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10 Extraordinary Movies Set In Montreal That Will Inspire You To Visit!

10 Extraordinary Movies Set In Montreal That Will Inspire You To Visit!

Montreal, celebrated for its vibrant arts scene, the rhythmic pulse of its music, and the sharp wit of its comedians, is also the birthplace of the globally renowned Cirque du Soleil. This city, famed for its cultural richness and irresistible cuisine, serves as an enchanting backdrop for a diverse array of compelling movies. Thus a variety of extraordinary movies set in Montreal…

Montreal, a dynamic metropolis nestled in the heart of Quebec, Canada, has been a mesmerizing canvas for countless films. From its illustrious landmarks and robust cultural heritage to its unique amalgamation of languages and neighborhoods, Montreal offers filmmakers an expansive tapestry of settings and narratives to explore.

In this article, we’ll journey through some of the most captivating movies set in Montreal, underscoring their importance, themes, and influence on both the city and the cinematic universe. From timeless comedies to absorbing dramas, these films highlight Montreal’s multifaceted persona and its role as an inspiring muse for international filmmakers. Embark with us on a cinematic voyage through the streets of Montreal and unearth the allure of the City of Saints on the big screen.

These Montreal-based films utilize their settings as much as their lead characters, offering audiences a unique lens into this iconic city through the director’s vision. Highlighting performances by Montreal-born talents like William Shatner and Jay Baruchel, and filmmakers such as Denys Arcand and Jean-Marc Vallée who have encapsulated the city’s spirit in their work, these films truly reflect the essence of Montreal.

10 Extraordinary Movies Set In Montreal That Will Inspire You To Visit!

In the spirit of cinematic exploration, we’ve also compiled lists of our favorite films shot in some of our most cherished travel destinations: Hong Kong, Australia, France, China, New York City, and Detroit. This cinematic odyssey promises to provide an intriguing glimpse into these cities, inspiring you to embark on your own journey of cultural discovery.

Wondering where to watch? It depends on where you live in the world and which streaming services you have. We link to the streaming service we watch on in each case - be it Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, or elsewhere.

You can get one month free of Amazon Prime (or a 6-month trial for students) of Amazon Prime and also get immediate access to FREE Two Day shipping, Amazon Video, and Music. While you won't be charged for your free trial, you'll be upgraded to a paid membership plan automatically at the end of the trial period - though if you have already binged all these, you could just cancel before the trial ends.

Apple TV+ also has a one-week trial, and Hulu has a one-month trial (which can be bundled with Disney!). Another option might be using a VPN to access Netflix titles locked to other regions. Netflix is now available in more than 190 countries worldwide and each country has a different library and availability. US Netflix is (understandably) one of the best. 

While we wish everything could just be in one place - for now, it seems these are the best streaming platforms to watch on.

10 Extraordinary Movies Set In Montreal That Will Inspire You To Visit!
10 Extraordinary Movies Set In Montreal That Will Inspire You To Visit!
10 Extraordinary Movies Set In Montreal That Will Inspire You To Visit!

Montreal, White City (2016)

Montreal, White City is a captivating film directed by Xavier Dolan, a renowned Canadian filmmaker known for his unique and provocative style. Dolan, who was only 27 years old when he directed this film, has already made a name for himself in the industry with his bold and visually stunning films.

The film boasts an impressive cast, including Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, and Gaspard Ulliel, who deliver powerful performances that leave a lasting impact on the audience. Day-Lewis plays the lead role of Jerome, a young man grappling with his identity and struggling to find his place in the world, while Cardinal and Ulliel portray complex characters who add depth and nuance to the story.

The plot of Montreal, White City follows Jerome’s journey as he navigates his relationships with his estranged father, played by Cardinal, and his enigmatic love interest, played by Ulliel. Set against the backdrop of Montreal’s picturesque winter landscape, the film explores family, identity, and self-discovery themes, delving into the complexities of human emotions and relationships.

The film serves as an ode to the city of Montreal, with its vibrant culture and rich history. The film portrays the city as more than just a backdrop but as a character in itself, with its unique architecture, language, and people woven into the story’s fabric.

Montreal, White City is a thought-provoking and visually captivating film showcasing Xavier Dolan’s director talent. Its compelling performances, engaging plot, and stunning cinematography make it a must-watch for cinema lovers who appreciate bold and unconventional storytelling. Those looking for a thought-provoking and visually stunning cinematic experience shouldn’t miss this film.

Heartbeats (2010)

Heartbeats is a film directed by Xavier Dolan, a renowned Canadian filmmaker known for his unique style and exploration of human relationships.

