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Best Movies Set in Iowa

Every state is known for something. As you work your way through the list, don't miss the best movies set in Iowa.

Iowa, a Midwestern U.S. state, sits between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. It’s known for its landscape of rolling plains and cornfields. Landmarks in the capital, Des Moines, include the gold-domed, 19th-century State Capitol Building, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, and the Des Moines Art Center, noted for its contemporary collections.

The city of Cedar Rapids' Museum of Art has paintings by native Iowan Grant Wood.

Best Movies Set in Iowa

The Bridges Of Madison County
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep (Actors)

The Bridges of Madison County

Year: 1995

A moving love story about a photographer on assignment to shoot the historic bridges of Madison County. He meets a housewife, whose husband and children are away on a trip, and the film traces a brief affair that is never sordid but instead one of two soul mates who have met too late.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen (Actors)

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Year: 1993

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Gilbert Grape is a small-town young man with a lot of responsibility. Chief among his concerns are his mother, who is so overweight that she can't leave the house, and his mentally impaired younger brother, Arnie, who has a knack for finding trouble.

Settled into a job at a grocery store and an ongoing affair with local woman Betty Carver, Gilbert finally has his life shaken up by the free-spirited Becky.

The Straight Story
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Harry Dean Stanton (Actors)

The Straight Story

Year: 1999

Story of a man who takes a six-week trip on his riding lawn mower.

Michael (1996)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Travolta, Andie MacDowell, William Hurt (Actors)


Year: 1996

When jaded journalists Frank and Huey, along with “angel expert” Dorothy, travel to a small town in Iowa to investigate a story, they find Michael, a disheveled man claiming to be an angel. But Michael is less than angelic: he drinks smokes and basks in the attention of women.

As the group travels to Chicago, Michael teaches them about relationships, faith, and miracles, suggesting that he may be exactly who he says he is.

Sleeping With The Enemy
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin, Elizabeth Lawrence (Actors)

Sleeping With The Enemy

Year: 1991

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After faking her death in order to flee from her violent husband, Martin, Laura Burney leaves Cape Cod and moves to Iowa, where she adopts a new identity and starts dating a local teacher, Ben Woodward.

Martin, meanwhile, unearths evidence suggesting that she isn't dead, and when her mother confirms this, he tracks her to Iowa. He finds Laura and Ben and confronts them, forcing her to fight for her life once again.

Now that you've completed the list of best books set in this state, why not check out some others? Here are the Best Movies Set in All 50 States.


Click here to download this printable. It has a list of movies in all 50 states including the Best Movies Set in Iowa.

printable mock-up image of Movies Set in all 50 states

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