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Best Movies Set in North Carolina

Every state is known for something. As you work your way through the list, don't miss the best movies set in North Carolina. While you're at it, check out the Best Books Set in North Carolina, too.

North Carolina is a state in the Southern United States. The state is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west.

What themes are in movies Set in North Carolina?

Movies set in North Carolina often explore a variety of themes, just like movies set in any other location. Some common themes in movies set in North Carolina include:

1. Southern Culture and Traditions: North Carolina is part of the American South, and movies set in the state often delve into the unique culture, traditions, and way of life in the region. This may include elements like southern hospitality, family values, and local customs.

2. Small Town Life: Many films set in North Carolina feature small towns and rural communities, highlighting the challenges and charms of life in such settings. These movies often explore the close-knit nature of these communities and the conflicts that can arise within them.

3. Coming-of-Age: North Carolina has been the backdrop for several coming-of-age stories, with themes related to growing up, self-discovery, and personal transformation. These films may focus on young characters navigating the challenges of adolescence and finding their place in the world.

4. Love and Romance: The state's picturesque landscapes and scenic beauty make it a popular location for romantic films. Love stories set in North Carolina often emphasize the natural beauty of the state and the power of human connection.

5. Racial and Social Issues: North Carolina, like many southern states, has a complex history with regards to race and social issues. Some movies set in the state tackle topics such as racial tension, civil rights, and social justice.

6. Sports and Athletics: North Carolina has a strong sports culture, particularly in basketball and college athletics. Films set in the state may explore themes of teamwork, competition, and the passion surrounding sports.

7. Environmental and Nature Themes: The state's diverse natural landscapes, from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal regions, provide ample opportunities to explore environmental themes, conservation, and the impact of human activity on the environment.

8. Historical Events: North Carolina has a rich history, and some movies set in the state may focus on historical events, such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, or more recent historical moments.

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9. Military and Patriotism: North Carolina is home to various military bases and has a strong connection to the armed forces. Some films set in the state may explore themes related to patriotism, sacrifice, and the experiences of military personnel and their families.

10. Family Dynamics: Family is often a central theme in movies set in North Carolina, with stories revolving around the complexities of family relationships, generational conflicts, and the bonds that tie family members together.

These themes are not exclusive to North Carolina but are often featured in films set in the state due to its diverse geography and cultural heritage. The specific themes explored in any given movie will depend on the storyline and the creative vision of the filmmakers.

How to Create a State Unit Study for North Carolina

Creating a state unit study for North Carolina is a great way to learn about the state's history, culture, geography, and more. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you create an engaging and comprehensive unit study:

1. Define Your Learning Objectives:
Start by identifying your goals and what you want to achieve with the unit study. Consider the age and grade level of the students and their prior knowledge.

2. Choose Your Resources:
Gather a variety of educational resources, such as books, websites, videos, maps, and other materials. Make sure they are age-appropriate and cover different aspects of North Carolina.

3. Study Geography:
Begin with the geography of North Carolina. Learn about its borders, physical features (mountains, rivers, coastline), and climate. Explore the different regions within the state.

4. Historical Timeline:
Create a timeline of North Carolina's history, highlighting key events and periods, from Native American settlements to colonization, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the modern era.

5. Notable Figures:
Introduce students to important historical figures from North Carolina, such as the Wright brothers, Andrew Jackson, and Maya Angelou. Discuss their contributions and significance.

6. State Symbols:
Explore North Carolina's official state symbols, including the state bird, flower, tree, and motto. Explain the meaning and history behind these symbols.

7. Cultural Aspects:
Dive into the cultural aspects of North Carolina, including its music, art, cuisine, and festivals. Learn about bluegrass and country music, folk art, barbecue, and annual events like the North Carolina State Fair.

8. Literature and Authors:
Read literature by North Carolina authors, such as Thomas Wolfe, O. Henry, and Sarah Dessen. Discuss their works and their impact on literature.