The film follows the story of Francis (Xavier Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri), two best friends who both fall for the same man, Nicolas (Niels Schneider), a strikingly handsome and enigmatic young man. As their infatuation with Nicolas grows, Francis and Marie are embroiled in a complicated and tumultuous love triangle, leading to a series of emotional confrontations and introspective moments.

One of the standout features of Heartbeats is its visually stunning cinematography. Dolan masterfully uses color, composition, and stylish visuals to create a mesmerizing experience. The film’s soundtrack, featuring an eclectic mix of classical music and contemporary pop songs, adds depth and emotional resonance to the story.

The film is set in Montreal, Quebec, and captures the city’s vibrant atmosphere and artistic culture. The characters’ interactions and relationships are deeply influenced by the city’s artistic and cosmopolitan vibes, making it an integral part of the film’s narrative.

Heartbeats is special not only for its stunning visuals and masterful direction but also for its exploration of human emotions, desires, and the complexities of relationships. Dolan delves into themes of love, lust, jealousy, and the pursuit of happiness with rawness and authenticity, creating a compelling and thought-provoking film that resonates with audiences.

Heartbeats is a visually breathtaking, emotionally resonant film that showcases Xavier Dolan’s talent as a filmmaker. With its captivating performances, stunning visuals, and exploration of human emotions, Heartbeats is a must-watch for those who appreciate thought-provoking and visually striking cinema. Highly recommended for fans of arthouse films and those interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships.

Laurence Anyways (2012)

Laurence Anyways is a film also directed by Xavier Dolan, a Canadian filmmaker known for his unique and provocative storytelling style. Born in Quebec, Dolan made his directorial debut at 19 and has since garnered critical acclaim for his distinct voice and cinematic flair.

The film features a stellar cast, with Melvil Poupaud delivering a remarkable performance as Laurence, a high school teacher who decides to undergo gender transition, and Suzanne Clément as his partner, Fred. Their chemistry on-screen is palpable, capturing the complexities and challenges of their relationship as Laurence’s journey unfolds.

The plot revolves around Laurence’s struggle with his gender identity, its impact on his relationship with Fred, and the reactions of their friends and family. The film sensitively portrays the emotional toll of Laurence’s decision and the societal and cultural challenges faced by transgender individuals.

What sets Laurence Anyways apart is Dolan’s unique directorial vision. The film’s stunning visuals, artful cinematography, and evocative soundtrack create a mesmerizing and immersive experience for viewers. Dolan’s deft exploration of themes such as love, identity, and self-acceptance, combined with powerful performances from the cast, make for a truly compelling viewing experience.

The film also serves as an ode to Montreal, where it was filmed. The city’s vibrant and diverse culture is woven into the fabric of the film, providing a rich backdrop for the story to unfold.

Laurence Anyways is a bold and thought-provoking film that challenges societal norms and offers a poignant portrayal of gender identity and relationships. Xavier Dolan’s directorial prowess and outstanding performances from the cast make this film a must-watch for anyone interested in powerful storytelling and unique cinematic experiences.

The Decline of the American Empire (1986)

The Decline of the American Empire, directed by Denys Arcand, is an introspective Canadian film that delves into the complexities of human relationships and contemporary society. Arcand, a renowned Canadian director, is known for his sharp wit and keen observation of human behavior, and this film is a testament to his storytelling prowess.

The plot revolves around a group of intellectual friends who gather for a weekend retreat in a cottage in the Quebec countryside. Through their conversations and interactions, they discuss their personal lives, relationships, and sexual experiences, revealing their vulnerabilities, desires, and insecurities. The dialogues are sharp, witty, and laden with philosophical and social commentary, providing insights into the complexities of human nature and the challenges of modern relationships.

What makes The Decline of the American Empire special is its candid and unflinching portrayal of human sexuality and relationships, as well as its astute commentary on the cultural and social dynamics of the time. The film challenges conventional notions of morality and sexuality, offering a nuanced exploration of human desires and the complexities of modern relationships.

The film is also deeply connected to the city of Montreal, where it is set. Montreal’s rich cultural and linguistic diversity is beautifully woven into the film’s fabric, providing a unique backdrop that adds depth and richness to the story. The city’s vibrant arts scene, along with its bilingualism and multiculturalism, are integral to the film’s narrative and contribute to its distinct flavor.

The Decline of the American Empire is a thought-provoking and beautifully crafted film that delves into the intricacies of human relationships and offers keen social commentary. With its engaging performances, sharp dialogues, and evocative depiction of Montreal, it is a must-watch for anyone interested in introspective and intellectually stimulating cinema.

Death of a Ladies’ Man (2020)

Death of a Ladies’ Man is a visually stunning and emotionally gripping film directed by Canadian filmmaker Matt Bissonnette. Known for his distinct style and unique storytelling, Bissonnette has built a reputation for creating thought-provoking cinema that challenges conventions. Death of a Ladies’ Man is no exception, showcasing his artistic prowess and cinematic expertise.

