Cincy Cinema

by GABRIELA SELVA '24

How often do we find ourselves thinking that Cincinnati is a prime location that would fit the setting of an upcoming Golden Globes film? I am assuming most of us would think that Ohio is the last place people would want their movie to take place in. Although Cincinnati is not a popular spot for filmmaking, there has been a significant amount of movies based in this area with places we may recognize. Here are some of the most well known movies that were filmed in the Queen City area.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%

  • Where to Watch: Netflix

This Netflix movie filmed in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area follows the crimes of serial killer, Ted Bundy, told through the perspective of his girlfriend, Liz Kendall. Although this movie has received many bad reviews, the two main actors were played by none other than the famous Zac Efron and Lily Collins; and also featured Kaya Scodelario and Jim Parsons. Some prime spots found in this movie are Mainstrasse in Covington, the Pepper Pod in Newport, and the Clermont County jail.

Dark Waters (2019)

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

  • Where to Watch: Showtime, Amazon Prime, Hulu

Recently filmed in 2019, this movie is based on a real story that follows an attorney (played by Mark Ruffalo) trying to take down a corporation for polluting the water of a small town with toxic chemicals. This movie features actors such as Anne Hathaway, Victor Garber, and many more. A cool fact about this movie is that a portion of it was filmed at the grade school Immaculate Heart of Mary about the time that I was going to school there. It was filmed during the winter time, and a movie crew was putting fake leaves on the trees while we were in school to make it seem as if it were a different season. The scene filmed at IHM features Anne Hathaway and Mark Ruffalo going to Mass, and you can clearly see a view of the whole church while they are singing. Pretty cool to think that I have sat where the Hulk and Mia Thermopolis have been!

Rain Man (1988)

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

  • Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Netflix

Although this an older movie, Rain Man is the best ranked Cincinnati film with an IMDB score of 8/10. This film is about a man named Charlie, played by Tom Cruise, who returns to his home in Cincinnati following the death of his estranged father. Charlie discovers he has an autistic older brother, named Raymond (played by Dustin Hoffman), who was left $3 million in fortune at the mental institution where he was staying. The brothers then undertake a road trip, which was filmed in various locations in the Greater Cincinnati area such as the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport and East Walnut Hills.

Carol (2015)

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

  • Where to Watch: Vudu

This movie features Cate Blanchett, portrayed as an aspiring photographer, and Rooney Mara, portrayed as an older woman. The movie follows their love story taking place in 1950s New York; however, a majority of the filming locations were in Cincinnati! This involved various spots like Eden Park, OTR, and Maury’s Tiny Cove Steakhouse. This movie is amongst one of the top 10 movies filmed in Cincinnati, and it won a Golden Globe for Best Picture.

The Ides of March (2011)

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

  • Where to Watch: Netflix

This 2011 movie is a political drama film featuring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, and Evan Rachel Wood. The story follows Governor Mike Morris (played by Clooney) and his opponent Senator Pullman (played by Michael Mantell) who encounter dirty politics during Ohio’s Democratic primary. The film involves many scenes from downtown (including Fountain Square), Over-the-Rhine historic district, Mount Lookout, and Xavier University. The 2011 film was nominated for Golden Globes and an Academy Award.


Other movies with locations found in the Cincinnati area:

  • The Avengers (2012)

  • Goat (2016)

  • The Fits (2017)

  • The Old Man and the Gun (2018)

  • Traffic (2000)