9. Local Industries:
Investigate the state's major industries and economy. Discuss agriculture, manufacturing, technology, and tourism, and how these sectors contribute to North Carolina's economy.

10. Natural Resources:
Study North Carolina's natural resources, including agriculture, forestry, and mineral deposits. Explore how these resources have shaped the state's history and economy.

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11. State Government:
Learn about North Carolina's government structure, including the roles of the governor, state legislature, and judicial system.

12. Field Trips and Virtual Tours:
Whenever possible, plan field trips to historical sites, museums, and cultural centers in North Carolina. If in-person visits are not feasible, consider virtual tours and online resources.

13. Hands-On Activities:
Incorporate hands-on activities like cooking traditional North Carolina dishes, creating art inspired by local artists, or conducting science experiments related to the state's geography and ecosystems.

14. Multimedia Resources:
Use videos, documentaries, and multimedia resources to supplement your unit study. Online platforms and educational websites offer a wealth of information about North Carolina.

15. Assessments:
Develop assessments and activities to evaluate students' understanding and retention of the material. These can include quizzes, research projects, presentations, and creative assignments.

16. Culminating Project:
Conclude the unit study with a culminating project, such as a research paper, a multimedia presentation, or a cultural fair where students showcase what they've learned about North Carolina.

17. Reflection:
Encourage students to reflect on their learning experiences, their favorite aspects of the unit study, and any questions they still have about North Carolina.

18. Share Experiences:
Have students share their experiences and findings with their peers, parents, or the school community to showcase their knowledge of North Carolina.

Remember to adapt the unit study to meet the specific needs and interests of your students. Make learning about North Carolina engaging and memorable by incorporating various activities and resources.


Best Movies Set in North Carolina

I Know What You Did Last Summer
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe (Actors)

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Year: 1997

A year after running over a fisherman and dumping his body in the water, four friends reconvene when Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) receives a frightening letter telling her that their crime was seen. While pursuing who he thinks is responsible for the letter, Barry (Ryan Phillippe) is run over by a man with a meat hook.
The bloodletting only increases from there as the killer with the hook continues to stalk Julie, Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.).
A Walk to Remember
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote (Actors)

A Walk to Remember

Year: 2002

Set in North Carolina, “A Walk To Remember” follows the rite of passage of a jaded, aimless high school senior (Shane West) who falls in love with a guileless young woman (Mandy Moore) he and his friends once scorned. The two develop a powerful and inspirational relationship in which they discover truths that take most people a lifetime to learn.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kip Pardue, Tess Harper, Bonnie Hunt (Actors)


Year: 2005

Three seemingly unrelated stories converge in a surprising way. Elizabeth Austin (Tess Harper), wife of Reverend Robert Austin (Chris Sarandon), pines for the son who fled their religious household.
Grace Bellamy (Bonnie Hunt), now in her 40s, wonders about the son she gave up for adoption. And kindhearted AIDS sufferer Mark (Kip Pardue) falls in love with motel owner George (Michael Kelly) while trying to come to the rescue of some loggerhead turtles.
Cold Mountain
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Renée Zellweger (Actor)

Cold Mountain

Year: 2003

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In this classic story of love and devotion set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, a wounded Confederate soldier named W.P. Inman (Jude Law) deserts his unit and travels across the South, aiming to return to his young wife, Ada (Nicole Kidman), who he left behind to tend their farm.

As Inman makes his perilous journey home, Ada struggles to keep their home intact with the assistance of Ruby (Renée Zellweger), a mysterious drifter sent to help her by a kindly neighbor.

Kiss the Girls
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes (Actors)

Kiss the Girls

Year: 1997

Successful forensic psychologist Alex Cross discovers that his niece has gone missing. Once he consults with police Detective Nick Ruskin, Cross believes that the disappearance is the work of an insane killer known as “Casanova.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Kate McTiernan is kidnapped by this criminal and witnesses many other imprisoned women in his lair. After narrowly escaping, McTiernan teams up with Cross to try to apprehend the deranged Casanova.

Now that you've completed the list of best movies 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 North Carolina.

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