The film stars Gabriel Byrne in a mesmerizing performance as Samuel O’Shea, a washed-up college professor and womanizer facing the reality of his mortality. Byrne’s portrayal of O’Shea is a tour de force, capturing the character’s inner struggles and complexities with raw authenticity. 

The plot of Death of a Ladies’ Man revolves around O’Shea’s journey of self-discovery and redemption as he confronts his past mistakes and seeks forgiveness from the women in his life. The film weaves together elements of drama, comedy, and surrealism, creating a multi-layered narrative that is both poignant and darkly humorous.

The film’s exploration of human relationships, mortality, and the search for meaning in life is deeply resonant and thought-provoking, leaving a lasting impact on the audience.

One of the film’s notable aspects is how it represents Montreal, where the story is set. Bissonnette masterfully captures the city’s vibrant culture, architecture, and diverse neighborhoods, infusing them into the film’s visual and thematic elements. The film also features a mesmerizing soundtrack, including songs from Leonard Cohen, a Montreal native, which further enhances the film’s atmospheric tone.

Death of a Ladies’ Man is a captivating film that showcases Matt Bissonnette’s artistic brilliance and the incredible performances of the cast. With its unique storytelling, powerful themes, and stunning visuals, the film is a must-watch for cinephiles who appreciate thought-provoking and emotionally resonant cinema. Highly recommended for those who enjoy introspective character studies and visually stunning storytelling.

The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

The Whole Nine Yards is a hilarious comedy directed by Jonathan Lynn, known for his work in British television and films. Lynn has a knack for blending witty humor with fast-paced storytelling, as seen in his previous works like My Cousin Vinny and Clue.

The film, one of the best movies set in Montreal, boasts a star-studded cast, with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry leading the pack. Willis, known for his action roles, surprises with his comedic timing as a hitman named Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski. Perry, famous for his role in the TV series Friends, delivers a neurotic and bumbling performance as a nebbish neophyte dentist named Nicholas “Oz” Oseransky. Their on-screen chemistry is electric, driving the film’s comedic energy.

The plot revolves around Oz, who accidentally becomes embroiled in a convoluted scheme involving Jimmy, his wife (played by Natasha Henstridge), and a gangster (played by Michael Clarke Duncan). The story is filled with unexpected twists, mistaken identities, and witty banter, keeping the audience engaged from start to finish.

One of the film’s unique aspects is its representation of Montreal, where the story is set. The city’s distinct culture and ambiance are vividly portrayed, adding charm to the film. The French-Canadian setting serves as a backdrop for the story’s comedic mishaps and adds a touch of international flair to the film.

The Whole Nine Yards is a delightful comedy that will keep you entertained from beginning to end. Jonathan Lynn’s direction, along with the fantastic performances by Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, make it a must-watch for anyone who enjoys clever comedies with a touch of action. Whether you’re a fan of the actors, the director, or simply looking for a lighthearted and entertaining movie, The Whole Nine Yards is a definite recommendation.

Barney’s Version (2010)

Barney’s Version, directed by Richard J. Lewis, is a captivating drama-comedy film that leaves a lasting impact on the viewers. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Mordecai Richler and boasts a stellar cast that brings the story to life with their brilliant performances.

The film features a star-studded cast led by the talented Paul Giamatti, who plays the titular character, Barney Panofsky, with remarkable depth and authenticity. Giamatti’s portrayal of Barney, a flawed and complex character, is a masterclass in acting, earning him a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

The plot revolves around Barney’s tumultuous life, spanning three decades, as he navigates through various relationships, marriages, and personal struggles. The film is a character-driven story that delves into Barney’s flawed personality, mistakes, and pursuit of love and redemption. The film’s narrative structure, a series of flashbacks, keeps the audience engaged as they gradually unravel Barney’s past and the events that have shaped him.

One of the unique aspects of Barney’s Version is its portrayal of Montreal, the city where the film is set. The film beautifully captures the city’s vibrant and diverse cultural landscape, from its stunning architecture to its rich history and unique neighborhoods. Montreal serves as a character in itself, adding depth and authenticity to the story.

Barney’s Version is a must-watch film that offers a compelling story, outstanding performances, and a richly textured portrayal of Montreal. It is a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of human nature, relationships, and the pursuit of meaning in life. With its engaging narrative, well-drawn characters, and superb performances, Barney’s Version is a cinematic gem that will leave a lasting impression on any viewer.

Blades of Glory (2006)

Blades of Glory, directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, is a hilarious sports comedy film that will leave you in stitches from start to finish. Gordon and Speck are known for their exceptional work in the comedy genre, having previously directed successful films such as The Switch and Office Christmas Party.

