Looking for some Hawaiian movie inspiration? I recently got back from Hawaii and I immediately wanted to watch all of the Hawaiian movies I could get my hands on. This lead me to create a little movie list of some of the top movies filmed in Hawaii, or that’s about Hawaii.
This list has everything from action to comedy to drama to timeless classics. Get your popcorn ready because the Hawaiian movies listed below are AWESOME.
I hope you enjoy your Hawaiian-themed movie night as much as I did. 🙂
1. Jurassic Park & Jurassic World
We’re starting this list off with a bang! Jurassic Park is one of my all-time FAVORITE movies. It’s the winner of 3 Academy Awards and is probably the most popular and recognizable movies filmed in Hawaii.
We can’t help but love this iconic movie about a bunch of scientists who brought dinosaurs back to life. No small feat.
With classic lines like, “Hold onto your butts” and “Must go faster”, this movie needs to be added to your Hawaii movie list.
Wanna experience where Jurassic Park was filmed? Check out my post on the Top 10 Things to Do in Oahu!
2. 50 First Dates
Another fan favorite. Give me Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore all day long. They have such fantastic on-camera chemistry, and 50 First Dates showcases it beautifully.
The plot: after years as a bachelor Henry (Adam Sandler) finally meets the girl of his dreams, Lucy (Drew Barrymore). But there’s one problem, Lucy has short term memory loss and can’t remember anything that has happened the day before. Determined to be with her, Henry makes it his mission to woo her every single day making this movie one of my favorite romantic comedies.
3. Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor has a star-filled cast including Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, Alec Baldwin, Cuba Gooding Jr., and John Voight. Released in 2001, Pearl Harbor was a major blockbuster hit.
This movie did a fantastic job recreating the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and was well-received and praised and by many survivors and witnesses.
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4. Lilo & Stitch
Ohana means family. Who could ever forget that line? Leave it to Disney to create Lilo & Stitch, a movie about an extraterrestrial alien (Stitch) who crash lands in Hawaii and captives the heart of Lilo, a lonely Hawaiian girl, who adopts Stitch as her “pet dog”.
Through this cute little tale Stitch transforms from a destructive intergalactic fugitive into a loving member of his newfound family.
5. Blue Crush
You gotta love Blue Crush. This movie will make you want to take up surfing even if you live in Idaho, and captures some of the best surfing scenes in film. A young Kate Bosworth plays the main character who is determined to show the world what she is made of by competing at an upcoming Pipe Masters surf contest on Hawaii’s North Shore.
Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) struggles with the challenges of everyday life including taking care of her kid sister, working as a hotel housekeeper, and of course, falling in love with an NFL quarterback while spending every other waking moment preparing for the surf contest.
I’m not going to lie, Aloha was actually a box office bomb, and I personally can’t say I enjoyed it that much either. So, you may be wondering, “Why the heck are you recommending it?”
Well, it’s directed by Cameron Crowe (who I admire) and it has a star-studded cast including Bradley Cooper, Bill Murray, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, and John Krasinski.
On top of that, it actually does a pretty good job of representing Hawaiian life and the film has beautiful Hawaiian scenery. So, go ahead and check it out, lemme know if you like it! I actually should give it a second chance myself.
7. You, Me, and Dupree
Who doesn’t love You, Me, and Dupree, staring the love-able Owen Wilson? This film is about newlyweds Carl and Molly who take in their jobless buddy, Randy (Owen Wilson), until he can get back up on his feet. At first it is nice having him around, but soon Randy threatens to become a permanent member of the home.
PS: Only the beginning of You, Me and Dupree is filmed in Hawaii, however those Hawaiian scenes are gorgeous!
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8. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a laugh out loud comedy starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, and Mila Kunis.
After struggling musician, Peter (Jason Segel), gets dumped by his TV star girlfriend, Sarah (Kristen Bell), he tries to get over her by going to Hawaii, only to find Sarah and her new boyfriend are in the same hotel.
9. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark: another Spielberg classic. Spielberg chose Kauai’s lush Anahola Mountains to portray the mysterious Amazonian jungle where Indiana Jones braves the ancient booby-trapped Peruvian temple. My faaaavorite part!
This is a movie I could watch over-and-over gain. Give me 1981 Harrison Ford any day.
Who are we kidding, give me 2018 Harrison Ford any day, too. 🙂
10. Along Came Polly
Along Came Polly is one of my favorite romantic comedies. I find Polly (aka Jennifer Aniston’s character) to be so cute in this movie!
This film stars Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston, and even though only the beginning and end of the film is actually filmed in Hawaii, I would definitely recommend it as an inspiring Hawaiian movie.
11. Just Go With It
Just Go With It is another romantic comedy filmed on Hawaii, this time staring the hilarious duo Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston.
