, who is also a surgeon and an adventurer. Alien invaders from the 8th dimension want to wreak havoc on our planet. As a result of a more cooperative extraterrestrial race’s assistance, Buckaroo Bonzai and his crew must protect their world.

Buckaroo devised the “oscillation overthruster,” a groundbreaking piece of technology that the aliens are after.. For those who can’t get enough of this cult classic, local gatherings have sprouted up around it.

9. Atlantic City

Atlantic City

The critical acclaim for this picture can be attributed in large part to Susan Sarandon’s performance.

Several awards have been nominated for Atlantic City. However, despite the positive reviews, the film was a failure at the box office. It is Sarandon who plays Sally, a waitress in the glamorous casino town of Monte Carlo who has ambitions to work as a blackjack dealer one day. He arrives in with some stolen cocaine and a plan to sell it, and Sally’s ex-husband is not happy about it. The grit of New Jersey’s Atlantic City is on display in this well-received film.

10. Chasing Amy

This romantic comedy set in New Jersey stars Kevin Smith once again. Best friends Holden and Banky’s relationship is put to the test when one of them falls in love with a beautiful lesbian at the convention.. It becomes clear that Holden’s best buddy is truly in love with him as the film develops, which makes him jealous and resentful. Both relationships are ruined by Holden’s clumsiness. This film is yet another example of Kevin Smith’s dedication to his home state.