The film stars Will Ferrell as Chazz Michael Michaels, a rebellious and flamboyant figure skater, and Jon Heder as Jimmy MacElroy, a prim and proper skater known for his technical skills.

When the two arch-rivals are banned from men’s singles figure skating, they find a loophole and team up as the first-ever all-male figure skating pair to compete in the World Winter Sport Games. Alongside Ferrell and Heder, the film features an ensemble cast including Amy Poehler, Jenna Fischer, and William Fichtner, who all deliver side-splitting performances.

The film brilliantly parodies the world of competitive figure skating while touching on themes of redemption, friendship, and the pursuit of dreams. The chemistry between Ferrell and Heder is electric, and their comedic timing is impeccable, keeping audiences engaged and entertained.

In the film, Montreal is the setting for the World Winter Sport Games, with its iconic landmarks and distinctive culture adding a unique charm to the film. The city’s vibrant energy and rich history are beautifully captured, adding an extra layer of authenticity to the story.

Blades of Glory is a must-watch for comedy lovers and Will Ferrell and Jon Heder fans. With its uproarious humor, talented cast, and unforgettable performances, it’s a film that will leave you in stitches from start to finish. So, grab some popcorn, get ready to laugh out loud, and enjoy this side-splitting comedy that will put a smile on your face! Highly recommended.

Jesus of Montreal (1989)

Directed by Denys Arcand, Jesus of Montreal is a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that explores themes of art, spirituality, and societal norms. Arcand, a Canadian filmmaker, is renowned for his critically acclaimed works that often examine the complexities of human nature and social structures. Jesus of Montreal is no exception.

The film features a talented cast, including Lothaire Bluteau in the lead role of Daniel, a struggling actor hired to portray Jesus in a controversial Passion play. Bluteau delivers a captivating performance, capturing his character’s inner turmoil and conflict with remarkable depth. The supporting cast, including Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, and Rémy Girard, also deliver exceptional performances, bringing their characters to life with authenticity and nuance.

The plot of Jesus of Montreal follows Daniel and his fellow actors as they become increasingly immersed in their roles, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. As they challenge the traditional interpretation of the Passion story and confront the commercialization of art, they face personal and societal repercussions.

The film skillfully portrays the creative process, the complexities of faith, and the clash between artistic integrity and commercialization, making it a truly unique and thought-provoking viewing experience.

One of the film’s highlights is its portrayal of Montreal, with the city serving as both a backdrop and a character in itself. Arcand masterfully captures the city’s unique blend of cultural diversity, artistic vibrancy, and social dynamics, which adds depth and richness to the story.

Jesus of Montreal is a cinematic gem that transcends traditional religious narratives to explore profound themes of art, spirituality, and the human condition. Its compelling performances, thought-provoking plot, and stunning depiction of Montreal make it a must-watch for cinephiles and anyone interested in thought-provoking cinema.

Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006)

Bon Cop, Bad Cop is a Canadian action-comedy film directed by Erik Canuel. Known for his work in both film and television, Canuel has a versatile career, having directed various genres, including thrillers, dramas, and comedies. Bon Cop, Bad Cop stands out as one of his most successful films, earning critical acclaim and becoming a box-office hit in Canada.

The film features a talented cast, including Patrick Huard, Colm Feore, and Lucie Laurier. Huard portrays David Bouchard, a Quebecois police detective, while Feore plays Martin Ward, an Ontario police detective. The duo is brought together to solve a murder case on the border of Quebec and Ontario. Their mismatched personalities and language differences create hilarious moments throughout the film.

The plot of Bon Cop, Bad Cop revolves around the murder investigation of a hockey executive, which leads Bouchard and Ward to uncover a larger conspiracy involving corruption, rivalry, and cultural tensions between Quebec and Ontario. 

One of the highlights of Bon Cop, Bad Cop is how it represents Montreal. The film captures the city’s distinct cultural identity, with its bilingualism, hockey obsession, and unique sense of humor. The film also showcases Montreal’s iconic landmarks, such as the Olympic Stadium and the Jacques Cartier Bridge, adding to its authentic portrayal of the city.

Bon Cop, Bad Cop is one of the best movies set in Montreal and is a must-watch film for fans of action comedies and Canadian cinema. With its engaging plot, talented cast, and authentic representation of Montreal, the film offers a fresh take on the buddy cop genre. Erik Canuel’s skillful direction and the chemistry between Huard and Feore make it a standout film in Canadian cinema. Whether you’re a fan of action, comedy, or simply looking for a unique and entertaining film, Bon Cop, Bad Cop is a recommended watch.