Our nation’s capital has been the setting for countless movies, but only around 100 have actually been filmed in D.C. Those films have included everything from mega blockbusters to critically acclaimed classics. Here’s a look at the ten best films ever shot in Washington, D.C.
#10 Patriot Games (1992)
This adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel marked the debut of Harrison Ford as retired CIA agent Jack Ryan, replacing Alec Baldwin, who played the part in 1990’s The Hunt for Red October. Debuting at #1, this political thriller was a hit with both critics and the public.
#9 Minority Report (2002)
One of director Stephen Spielberg’s most daring and critically acclaimed films, Minority Report tackles the concept of a future where foreknowledge of misdeeds allows police to arrest criminals before crimes are committed. Heavy stuff– and well ahead of it’s time.
#8 Thank You For Smoking (2005)
Can lobbyists for some of the world’s most dangerous and deadly products still have a conscience and a heart? Aaron Eckhart is masterful as the Big Tobacco spin doctor caught between his career and raising a young son.
#7 In The Line Of Fire (1993)
As the lone remaining Secret Service agent from JFK’s Dallas team, Frank Horrigan is haunted by memories and determined to stop former CIA agent John Malkovich from taking down the current chief executive. Both actors are at their best throughout this intense thriller.
One of the truly great satires of the 1990’s, Election features a tour de force performance by Reese Witherspoon as the Nebraska teen who wants to be class president and Matthew Broderick as the teacher who tries to sabotage her campaign. Fun and funny from start to finish.
#5 Wag The Dog (1997)
Politics is a dirty business, and no film portrays it any filthier than this black comedy from director Barry Levinson. An all-star cast led by Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman captures every aspect of political scandal—both real and manufactured.
#4 JFK (1991)
In one of the most controversial films of all-time, director Oliver Stone mines every source of Kennedy assassination conspiracy info and blends them into a compelling and fascinating look at one of the nation’s darkest episodes.
#3 Broadcast News (1987)
Writer, producer, director James L. Brooks nailed every aspect of this funny, insightful and touching look at the cutthroat world of TV news and the people that provide it. Great performances by William Hurt, Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks make Broadcast News one of the best films of the 1980’s.
#2 The Exorcist (1973)
The granddaddy of all horror films, it is hard to find a flaw in The Exorcist. From creepy, foggy Georgetown backdrops to spinning heads and pea soup projectiles, this classic is as scary today as it was four decades ago.
#1 All the President’s Men (1976)
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein may have been the journalists who broke the Watergate scandal wide open, but it’s Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman who the general public remembers in those roles. The quintessential Washington story, All the President’s Men garnered eight Academy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actor nod for Jason Robards’ portrayal of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee.
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District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray vividly recalls November 22, 1963. Gray had turned 21 less than two weeks earlier and was studying psychology at George Washington University.
Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, thousands will mark the day with a solemn ceremony in Dealey Plaza, through which the president’s motorcade passed when shots rang out.
A retired newspaper man recalls reluctantly being tasked with serving as a pallbearer at the funeral for Lee Harvey Oswald.
A half-century later, the memory of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination still resonates for those who remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the unthinkable news. But for those born decades later, it may be difficult to see the president’s death on Nov. 22, 1963 as more than a fact in a history book.