Best Movies by State: HA-MD

Without further ado, here is the next installment of the Best Movies by State:

Hawaii

I have never been to Hawaii, but my Father spent time there as a child, and every time he talks about it, he talks about surfing. That and all the racial tension between the natives and the whites living in naval bases (early 70s). But it is far more pleasant to talk about surfing. So with that in mind, it is easy to chose Blue Crush as my pick for best Hawaii movie.

The surfing is top notch, the beaches are beautiful, and (my favorite part) the music is awesome. If ever you were debating whether to visit Hawaii, then just put this movie on and sit back and enjoy 2 hours of cool surfing, super attractive people, and great tunes.

Idaho

Now I know next to nothing about Idaho, and a quick google of it taught me that its state bird is the Mountain Bluebird, and that it has ‘swaths of protected wilderness’. But that doesn’t really help me out choosing a movie so thanks for nothing Wikipedia. So with little known about the state itself, I just had to choose my favorite movie that takes place in the state. And that is Napoleon Dynamite.

A classic in the awkward comedy genre, this movie is too quotable. From the tater tots to the washed up football player, I can quote it for days. The antics are hysterical, and the performances are topnotch. What does this movie actually have to do with Idaho? Not a damn clue, but it sure is funny as hell.

Illinois

Now there are a couple of amazing movies to choose from here. There’s The Blues Brothers which is so funny I’m in stitches every time. Then there’s Halloween which was one of the first movies that got me into horror. Then there’s The Fugitive, which having only seen it as a preteen I recently re-watched thinking ‘How good can it be?’. I was blown away, amazing movie. But I feel that there can really be only one pick for best Illinois movie. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Every teenagers’ dream was to play hooky with as much style and cool as Mr. Bueller. Showing off both the suburban life and city life, this movie gives the viewer a look at both Chicago, and elsewhere in Illinois.

Indiana

Easily this has to be Hoosiers. A state with so many small farm towns, this is an amazing David and Goliath story that can inspire all those small town kids across the country. The movie gives us a great look at life in these small towns, and the everyday problems that face a lot of people. With relatable characters and a dream come true story, this is a must see sports drama.

Iowa

A state known for its corn, it is only appropriate that the movie to represent it on this list would take place in a corn field. And no I’m not talking about the incredibly spooky Children of the Corn. I am talking about the Kevin Costner classic Field of Dreams.

While note my favorite Costner baseball movie (Bull Durham is literally perfect), Field of Dreams is nothing to scoff at. What can be more middle American than baseball, cornfields, and familial issues? A perfect choice.

Kansas

While I want to choose Man of Steel because I love that movie and Superman is from Kansas, I have to go in another direction. If only there was a movie where the main character was whisked away from their home in Kansas that had a ridiculously famous line involving the state…

I am, of course referring to The Wizard of Oz. While mostly taking place in her head (I guess), you cannot think of this movie without thinking of Kansas. The one line is forever connecting Kansas to this all time classic. Easily the best choice.

Kentucky

This is a tricky one. Nothing overly stands out as especially Kentucky, but there are some great movies that take place there. So, instead of going for a mediocre movie more about Kentucky, I chose one of the most iconic movies from one of the most iconic franchises of all time, Goldfinger.

While taking place mostly in Europe, the epic finale to the greatest James Bond adventure takes place in Kentucky at Fort Knox. The movie showcases everything that we have come to know and love about the Bond movies: cool cars, gadgets, fights, amazing suits, beautiful women, and a great climax.

Louisiana

Now, I have never been to Louisiana, but from what I have heard, there is a ton of swampy old school southern country side. And while I could probably chose a great movie set in New Orleans, I decided to focus on the large parts of the state that are almost like going back in time. That feeling is ever present in my choice, Skeleton Key.

Skeleton Key is a fantastic horror movie about a hospice worker who goes off to the swamp lands of Louisiana to help an elderly man live out his last few weeks in relative comfort. The giant old colonial house, and surrounding swampy country side are almost characters on their own. The longer our protagonist stays in this creepy environment, the weirder and weirder it gets. Once voodoo gets involved it gets real scary. Great movie.

Maine

There really is no other choice than my second favorite movie here. Having Maine be the setting isn’t vital to the plot, but it is simply one of the best movies ever made. The Shawshank Redemption is just so, so, so good. It is a beautiful story about redemption (obviously), aging, forgiveness, and so much more. The acting is all perfect, the story is moving, and I really cannot say enough about how good this movie is.

Maryland

It was very tempting to pick a Baltimore movie, maybe something around Edgar Allen Poe’s work, but there sadly haven’t been all that may great movies based on Poe. So instead, I turned to a small town, forrest movie that takes local folklore to the extreme; the movie that practically invented viral marketing, The Blair Witch Project.

It has not aged beautifully, especially with the scores of bad imitators in the found footage sub-genre of horror, but if you can look past that bad taste in your mouth from all the crappy ones, you will see a great movie. The slow burn is not for everyone, as most scenes are more built around building tension than outright frights. This leads to a slow pace that turns some people away, but it actually makes it so much better. Once the scares come, you are already so tense that it drives you nuts. And then the ending scene is just pure horror gold.

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