Paradise and prison, bustling metropolis and the loneliest place on earth: New York City has a cinematic identity that infuses all walks of life. Even as we write our own narratives in this most famous of locations, we walk alongside fictional characters (and sometimes real ones, too, if we’re lucky).
In selecting the 100 most essential New York movies, we kept the city’s boldness in mind. TONY Film staffers David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich teamed up with movie experts Stephen Garrett and Alison Willmore to gather titles from all genres and eras—the widely known and the obscure—in pursuit of a complete picture of NYC on film.
Our only parameter: The movie had to be set in New York City, not Metropolis (sorry, Superman fans), Oz (ditto, you Wiz diehards), nor anywhere else. Dive in, jostle politely, find your seat or ride standing: Please tell us what we’ve missed. It’s a big town.Read less