In addition to being the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia is also a fundamental cornerstone of our country’s government. As such, it’s really no surprise that there are so many excellent crime movies either shot or based in the sprawling metropolis. From clean-cut courtroom scenes to gritty dramas that take place in the city streets, Philadelphia is the perfect backdrop for thrilling depictions of criminal justice. Here are the best crime movies filmed in Philadelphia.
Fresh off the success of the first 3 Star Wars films, Harrison Ford stars in the iconic killer thriller, Witness (1985) that focuses heavily on Lancaster County’s Amish community. All told, Philadelphia has few scenes in the film. The movie is about a young Amish boy who saw a murder and must thus be kept safe by an appropriately gruff Philly cop. However, parts of the movie were both filmed and set in Philadelphia, and many fans flock to 30th Street Station just to see the haunting statue of the angel compassionately holding the dying man.
Philadelphia (1993) is one of the most moving movies of the 1990s. Starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, this courtroom drama touchingly depicts the real and metaphorical trials of Andrew Beckett, a lawyer who loses his job once his superiors discover that he’s gay and living with AIDS. Lawyer Joe Miller, played by Washington, is the only man willing to take his case.
This is a fantastic film because of the way it tackled controversial subjects. Both sexuality and the AIDS virus were still considered touchy subjects in the early 1990s. But under the direction of Jonathan Demme and through the acting of Hanks, Washington, Antonio Banderas, and Jason Robards, the film raised significant awareness about both issues.
Denzel Washington must be a fan of the City of Brotherly Love because he also stars in Fallen (1998), a supernatural and nearly noir film that came out in 1998. It co-stars John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, and James Gandolfini, leading to a solid ensemble. Washington plays Detective John Hobbes, a member of the Philadelphia Police. Early in the film, he captures a serial killer who gets executed. After that, Hobbes begins investigating a series of copycat murders with his partner Jonesy, played by Goodman.
Although there’s a supernatural bent involving demons and possessions, the police work in the film is refreshingly realistic in places. You get to see the danger and the triumphs that occur when you work within the criminal justice system, which has certainly inspired audience members to seek information on criminology degrees. At the very least, they want to make sure there are no demon-possessed killers on the loose.
04) Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) is the follow-up film to the wildly popular Twin Peaks TV series. Given the esoteric plot of the series, along with a cast consisting of Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Isaak, Lara Flynn Boyle, and Kyle MacLachlan, it was practically an instant success. This psychological thriller is dark, gritty and keeps you firmly on the edge of your seat.
Twin Peaks is a town in Washington, but key points in the plot take the audience to Philadelphia. Although the scenes are only set there, David Lynch filmed them elsewhere. However, it hardly matters, since the Philly scenes include David Bowie as Agent Phillip Jeffries.
The Best Crime Movies Filmed In Philadelphia Movies
These are just a few of the great crime movies filmed in Philadelphia worthy of mentioning. Philadelphia is an ideal setting for action-laced crime dramas, being both beautiful and heavily populated. From street cops to courtrooms, have you ever been inspired to seek a career you saw in a movie? Please post a comment below.