Adam Sandler plays Danny, a successful plastic surgeon who pretends to be married to enjoy dates without any strings attached. His plan works until he meets Palmer – the girl of his dreams – who doesn’t want to get involved until he’s single.
Instead of fessing up, Danny hires his assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pose as his ex-trophy wife who is now leaving him. This movie is filled with tons of laughter, I guarantee you will love it. 🙂
Hook: another Stephen Spielberg classic! I guess it is safe to assume Hawaii is one of his favorite filming locations. 🙂
Although the movie is named Hook, it really focuses on the adult life of Peter Pan, showcasing what happened to Peter Pan after he left Neverland.
Peter Pan is played by Robin Williams while Dustin Hoffman plays his archnemesis, Captain Hook, who captures Pan’s children in an effort to lure Pan back to Neverland so they can duel it out in one last battle.
Dun, dun, dun.
13. George of the Jungle
George of the Jungle leaves you with all of the best jungle vibes. Although it is supposed to take place deep in the African jungle, this movie was actually filmed deep in the jungles of Kauai and Maui.
George of the Jungle (starring Brendan Fraser) is a spoof of Tarzan. George is a dim-witted, big-hearted “ape man” who saves his jungle friends from various threats all while displaying the most incredible six-pack abs.
We see you Brendan Fraser, we see you.
14. Six Days, Seven Nights
I feel like a lot of people don’t remember Six Days, Seven Nights, but I loved it in 1998 and still love it today. The movie stars Harrison Ford as a cargo plane pilot and Anne Heche a career-driven magazine editor who become stuck together after making an emergency landing on a nearby deserted island. The two are forced to put aside their differences and work together in order to survive.
The movie is supposed to take place on a deserted island in the South Pacific, however it was actually filmed on the beautiful island of Hawaii.
15. Mighty Joe Young
Mighty Joe Young was a childhood favorite, and also made me want a pet 2-ton gorilla.
Are we asking for too much, parents? I think not.
Charlize Theron plays Jill a girl who was raised in Africa and has now made it her mission to protect wild gorillas from poachers. She also cares for an orphaned gorilla named Joe – who happens to also be 15 feet tall.
Mighty Joe Young takes place in Africa, but it was in fact filmed deep in the jungles of Kauai.
16. Tropic Thunder
Okay, I am not going to lie to you, I just don’t get the hype around Tropic Thunder. However, I know tons of people love this movie, so it made the list.
The film takes place in Southeast Asia but was actually filmed on Kauai.
Tropic Thunder was directed by and stars the incredibly funny Ben Stiller about a bunch of actors who are dropped in the middle of the jungle to film a Vietnam War memoir. Through a series of unfortunate events they end up in the middle of a real war zone.
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17. Soul Surfer
Soul Surfer is the inspirational true story about real pro surfer, Bethany Hamilton. In 2003, news broke around the world about how Bethany survived a shark attack but unfortunately lost her arm in the process.
This movie shows Bethany’s early years as a talented young surfer, and how she overcame her fears to return to surfing after losing her arm.
18. Blue Hawaii
We’re finishing off this list with some true Hawaiian classics. Even if you don’t like old movies, you still might have heard of Blue Hawaii.
Blue Hawaii is a classic Elvis Presley musical and romantic comedy about Chadwick Gate (Elvis Presley) who is fresh out of the Army and wants nothing more than to hang lose and surf all day.
Blue Hawaii takes you back in time so you can reminisce on a less developed and untouched version of 1960’s Hawaii.
19. South Pacific
South Pacific opened in 1958, which was actually one year before Hawaii officially became a state. This movie takes place on a Pacific island (not necessarily Hawaii) during WWII and centers around an American nurse who falls for a French plantation owner. She begins to have second thoughts about their relationship upon discovering that he has fathered two mixed-race children.
If anything, this film will give insight into the types of prejudice and complications between loving relationships at that time.
20. From Here to Eternity
And finally, we are ending this list with the classic film, of all classic films, From Here to Eternity. This story takes place days before the attack on Pearl Harbor and focuses on Robert E. Lee Prewitt, a boxing champion who wants to put that part of his life behind him. However, he soon finds challenges in his new Hawaiian military life.
From Here to Eternity is particularly memorable for one of the most famous love scenes ever filmed, which takes place on a beach in Hawaii.
Today this particular beach on Oahu is still known as “From Here to Eternity Beach.”
I hope you enjoyed this list of Hawaiian movies! There are so many movies filmed in Hawaii, however this list definitely covers the best and most popular options. I hope you enjoy your Hawaii-themed movie night!
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What are your favorite Hawaiian movies? Let me know in the comments below!