In our ever-changing cities, as neighbors and neighborhoods move and evolve, it’s challenging to capture the fleeting moments and small stories that make urban life so dynamic.
Film, in many ways, can be the perfect medium for urban nostalgia. People and places, frozen in time, capture life in the moment.
Curbed asked film critics and our fellow editors to chime in on their favorite movies about cities.
This list includes picks as diverse as the cities they celebrate. There are documentaries and shorts showcasing city life; science fictions and dystopias imagining our sometimes-bleak urban future; and cinematic classics-turned-totems for the places we live and love.
“There are 8 million stories in the Naked City,” goes a famous line from a film noir of the same name included in this list; it sums up our approach. City life can feel both maddeningly specific in its challenges and universally uplifting in its joys. Here are some of our favorite examples of urban stories on screen.