12 Famous Movies Filmed In Washington D.C.

If you are in love with the most emblematic city in the United States and you are also a movie lover, you are going to love this article!

Washington DC has served as a set of fascinating films. The Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, among others, are places that everyone may visit in a Day Trip to Washington DC from New York, since those places have been part of the intrigues and conspiracies of the seventh art.

Keep reading this post with us and meet 12 famous movies that were filmed in Washington streets. And after that, create your own list of the favorite places to visit in your next Washington DC One Day Tour from New York.

1. Forrest Gump, 1994

Forrest Gump

One of the most famous movies filmed in Washington, it describes the life of Forrest Gump, a boy with a slight mental and motor disability who, despite everything, became a heroic character during the Vietnam War. One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when Tom Hanks, the lead actor in this film, is running in the reflecting pool of the Lincoln Memorial right in the Washington Obelisk direction. This sequence, which was engraved in the memory of moviegoers, is one of the places to visit in Washington that, for sure, you cannot miss.

2. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, 1939

Movies filmed in Washington

It is a dramatic comedy film, directed by Frank Capra and starring Jean Arthur, James Stewart and Claude Rains. It deals with the politics of the United States which led it to be nominated for 11 categories of the Academy Awards, winning as the best adapted screenplay. In 1989, the film was considered culturally, historically and aesthetically significant, for being recorded in one of the most visited places in Washington DC, the United States Library of Congress.

3. The Silence Of The Lambs, 1991

The silence of the lambs

Released in 1991 and directed by Jonathan DemmeIt, The Silence of the Lambs is a horror thriller film based on the story of Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a serial killer and cannibal. Although the film was mostly filmed in Florence, it was also partly filmed in the historic city of the United States. Another reason why the Library of Congress has become one of the places to visit in Washington, and one of the places that may be in your itinerary.

4. All The President’s Men, 1976

Films in Washington D.C

All the President’s Men tells us about the famous “Watergate” scandal investigation, which caused Richard Nixon to resign as President of the United States. Two reporters from the Washington Post investigated a political issue that apparently has little importance, but at the end they uncover a dirty issue that involves the White House and the president of the nation himself. In this film, several scenes were shot in the Library of Congress and the White House, both located in the nation’s capital.

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5. The Exorcist, 1973

The exorcist

This horror film tells the story of a 12-year-old girl who has strange behaviors by going through a demonic possession. Her worried mother seeks the help of a local priest who requests to perform an exorcism.

One of the most terrifying scenes of the movie was shot on a staircase in Georgetown, it was also the movie poster and, since the film, it turned out to be a new “icon of the district”. From this well-deserved recognition the staircase will long remain as a favorite destination for residents and tourists.

6. JFK, 1991


The film features the investigation into President John F. Kennedy assassination , led by Jim Garrison, a New Orleans District Attorney. After the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, Garrison reopened the investigation and found evidence of an extensive conspiracy following president Kennedy’s death. As soon as you come to the United States you will notice that DC is full of history ready to be told.

7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2014

Captain America

Superheroes have also fought major battles in the American capital, battles where the world has been prevented from being destroyed. Fortunately, it has always been possible to keep these iconic places to visit in Washington standing, such as the White House and the Capitol. Locations that you may see on your next Day trip to DC from NYC.

8. Independence Day, 1996

Independence Day

It is a science fiction film, released in 1996, that tells the story of an alien invasion over the Earth just 2 days before the American independence day. This film was the winner of an Oscar in the category of best visual effects, as well as a Saturn Award for the best science fiction film of 1996. This wonderful film shows us one of the tourist places of Washington that you definitely cannot miss, The Pentagon.

9. Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, 2009

Night at the musem

It is a comedy that shows a huge adventure experienced by a former guard of the American Museum of Natural History, in Manhattan. The characters in this film, with the exception of Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), the guard, are part of the museum’s exhibition who come to life every night.

Due to changes in the Natural History Museum, part of the exhibition will be transferred to the Smithsonian – a renowned institute, museum and research center based in Washington DC – that will host all of these objects but it will also be influenced by the magic that the new visitors carry from New York.

In Night in Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian we could see how great pieces of art and some other magnificent exponents of history come to life, such as Amelia Earhart, Napoleon Bonaparte, Al Capone, Albert Einstein and Abraham Lincoln himself, this immense representation of the former president that is located in the renowned Lincoln Memorial.

10. National Treasure, 2004

National Treasure

This adventure film follows the amateur cryptologist Ben Franklin Gates, who stole the Declaration of Independence to find a coded hidden treasure map that will lead him to a treasure hidden by American freemasons during the American Revolutionary War. 

This film shows you the magnificent architecture of the National Archives Museum and gives you the invitation to visit this historical monument to see important documents of US history, such as the Bill of Rights, The Constitution of the United States and, of course, the Declaration of Independence.

11. State Of Play, 2009

State of Play

This political thriller, based on “State of Play” by Paul Abbot, talks about the Carl McAffrey’s journalistic investigation about the strange death of a congressman’s assistant, who, apparently, commited suicide.

This film show us different and notorious locations in D.C. like the Ben’s Chili Bowl. Where, while you take a Washington DC one day tour from NYC, you will be able to eat the famous chili dogs and half-smokes like many celebrities have, such as Shaquille O’Neal or Denzel Washington.

12. In The Line Of Fire, 1993

In the line of fire

This political action thriller tells the story of a disillusioned and obsessed former CIA agent, McCrawley, who attempts to assassinate the president of the United States.

While the plot of this thriller goes forward, it will take you on a tour through different spots from Washington. You will see the US Treasury Building, the Old Ebbitt Grill and the Lincoln Memorial, where you can go for an ice cream while you look at the great monument.

We are sure that there are hundreds of films that have taken this beautiful city as their stage. Today we have taken the time to show you this extraordinary selection so that you can get to know the capital of the United States from the perspective of the seventh art.

Dare to discover these unforgettable places to visit in a Day trip to DC from NYC that will make you feel part of the film industry.

We have everything prepared for your vacations in New York.  Check our tours and trips and get ready to live the best experience of your life.

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