9 blockbuster movies you didn’t know were set in New Jersey


Have you ever watched a movie that takes place in a place that feels familiar to you? It might be a quaint suburb and you wonder where it was filmed. There are so many movies that have New Jersey-like locations that you must be wondering, “Is this in my hometown?” Or nearby?

Everyone knows that New Jersey’s proximity to New York, along with its very diverse landscape, makes New Jersey a great place to shoot movies and TV shows. And although I’ve never seen a remote film crew near my home, that hasn’t stopped me from wondering.

As it turns out, there are plenty of critically acclaimed films made in New Jersey, some of which may even be your favorites.

Read the list of movies that, surprisingly, were shot in New Jersey.

Joker (2019)
Would you have guessed that the Joker’s first big scene took place on Market Street in Newark? The Joker also used the Paramount Theater during filming and changed the Marquee to read “Newart” instead of Newark, as Gotham is a fictional city.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Is it exciting to know that Leonardo DiCaprio spent the day in Bergen County filming a scene in Wolf of Wall Street? The scene was shot in Closter because the producers wanted a place that looked “run down” and “old”.

The Godfather (1972)
This American classic was shot in Jersey City in what is now Liberty State Park. The area was used for the famous “Leave the Gun” scene. Take the cannoli, ”where Peter Clemenza kills Paulie Gatto.

Goodfellas (1990)
There is nothing better than a movie that sees New Jersey in all its beauty. Goodfellas shot a ton of footage all over New Jersey for the backdrops, including a house on Inwood Terrace in Fort Lee. The house was used as Henry Hill’s home in the film and is now considered famous among Jersey residents.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Nothing like a little action on the streets of Newark. The Town Hall on Broad Street and Military Park served as the grounds for several scenes throughout Dark Knight Rises. If you live in this area, you may remember seeing signs of noise from simulated explosions and contained fires in 2011.

mean girls (2004)
As a huge Mean Girls fan, I was delighted to hear that Montclair High School was the setting for North Shore High School. Growing up in Montclair? You might have sat at the same desk as Aaron Samuels or Regina George!

School of Rock (2003)
Do you remember the battle of the band scene in that movie? It was shot outside the Union County Arts Center in Rahway. Other scenes from this comedy were also shot in Edison and Franklin.

The Hunger Games: Catch On Fire (2013)
I was shocked when I found out about it. The Hunger Games used the northwest shore of Lake Ramapo to film several winter scenes of Katniss Everdeen. The scenes were even incorporated into the trailer, proving that Jersey fit the role of Panem quite well.

Annie (2014)
This family classic was reworked in 2014 and featured scenes on the Monmouth University campus where Daddy Warbucks’ mansion is actually Wilson Hall. Several other scenes were filmed at the water’s edge as well as in Jersey City.

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. All opinions expressed are those of Judi Franco.

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