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7 California-Made Fall Movies To Watch This Season

7 California-Made Fall Movies To Watch This Season

Whether you want scares, love, or something to keep the entire family entertained, this list of iconic fall movies will hit the mark.


5 min read

October 13, 2021

There’s something about the fall season that makes us want to curl up under a cozy blanket with a bowl of hearty soup and go on a movie binge all day, every day. But because we know the burden of scrolling on Netflix for hours on end and not being able to make a decision, we compiled a list of the best fall movies made in California—all you have to do is choose between seven awesome options!

Prepare delicious and easy treats and put on your favorite fuzzy socks—whether you're looking for laughs, scares, love, or something to keep the entire family entertained, this list of iconic fall movies will hit the right mark. Featuring camping, crime, high school drama, and a whole lot of good feels and holiday cheer, these autumn movies are what your favorite season is all about. 

Best Fall Movies to Watch This Season

Movie theaters are so 2019. The best way to watch a movie is snuggled up on the couch, it's the best seat in the house!

The Great Outdoors

Release date: 1988
Director: Howard Deutch

In the mood for an easy slapstick comedy to offset the cloudy and gloomy fall weather? Look no further than the 1988 Howard Deutch-directed film The Great Outdoors. Telling the story of a serene camping trip gone wrong, this feel-good fall movie follows a Chicago family’s vacation that gradually gets ruined by an obnoxious brother-in-law.

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While this fall movie takes place in Wisconsin, it was actually filmed in and around Bass Lake, Mammoth, and Yosemite. The scenes of the Northern California wilderness are unmistakable, and if you’ve ever been to the area, you’ll definitely recognize the iconic locales.

It’s showtime at the… uh, living room. They picked the movie and we picked the snacks. Shhh. The movie is about the start!

The Majestic

Release date: 2001
Director: Frank Darabont

One of the movies that cemented Jim Carrey's dramatic acting abilities was The Majestic. This autumn-themed film, which is set in 1951, narrates the tale of a Hollywood writer who was blacklisted and lost his memory after being involved in a car accident. He then establishes a new life in a small village where he is mistaken for a long-lost son. The Majestic, which explores the mind of a community ripped apart by the many complexities of war, is sure to bring on a few tears.

It was mostly filmed in the Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, with the town of Ferndale taking center stage. Other California locations in the autumn movie include Fort Bragg and Trinidad.

They’re about to learn the hard way that we know every line in this movie. The only things missing are the trailers.

Lady Bird

Released date: 2017
Director: Greta Gerwig

Lady Bird is an authentic coming-of-age movie that’s set to resonate with practically anyone. Telling the story of Christine McPherson, a high school senior struggling to fit in at her catholic high school in Sacramento, this critically acclaimed fall movie is one you won’t ever get tired of rewatching.

In an interview, Lady Bird's writer and director Greta Gerwig said that, as she was creating the film, she came to see it as a love letter to her upbringing in Northern California. Majorly shot in Sacramento and featuring famous landmarks and neighborhoods, Gerwig’s complicated love for her hometown is visible to anyone watching this autumn movie.

Movies? Check. Snuggle buddy? Check. Popcorn? Check. This IS the VIP section and it's a sold-out showing for two.

The Godfather: Part II

Release date: 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather trilogy is one of the most celebrated cinematic masterpieces of all time, and many claim the second film in the series is the best. So why are we including this epic crime film in the best fall movies list? Its inherently dark and gloomy look kind of has an autumn-y feel to it—and honestly, do we need a reason to watch the iconic movie again?

While the film is famously set in New York City, there’s a prominent scene that addresses the famous rumors regarding mob activity in the Lake Tahoe area during the 50s. According to the movie, when a mobster hits someone, the victim goes "swimming with the fishes."And in The Godfather: Part II, a character named Fredo does exactly that in Lake Tahoe. While the circumstances of the scene are pretty grim, the shots of the lake are nevertheless breathtaking.

They'll have to roll us off the couch after the credits roll. This is what our rom-com looks like, movie night for two.

Stand By Me

Release date: 1986
Director: Rob Reiner 

A cult-classic in the true sense of the word, this 80s adventure film is a must-watch for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Stand By Me depicts the tale of four teenage boys who go seeking for a dead corpse and find themselves alone in the forest. 

A large portion of this fall movie is filmed throughout Northern California and Oregon; you’ll find a lot of scenes with backdrops of McArthur-Burney Falls State Park and McCloud. But, perhaps the most iconic scene of the autumn movie is filmed at the bridge over Lake Britton—watch to see what happens.

Make a little movie watching nest on the couch with your best blankets and pillows and, of course, you need your movie snacks and treats to show off.

Addams Family Values

Release date: 1993
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

A great watch both for Halloween and Thanksgiving, Addams Family Values is an amazing fall movie for the entire family to enjoy—we’ve all dressed up as Wednesday Addams at some point.

Filmed in Pasadena, this fantasy/comedy/adventure fall film shows Wednesday rewriting the events of Thanksgiving in her Sequoia Lake school theater production. The unusual dark-haired girl then escapes summer camp to join the rest of her family to save Uncle Fester from marrying a gold digger. If that doesn’t sound like a fun fall adventure, we don’t know what could.

If you are crazy about a movie or your favorite actress or actor, share your passion for films with the world.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Release date: 1993
Director: Chris Columbus

Mrs. Doubtfire needs no introduction, but we’ll go ahead and give one for the select few who haven’t seen it yet. The narrative of a guy who, after a sour divorce, decides to pose as a female cleaner in order to spend more time with his children, who are in the care of his ex-wife, is told in the ultimate feel-good autumn film.

Set and filmed around San Francisco, Mrs. Doubtfire features some of your favorite actors such as Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Mara Wilson, and the late Robin Williams in the iconic role. Plus, despite its lighthearted tone, it addresses many important themes such as separation and the effects on the family without raining on anyone’s parade.

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