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Not many People Know These 10 Hollywood Blockbusters were Filmed Right Here in New Mexico



Welcome to the enchanting world of New Mexico, where the rugged landscapes and vibrant cultures have set the stage for numerous Hollywood blockbusters. Hollywood’s love affair with the Land of Enchantment has produced cinematic masterpieces that showcase the state’s diverse scenery and unique atmosphere. In this brief exploration, we’ll take a look at 10 must-see movies that found their perfect backdrop amid the mesas, deserts, and urban landscapes of New Mexico. From intense dramas to action-packed adventures, each film captures a slice of the state’s allure, making it a prime destination for filmmakers seeking a touch of magic for their stories. Join us on a cinematic journey through the lens of Hollywood in the heart of the Southwest.

No Country for Old Men (2007)

In the arid landscapes of New Mexico, the Coen Brothers found the perfect canvas to bring Cormac McCarthy’s chilling and award-winning novel, “No Country for Old Men,” to life. Released in 2007, this neo-western crime thriller, featuring the ominous Anton Chigurh, unfolded against the backdrop of the state’s rugged beauty. From the dusty stretches of Santa Fe to the atmospheric streets of Las Vegas, New Mexico, the film’s stark visuals and intense narrative were expertly woven into the fabric of the southwestern landscape. “No Country for Old Men” stands as a testament to the seamless integration of storytelling and setting, with New Mexico playing a crucial role in shaping the film’s haunting atmosphere and suspenseful drama.

Breaking Bad (TV Series, 2008-2013)

While not a movie, the critically acclaimed TV series was extensively filmed in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico which became synonymous with the high-stakes world of methamphetamine production when Vince Gilligan’s groundbreaking TV series, “Breaking Bad,” took center stage. From 2008 to 2013, the desert landscapes and urban sprawl of New Mexico served as the gritty backdrop for Walter White’s transformation from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to a notorious drug kingpin. The iconic blue skies and distinctive Southwestern architecture of Albuquerque became integral elements of the show’s visual identity. “Breaking Bad” not only left an indelible mark on television history but also turned New Mexico into a character of its own, forever linked to the intense and gripping narrative of the series.

The Avengers (2012)

In 2012, the Marvel Cinematic Universe descended upon the diverse landscapes of New Mexico for the production of “The Avengers.” Directed by Joss Whedon, this superhero ensemble film featured iconic characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and more. New Mexico’s stunning scenery, particularly in and around Albuquerque, provided the backdrop for pivotal scenes, adding a distinct visual flair to the epic battles that unfolded on screen. From the high desert mesas to the urban streets, New Mexico lent its unique charm to the superhero saga, contributing to the film’s grandeur and leaving an indelible mark on the Marvel universe.

Wild Hogs (2007)

The 2007 comedy “Wild Hogs” took a hilarious ride through the picturesque landscapes of New Mexico, showcasing the state’s beauty while delivering laughs. Starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy, the film chose various New Mexican locations, including the vibrant city of Santa Fe and the quirky town of Madrid. Against the backdrop of the state’s diverse scenery, the Wild Hogs embarked on their motorcycle journey, creating a dynamic blend of humor and adventure amid the mesmeric landscapes of New Mexico. The film not only entertained audiences but also highlighted the scenic charm that makes the Land of Enchantment an appealing destination for filmmakers.

Noah (2014)

In 2014, director Darren Aronofsky brought the biblical epic “Noah” to life, and in doing so, discovered the captivating landscapes of New Mexico as a fitting setting. Starring Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, and Jennifer Connelly, the film found its unique visual language against the backdrop of New Mexico’s diverse terrains. From expansive deserts to rugged mountainous regions, the state’s natural beauty added a majestic and otherworldly quality to the narrative of Noah’s ark and the great flood. “Noah” not only delivered a powerful cinematic experience but also showcased New Mexico’s versatility as a location capable of transporting audiences to ancient and mythical realms.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

In 2009, the Transformers franchise rolled into the expansive landscapes of New Mexico for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Directed by Michael Bay, the film featuring the epic battles between Autobots and Decepticons utilized the unique terrain of White Sands Missile Range. The vast and surreal dunes of White Sands provided an awe-inspiring backdrop for the high-octane robotic clashes, contributing to the film’s visually stunning and action-packed sequences. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” showcased New Mexico’s distinctive scenery as more than just a setting – it became an integral part of the cinematic spectacle that defined the Transformers universe.

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

In 2007, the western drama “3:10 to Yuma” brought the spirit of the Old West to life against the rugged landscapes of New Mexico. Starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, the film chose various locations in the state to recreate the authenticity of the late 1800s. From the vast deserts to the historic streets, New Mexico provided a rich and immersive setting for the tale of outlaws, lawmen, and the legendary 3:10 train. The film’s visual authenticity, coupled with the captivating scenery, highlighted New Mexico’s ability to transport audiences back in time, adding a timeless quality to this gripping western narrative.

Thor (2011)

In 2011, the Marvel Cinematic Universe extended its reach to the enchanting landscapes of New Mexico with “Thor.” Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film introduced audiences to the otherworldly realm of Asgard and the earthly adventures of the Norse god Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth. While much of the film delves into the cosmic realms, the scenes depicting Thor’s arrival on Earth were notably set in the small town of Puente Antiguo, New Mexico. The state’s unique blend of desert landscapes and small-town charm provided a perfect contrast to the celestial elements of the story, showcasing New Mexico’s versatility as a backdrop for both the mundane and the extraordinary.

Book of Eli (2010)

In 2010, the post-apocalyptic thriller “Book of Eli” unfolded its desolate tale against the backdrop of New Mexico’s haunting landscapes. Directed by the Hughes Brothers and starring Denzel Washington, the film navigated through the state’s barren terrains, emphasizing the desolation of a world ravaged by disaster. From the vast deserts to the eerie remnants of civilization, New Mexico’s stark and evocative scenery played a pivotal role in conveying the film’s atmosphere of isolation and survival. “Book of Eli” not only delivered a gripping narrative but also showcased the state’s ability to transform into a convincing dystopian landscape, adding a visceral dimension to the post-apocalyptic journey at the heart of the story.

True Grit (2010)

In 2010, the Coen Brothers brought Charles Portis’ classic novel “True Grit” to the silver screen, capturing the grit and determination of the Old West against the stunning landscapes of New Mexico. Starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Hailee Steinfeld, the film found its visual authenticity in the rugged terrains of the state. New Mexico’s sprawling mesas and vast vistas provided the perfect canvas for the tale of Rooster Cogburn and his pursuit of justice. The film’s evocative depiction of the harsh yet breathtaking Western landscapes showcased New Mexico as a cinematic frontier, underscoring the state’s ability to transport audiences to a bygone era of cowboys, outlaws, and unyielding determination.

Brian Foster is a native to San Diego and Phoenix areas. He enjoys great food, music, and traveling. He specializes and stays up to date on the latest technology trends.