Do you ever watch a movie that takes place in a spot that looks familiar? Maybe it’s a quaint suburb and you wonder where it was filmed. There are so many films that have New Jersey-like locations in them that you’ve gotta wonder: “Is this in my hometown? Or near it?”

Everyone knows that New Jersey’s proximity to New York, along with its very diverse landscape makes New Jersey an ideal place to shoot film and TV. And while I’ve never seen a movie crew anywhere remotely near my house, that hasn’t stopped me from wondering.

It just so happens that many critically acclaimed movies were filmed in NJ, some of which may even be your favorites.

Read along for a list of movies that were, surprisingly, filmed in New Jersey.

Joker (2019)
Would you have guessed that the first major scene of the Joker took place on Market Street in Newark? The Joker also used the Paramount Theatre during filming and changed the Marquee to read “Newart” instead of Newark, due to the fact Gotham is a fictional city.

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
How exciting is it knowing that Leonardo DiCaprio spent the day in Bergen County to film a scene in Wolf of Wall Street? The scene was filmed in Closter because the producers wanted somewhere that appeared “rundown” and “old”.

The Godfather (1972)
This American classic was filmed in Jersey City at what is now Liberty State Park. The area was used for the famous scene “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli,” where Peter Clemenza kills Paulie Gatto.

Goodfellas (1990)
There’s nothing better than a movie that sees New Jersey for all of its beauty. Goodfellas shot a ton of footage all over New Jersey for backdrops, including a house on Inwood Terrace in Fort Lee. The house was used as Henry Hill’s home in the film and is now seen as famous among Jersey residents.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Nothing like a little action in the streets of Newark. City Hall on Broad Street and Military park were playing ground for several scenes throughout Dark Knight Rises. If you live in this area you may remember seeing signs for sounds of simulated explosions and contained fires back in 2011.

Mean Girls (2004)
As a major Mean Girls fan, I was thrilled to hear Montclair High School was the set of North Shore High School. Grow up in Montclair? You may have sat at the same desk as Aaron Samuels or Regina George!

School Of Rock (2003)
Remember the battle of the band's scene in this movie? It was shot at the exterior of Union County Arts Center in Rahway. Other scenes in this comedy were filmed in Edison and Franklin as well.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
I was shocked when I learned about this one. The Hunger Games used the northwestern shore of Ramapo Lake to film several wintery scenes of Katniss Everdeen. The scenes even made it into the trailer proving Jersey fit the part of Panem pretty well.

Annie (2014)
This family classic was reworked in 2014 and featured scenes on the Monmouth University Campus where Daddy Warbucks’ mansion is actually Wilson Hall. Several other scenes were shot along the water as well as in Jersey City.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

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