The 10 Best Movies That Take Place in Philadelphia

Here are the best movies that take place in the great city of Philadelphia! Some of these may surprise you.

We often recommend media and products we like. If you buy anything through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

When it comes to iconic United States cities, few are as ingrained in the public consciousness as Philadelphia.

The City of Brotherly Love is known for its cheesesteaks, giant mall (which is actually in the next town over), pretzels, and important events in American history.

Outside of those real-world things, Philly has been used as a setting for some incredible movies. In fact, according to Wikipedia, there are nearly 120 movies set within the city of Philadelphia.

So we’ve gone ahead and rounded up the best movies that take place in Philadelphia! Some are pretty well-known, but you may be surprised by some of the ones that made the list.

10. Shazam!

Hulu offers a 30-day free trial so you can watch all kinds of TV shows and movies with zero commitment. Cancel at any time without losing the rest of the trial. Start your free trial!

Shazam! is a fantastically goofy superhero movie that takes the tropes of the genre and creates something fun and interesting with them. And as an added bonus, the movie takes place in the fine city of Philadelphia!

You’ll see shots of Center City, the William Penn statue, the famous Art Museum steps, and even Geno’s Steaks. It’s like one giant Philly Easter Egg.

9. National Treasure

If there’s one thing Philadelphia has a lot of, it’s museums. National Treasure uses plenty of those museums for its plot, but there are also scenes from Washington, D.C.

The movie shows iconic Philly locations such as the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Franklin Institute.

8. Creed

Creed is sort of a sequel to Rocky, but with its focus shifted away from Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky to Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Johnson Creed.

Stallone still plays a critical role in the movie, of course, but Creed feels different enough from original Rocky films to stand on its own. It’s a refreshing reboot to the Rocky story and is definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

7. Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook is an emotional movie that’ll tug on your heartstrings with its mix of romance, comedy, and drama.

A good chunk of the movie takes place in Philadelphia suburb Upper Darby, but there’s plenty of Eagles action too since Philly’s beloved football team is an integral part of the movie’s plot.

6. 12 Monkeys

For science fiction fans who want to enjoy a Philly-based movie, this is the one to go with. Director Terry Gilliam knocks it out of the park in this incredible movie.

Unfortunately, the post-apocalyptic movie doesn’t take place exclusively in Philadelphia, but it definitely features enough iconic landmarks in the city to make it have that Philadelphia feel.

5. The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense isn’t actually a movie that makes you think of Philadelphia, but it most definitely takes place in The City of Brotherly Love. The horror movie features one of the most iconic twists in any movie, and it has one of the most quoted lines.

The Sixth Sense is how M. Night Shyamalan became a household name as a director, so it’s worth checking out just for that.

4. Trading Places

Starz offers exclusive streaming access to all kinds of unique TV series and movies. Binge-watch as much of it as you can since you can try it out for FREE for 7 days!

If you’re into comedies, this is the Philly-based movie for you. It stars two comedic geniuses in Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, so you know it’s going to have you rolling on the floor laughing uproariously.

It’s a quotable movie, featuring quite a few lines that you’re sure to remember. And the Philadelphia setting actually matters, which makes it a great film for Philly residents.

3. The Italian Job

The Italian Job is one of the most underrated heist movies out there. While most people heap praise on films like Ocean’s Eleven, this movie deserves just as much love.

The all-star cast features names like Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def and Donald Sutherland. A movie with these names can’t be bad!

2. Invincible

When it comes to inspiring football stories, few make you believe you can accomplish anything quite like Invincible. The football movie focuses on Philadelphia’s beloved Eagles and an unlikely hero named Vince Papale (played by Mark Wahlberg).

Not only is it a great movie, but it really gives you a feel for Philadelphia in the 1970s.

1. Rocky

In the ultimate no-brainer, Rocky tops the list of Philly-based movies. Philadelphia literally has a statue dedicated to Rocky right in the middle of the city, and people come from far and wide to run up the iconic steps.

While Rocky is a film that truly defines all things Philadelphia, it’s also just a classic movie that can be appreciated no matter where you live. It’s the movie that pioneered the sports genre, and it’s just a masterpiece in the film world.

Most of the sequels could easily make this list as well, so if the original Rocky isn’t enough for you, go out and see the rest of the movies (maybe skip Rocky V, though).

Similar & Trending