2000-Present Only that capture LA for real
  1. SouthLAnd
    An underrated television show that deserves comparisons to The Wire. Truly captures the feel of the neighborhoods by following different units, from beat cops to gangland to homicide. TNT saved it and it only got better as it went along.
  2. Tangerine
    Takes place almost entirely on Santa Monica and at least half of it between Highland and Las Palmas. An amazing comedy with two great lead performances, you can feel the difference watching them on Highland compared to when they are closer to Vermont or Sweetzer. In other words, the REAL Hollywood.
  3. In Search of a Midnight Kiss
    Very under the radar, but captures what living check to check while trying to "break in" really feels like. The leads walk around the city and the black and white makes it feel like a west coast nod to Manhattan. The ending is heartbreaking, but it couldn't have ended any other way. I love this movie so much.
  4. Nightcrawler
    Personally, not a fan of the movie, but it sneaks it's way through LA, since his line of work can show you even the best parts of town have some moments that can prove to be the opposite.
  5. Mulholland Drive
    David Lynch does what he does best, in this neo-noir that romanticizes the dreamy aspects, but also makes our worst nightmares of failing in LA come to light. It's absorbing and I can watch it over and over.
  6. Collateral
    Michael Mann loves this city and takes us on a nocturnal journey with Tom Cruise as a friggin' awesome bad guy! Little things, like the coyotes crossing the street and the MTA in its early morning hours, are what really give you a sense of the city and in places we rarely find ourselves.
  7. Training Day
    A conventional story with a background that really makes you feel the areas and put you in the frame of Ethan Hawke's mind!
  8. Baby Boy
    John Singleton's sort-of sequel to Boyz N' Tha Hood really makes you feel the LA heat when it hits and the lifestyle these boys get absorbed into to call themselves men.
  9. Drive
    The opening in Downtown during a Lakers game. The Mulholland/Runyon-adjacent chase. If you've been in these areas, you can tell the attention to detail and that's probably how those would have played out. Not that we need that kind of realism, but we still got it!
  10. Punch-Drunk Love
    The warehouse/apartment neighborhood in a perfect movie. I had to be at an early morning shoot in this area once and man, it felt exactly like that opening scene.
  11. The Kids Are All Right
    After all the sexual dynamics and family drama, it sorta comes down to Brentwood vs Silver Lake in the end.
    Suggested by @sarahjlang