The best movies about Appalachia

Published by Streaming Movies Right staff | Blog


Appalachia is a region situated in the East of the United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York State to northern Alabama and Georgia. The region is unique because it is mountainous and there is so much geographic and cultural variation across the area. There are lots of movies about Appalachia, we wanted to round up our favorites for you to check out. Let's get into the list:

The Last Mountain (2011)

This film follows a small community from West Appalachia that is trying to stop a large coal company from blowing up a mountain so they can access the coal within. It's an interesting film not only because the battle of the community is admirable, but also because it provides insight into what makes the Appalachian region so valuable and impressive. You can stream this movie via Kanopy.

A Walk in the Woods (2015)

This film is about an American man who has been living in England for 20 years and decides to head back to the States to walk the Appalachian Trail with an old friend. The trail is over 2000 miles long, so it's no small feat for a man in his 60s. This film is funny and heart-warming and comes from the director of 'He's Just Not That Into You', so you know what you're in for. You can stream this movie via Hoopla.

Black Diamonds (2006)

This documentary is very similar to The Last Mountain, but explores the issue of coal mines in Appalachia on a much larger scale. There are coal mines popping up all over the region, and this movie takes a look at the drama that this is causing for the local communities.

Hillbilly Elegy (2020)

This film from Ron Howard is based on the book of the same name by J. D. Vance. The story explores Appalachian values and tradition, through the eyes of a Yale law student who returns to his hometown. It's quite a sad film and can be depressing at points, but we think it does a good job at demonstrating how many towns in Appalachia fell into disarray in the early noughties. You can stream this movie via Netflix.

Out of the Furnace (2013)

This movie has an all-star cast and was produced by Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio, so it has a lot of star power attached to it. Despite massively underperforming at the box office, we think it's a great movie that draws on the director's experiences of growing up in Appalachia and losing a sibling when he was young. The film is set in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, and much of the film takes place in a steel mill. Currently, you can find this movie streaming via SHOWTIME.

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009)

This documentary is about the family of Jesco White, an outlaw who lives deep within the Appalachian mountains with his family. Despite battling poverty and other issues, the family retains a positivity and eccentricity that is both funny and sad. Again, it's a bittersweet film that shows how much of the industrial work within the Appalachian region has left many families worse for wear. Currently, you can find this movie streaming via Hoopla.

You can stream this movie via Hoopla.