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Best Movies Set in Rhode Island

Every state is known for something. As you work your way through the list, don’t miss the best movies set in Rhode Island. While you're at it, check out the best books set in Rhode Island, too.

Rhode Island, a U.S. state in New England, is known for its sandy shores and seaside Colonial towns. It's home to several large cities, including Newport, which is famed for sailing, and Gilded Age mansions, such as The Breakers. Providence, its capital, is home to Brown University, green Roger Williams Park, landscaped Waterplace Park, and Riverwalk, with the famed WaterFire art installation.

What themes are in movies set in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island, being a small state with a rich history and diverse landscapes, has been the setting for films exploring various themes. Some common themes in movies set in Rhode Island include:

  1. Quaint New England Charm: Rhode Island's picturesque New England settings, with historic towns and coastal landscapes, often contribute to a theme of quaint charm. Films may explore the unique character of Rhode Island's architecture and lifestyle.
  2. Family Dynamics: Like many films set in smaller communities, those set in Rhode Island might delve into family relationships, traditions, and the dynamics of close-knit communities.
  3. Historical Significance: Rhode Island has a deep historical heritage, and films set in the state may explore its colonial history, involvement in the American Revolution, or other significant events.
  4. Nautical and Maritime Themes: With a significant coastline, films set in Rhode Island often incorporate nautical themes. This can include stories about fishing communities, maritime traditions, and the influence of the ocean on local culture.
  5. Educational Institutions: Rhode Island is home to prestigious universities like Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Films set in this state may explore themes related to academia, student life, and the cultural impact of these institutions.
  6. Social Class and Economic Struggles: Some films set in Rhode Island might address social and economic issues, exploring the challenges faced by different social classes or depicting the impact of economic downturns on local communities.
  7. Cultural Diversity: Despite its small size, Rhode Island is culturally diverse. Films may highlight the state's multicultural aspects, exploring themes related to diversity, immigration, and the coexistence of different communities.
  8. Seasonal Changes: New England experiences distinct seasons, and films set in Rhode Island might showcase the beauty of each season and the impact of weather and climate on the characters' lives.
  9. Romance and Relationships: The scenic landscapes and charming settings of Rhode Island can provide a romantic backdrop for films. Themes of love, relationships, and personal growth are often explored in movies set in the state.
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It's important to note that the themes in movies can vary widely, and not all films set in a particular location will address the same topics. Filmmakers often use the setting to enhance storytelling and convey specific atmospheres or messages.

How to Create a State Unit Study for Rhode Island

Creating a state unit study for Rhode Island can be an engaging and educational way to explore various aspects of the state's history, geography, culture, and more. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create a comprehensive unit study:

Step 1: Define the Goals and Objectives

Clearly outline the goals and objectives of the unit study. Determine what you want your learners to know and understand about Rhode Island by the end of the study.

Step 2: Choose Age-Appropriate Resources

Select age-appropriate resources, taking into consideration the age and grade level of your learners. Resources may include books, documentaries, websites, and educational materials.

Step 3: Explore Geography and History


  • Study the geography of Rhode Island, including its location, size, and notable geographical features.
  • Explore maps and discuss how the state's geography has influenced its development.


  • Investigate the early history of Rhode Island, including its Native American inhabitants, European exploration, and colonization.
  • Cover key historical events, such as its role in the American Revolution and other significant moments.

Step 4: Dive into State Symbols and Motifs

Learn about Rhode Island's state symbols, such as the state flag, bird, flower, and motto. Discuss the significance of these symbols and how they represent the state.

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Step 5: Study Notable People

Research and learn about notable people from Rhode Island, including historical figures, authors, artists, and other individuals who have made significant contributions to the state and beyond.

Step 6: Explore Culture and Traditions

Examine the cultural diversity of Rhode Island. Explore traditions, festivals, and cuisines that are unique to the state. Consider engaging in hands-on activities or trying local recipes.

Step 7: Investigate Economy and Industry

Explore Rhode Island's economy and major industries. Discuss the historical and current significance of trade, manufacturing, and other economic activities.

Step 8: Virtual Field Trips

Take virtual field trips to important landmarks and museums in Rhode Island. Many cultural institutions offer online tours and resources that can enhance the learning experience.

Step 9: Hands-On Activities

Incorporate hands-on activities to reinforce learning. This could include arts and crafts, cooking traditional Rhode Island dishes, or creating a visual project showcasing the state's key facts.

Step 10: Culminating Project

Encourage learners to work on a culminating project that synthesizes what they've learned. This could be a presentation, a report, a creative piece, or any other format that allows them to demonstrate their understanding of Rhode Island.

Step 11: Assessment

Create assessments, quizzes, or discussion prompts to gauge learners' understanding of the material. This can be informal, such as class discussions, or more formal assessments based on the objectives you defined in Step 1.

Step 12: Reflection

Conclude the unit study with a reflection session. Discuss what learners found most interesting or surprising about Rhode Island and how the unit study has expanded their understanding of the state.

Remember to tailor the unit study to your learners' specific needs and interests, and feel free to adapt or expand upon these steps based on your educational goals.

Best Movies Set in Rhode Island

Dumb and Dumber
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly (Actors)

Dumb and Dumber

Year: 1994

Jim Carry and Jeff Daniels star as two good-natured but incredibly stupid friends who drive across the United States to return a clients briefcase in this comedy blockbuster.

Kindergarten Cop
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Linda Hunt (Actors)

Cheaper By The Dozen

Year: 1950

Comedy superstar Steve Martin pairs up with Bonnie Hunt in this family comedy about two loving parents trying to manage careers and a household amid the chaos of raising 12 rambunctious kids!

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When the middle-aged couple decides to pursue more demanding careers—he as a “Big Ten” university football coach and she as an author on a book tour—they discover that big families and big careers are a difficult mix!

The Witches of Eastwick
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon (Actors)

The Witches of Eastwick

Year: 1987

In Eastwick's quaint New England town, Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie yearn to meet the man of their dreams. One rainy night, the women each express an overpowering need for just one dynamic male capable of challenging their liberated spirits, a man who could become their inspiration, their joy, their everything.

But take care with what you dream, for your dream may come true as it does for the Witches of Eastwick.

My Sister's Keeper (2009)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin (Actors)

My Sister's Keeper

Year: 2009

Conceived as a marrow donor for her gravely ill sister, Anna Fitzgerald has undergone countless surgeries and medical procedures in her short life. Though their older daughter's life has no doubt been prolonged, the unorthodox decision of Anna's parents has cracked the entire family's foundation.

When Anna sues her parents for emancipation, it sets off a court case that threatens to destroy the family for good.

Me, Myself & Irene
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jim Carrey, Renee Zellweger, Robert Forster (Actors)

Me, Myself And Irene

Year: 2000

Meet Charlie Baileygates (Jim Carrey), a 17-year veteran of the Rhode Island police force. Charlie is mild-mannered, hard-working, always helpful, and a devoted and loving father to three sons. However, he battles with split personality disorder, and things take a turn when he's off his medication.

Meet Hank Baileygates, Charlie's hyper-aggressive alter-ego. Hank's got a filthy mouth, drinks like a fish, and breaks skulls. Charlie and Hank have nothing in common, with the exception of Irene Waters (Renée Zellweger), a beautiful woman on the lam with whom they've both fallen in love. Hank/Charlie must wage war with himself for the confused Irene's affections.

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 Rhode Island.

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

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