Movies about Hawaii. While more than 100 films have shot in Hawaii over the past century, the list of our top Hawaii-based films below spans a variety of film genres, decades, and locales all across Hawaii. Take pleasure in reading the best 5 movies shot on Hawaii, according to Pride of Maui.
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1. Big Eyes (2014)
Big Eyes is a fantastic Tim Burton movie about the life and struggles of renowned artist Margaret Keane, with a plot that starts in San Francisco in the 1950s. (Amy Adams). Christoph Waltz portrays Margaret’s troubled and deceitful second husband Walter Keane, and he excels in the part.
This movie documents Margaret Keane’s attempt to establish herself in the 1950s–1960s modern art scene. Her husband stole her work and basked in the glory of his unjustly acquired fame while she worked in secret art studios as the true painter. Justice and divorce ultimately served.
Fans of art and drama will adore this movie’s gorgeously retro costume and set designs. North Beach and other well-known San Francisco areas were used for filming, along with Los Angeles, California, Vancouver, British Columbia, Bristol, United Kingdom, and Waikiki, Hawaii. The scenes shot in Hawaii depict a bygone age when Waikiki was the most well-known tourist destination there. In Hawaii, Margaret Keane starts to recover from her trauma and rediscovers the inner strength that made her a strong woman and a renowned artist.
2. Movies about Hawaii : Aloha (2015)
When this movies first aired, there a small outcry because local Hawaii residents were worried about how accurately it would portray the “spirit of aloha.” You will see glimpses of Hawaii via the characters’ eyes throughout the film, and you will undoubtedly fall in love with the stunning Hawaii scenery.
Aloha, a film by Cameron Crowe that he also wrote and directed, is the tale of a veteran military contractor (Bradley Cooper) who, while on a new job in Hawaii and coping with a theme of a previous love, falls in love with the adorable and fearsome Air Force watch-dog. (Rachel McAdams). This Hawaii-based drama/romantic comedy filmed all across the island of Oahu, with a focus on the Honolulu neighborhoods and Hickam Air Force Base. With relation to the current situation for Hawaiian Sovereignty, there is also a good cameo from Hawaiian activist Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele, who has supported the movie by saying, “This big screen thing is really going to be helpful for us.”
3. Jurassic World and Jurassic Park
The original Jurassic Park film, a fan favorite since its release in 1993, is without a doubt one of the most well-known films of the 20th century. It’s easy to say that Jurassic Park, which won three Academy Awards, will go down in history as one of the most well-known films shot in Hawaii and possibly one of the best films ever.
It’s impossible not to adore a movie that revived the dinosaurs and gave us catchphrases like “hold onto your butts,” “clever girl,” and “must go faster” Manawaiopuna Falls on Kauai, also known as “Jurassic Park Falls,” and Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu were two of the most famous filming locations in this Hawaiian production, which was shot in places throughout Hawaii, California, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and the latter two countries. Currently spanning more than thirty years, the Jurassic Park franchise has six movies, numerous television shows, books, video game adaptations, and much more.
In 2015, Jurassic World became an instant blockbuster at the box office, earning $204,600,000 in its first weekend alone. In Jurassic World, a new and improved park opened on the original location, 22 years after the first Jurassic Park was a failure. A new kind of dinosaur can now genetically engineered thanks to years of research. Sadly, everything goes horribly wrong, and the adventure starts! The first five Jurassic Park films were shot in various locales throughout the Hawaiian Islands; Jurassic World: Dominion from 2022 broke this nearly flawless run.
4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2011)
Forgetting Jason Segel plays the hilariously devastated Peter Brenner in Sarah Marshall’s film. He goes to Oahu’s Turtle Bay Resort to get away and find isolation after getting rejected by his famous TV lover, only to run across his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend on vacation at the same hotel.
If nothing else, the film has taught thousands of people how to correctly pronounce Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, the state fish of Hawaii, while also offering an interesting glimpse at resort life in Hawaii. This movie, which shot in 2008 in California and Hawaii, has a fantastic cast and is as feel-good as they come. The dialogue is hysterical and too true.
Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, and Bill Hader are among the other famous faces who appear in this movie set in Hawaii. La’ie Point and the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu, as well as additional Honolulu localities, specific locations used for Hawaii-based films.
5. The Descendants (2011)
On Oahu and the island of Kauai, The Descendants filmed. The narrative centers on Matt King, who portrayed by George Clooney. Matt, a multi-generational citizen of Hawaii, is battling the potentially lethal effects of his wife’s tragic boating tragedy with his two daughters. At the same time, Matt is under intense pressure from his family and the company to sell 25,000 acres of his family’s in-trust, undeveloped land on Kauai due to reports of his wife’s previous extramarital relationship.
This movie is based on a book written by Kaui Hart Hemmings, a longstanding resident of Hawaii, and it has historical relevance as well as a prevalent theme that is undoubtedly present in Hawaii today. Alexander Payne, the filmmaker of the movie, lived on Oahu for eight months to get a better understanding of the people and culture there. This is particularly clear in the film’s portrayal of the conflict between a local desire to preserve and protect untouched Hawaiian land and a modern development attitude.
The Nu’uanu area on Oahu, the Elks Club Honolulu Lodge, the Queen’s Medical Center, the Kipu Ranch on Kauai, Hanalei Bay, the Tahiti Nui Bar, and other locales have all used for filming. The movie won the 2012 Academy Award for “Best Writing,” and both regional and mainstream audiences gave it excellent marks. The cast includes Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, and Nick Krause in addition to George Clooney, Patricia Hastie, and Beau Bridges. Laird Hamilton also makes a brief guest appearance.