Detroit, MI

A-list Movies Set in Detroit That You Shouldn't Miss

Ted Rivers

Detroit has been home to some of the most influential movies of all time. Whether it's a story about a small-town girl with big dreams or a robot fighting in the ring, these five movies set in Detroit will have you laughing, crying, and cheering along with the characters onscreen.

From Dreamgirls to Real Steel, here are five must-see movies that were filmed in Detroit.

Dreamgirls (2006)

This classic musical tells the story of three young women who form a singing group and navigate their way through show business—all while dreaming of becoming superstars. Starring Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls is an uplifting story of friendship and ambition that was partially filmed in downtown Detroit.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

Based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides follows five sisters living in suburban Michigan as they grapple with their parents’ strict rules and attempt to make sense of life as teenagers. This cult classic is set in Detroit during the 1970s; filming actually took place in Toronto, Canada.

Gran Torino (2008)

Clint Eastwood stars in this drama about an aging Korean War veteran who befriends his Hmong neighbors after they become targets of local gang members. Filmed mostly around Detroit's east side neighborhoods, Gran Torino is a heartwarming story about acceptance and redemption that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Real Steel (2011)

This family-friendly action movie follows Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman), an ex-boxer trying to make it big in the world of robot boxing. Much of Real Steel was filmed at Michigan Motion Picture Studios near Pontiac, Michigan—and it's one of those rare films where science fiction meets real-world settings like downtown Detroit and its surrounding suburbs.

The Giant Mechanical Man (2012)

This romantic comedy stars Jenna Fischer and Chris Messina as two misfits struggling to find love in modern society. While much of The Giant Mechanical Man was filmed in and around Detroit, the most recognizable location is easily the Detroit Zoo which features heavily in the film.

Your Thoughts

If you're looking for a good movie night pick that celebrates life in Detroit, then these five movies set in Motor City should be at the top of your list! Whether you're looking for drama or comedy, romance or action—these films have something for everyone to enjoy.

Can you think of any other films set in Detroit? Comment them below.

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