With a lot of extra time at home, we all have more opportunities to explore the cinematic world. Even though Colorado isn’t usually touted as one of the main film hubs in the US, it holds some clout for hosting the Telluride Film Festival and the Denver Film Festival (DFF). The Denver Film Society does its best to highlight, showcase and support Colorado filmmakers.
But there’s more to it than that — Colorado is a hotspot for filming locations from the desert towns of the Four Corners to the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. It’s also a state that attracts attention from documentary filmmakers and adventure filmmakers alike.
Read on to discover more than 20 movies that have some connection to Colorado and how you can watch them at home. And if you want to support the Denver Film Society instead of watching one of these films, you can screen one of their feature films from home by purchasing a ticket to the virtual showing here.
Filmed in Colorado
Most of these movies were not filmed entirely in Colorado, but rather include certain scenes or footage from the state. This list is also not exhaustive. If you’re looking for everything that’s ever been filmed in Colorado, check out this IMDb page. You can also learn more about some of these movies and others not mentioned here in our list of 10 famous movies filmed in Colorado.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: (2018) Filmed in part at Piney River Ranch in Vail and in Telluride and directed by brothers Ethan and Joel Coen. Watch it on Netflix with a subscription.
The Hateful Eight: (2015) In this Quentin Tarantino film, blockbuster stars including Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson encounter each other in a cabin in post-Civil War Wyoming. But really some of it is filmed in Colorado — near Telluride to be exact. Watch it on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Video, Vudi, iTunes or Netflix with a subscription.
Furious 7: (2015) Yes one of the Fast & The Furious movies did some filming in Colorado, in Woodland Park. Watch it on YouTube, Google Play Video, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes or Vudu with a subscription.
Blades of Glory: (2007) Believe it or not, this comedy with Will Farrell, Jon Heder, Jenna Fischer and Amy Poehler among other stars was partially filmed in Denver inside the Pepsi Center. Watch it on a variety of streaming sources or one-time rentals and see if you recognize the stands around the ice rink.
Catch & Release: (2006) In this directorial debut by Susannah Grant, Jennifer Garner plays a woman rebuilding her life after the death of her fiance… in Boulder. There are scenes you’ll recognize if you’ve ever been to Pearl Street or The Hill outside The Sink. Watch it on a variety of subscription services or one-time rentals.
The Prestige: (2006) This award-winning film is set in Edwardian London and features a story of two rival magicians (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale). Although a good portion was filmed in California, other parts were filmed in Durango, Telluride and at Redstone Castle. Watch it on a variety of subscription services or one-time rentals.
Everest: (1998) This version starring Liam Neeson was partially filmed in Colorado, but thankfully also in the Himalayas. Watch it on iTunes.
Independence Day: (1996) If you haven’t seen the original epic sci-fi film with Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, there’s no time like the present. Plus, you can do it with the knowledge that some of it was filmed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Watch it on subscription services or through one-time rentals.
Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead: (1995) Although this quirky film didn’t get the best reviews, it’s set in Denver and a lot of the filming locations are going to be familiar — including a murder scene on I-70 and scenes on East Colfax. Watch it on iTunes, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Video or Vudu.
Die Hard 2: (1990) In this second installment of the Die Hard movies starring Bruce Willis, the old Stapleton Airport, Breckenridge and Mead make appearances. It should be excuse enough to watch the entire series. Watch it through one-time rentals.
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade: (1989) In this classic movie directed by Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones spent time in Alamosa, Cortez, Pagosa Springs and the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad in Antonito. There’s even an Indiana Jones-themed bed and breakfast in Antonito. Watch it on subscription services or through one-time rentals.
WarGames: (1983) Watch a young Matthew Broderick hack into a military supercomputer while looking for video games. And then think about how some of the movie was filmed at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs. Watch it on YouTube, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Video, iTunes or Cinemax.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid: (1969) Directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman, this Western is consistently considered one of the best ever filmed. It’s now in the National Film Registry, proving its significance all these years later and it was the top-grossing film in the year it was released. Amidst all the beautiful scenery featured you might recognize shots from Durango, Silverton, Telluride, the Trimble Bridge over the Animas River and areas in the San Juan National Forest. Watch it on Cinemax or through one-time rentals.
From Colorado-Based Filmmakers
Hondros: (2017) From Denver-based photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Greg Campbell, this documentary follows the life of one of Campbell’s friends and celebrated war journalist Chris Hondros. It’s almost as intense as Hondros’ life was. Watch it on YouTube, Google Play Video, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video or Netflix.
Liyana: (2017) Partially animated and partially filmed in Swaziland, this film follows a group of orphans while they construct the animated narrative from their own experiences. Directed and filmed by Aaron and Amanda Kopp — a Denver-based filmmaking couple. Watch it on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video or Google Play Video.
Being Evel: (2015) Denver filmmaker Daniel Junge recently came out with this deep dive on the career and legacy of Evel Knievel. Watch it on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu or with subscriptions to Hulu or Sling TV.
Valley Uprising: (2014) It isn’t surprising that two filmmakers from Boulder — a world-renowned rock climbing destination — would make a film about rock climbing. But in this documentary by Nick Rosen and Pete Mortimer, the lifestyle that started it all in Yosemite is explored lovingly and with great depth as much as the climbing itself. Watch it on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube or Google Play Video.
McConkey: (2013) Shane McConkey was a celebrated professional skier and BASE jumper who passed away in 2009. The Crested Butte-based Matchstick Productions took on the task of making a loving documentary about his life in partnership with Red Bull Media House, not only because they admired McConkey but also because they had all been good friends with him. Watch it by purchasing it through the official website or rent it on YouTube, Google Play Video, Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.
Saving Face: (2012) In another documentary by Denver-based Junge, he worked with Pakistani journalist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and had cinematography by Aaron Kopp (from Liyana) to shed light on a plastic surgeon who helps victims burned in acid attacks. This film won both an Emmy and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short subject (it’s only 40 minutes). Watch it on YouTube, Google Play Video, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now or Hulu.
About Colorado Events
Tread: (2019) In 2004 the small town of Granby was surprised when a local resident took to the streets with a bulldozer fortified with steel and concrete. This is the story — complete with interviews of residents and friends and even a reconstructed “killdozer.” Watch it on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play Video or Vudu.
Casting JonBenet: (2017) Whether or not you lived in Colorado in 1996, you undoubtedly heard about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey in Boulder. This documentary follows the casting process of a movie about the case, interviewing actors who are auditioning for the roles and asking them about the impact the murder had on pop culture and the community. Watch it on Netflix.
Bowling for Columbine: (2002) This documentary by Michael Moore explores what Moore believes to be the main reason for the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999. In his typical style, Moore is political, outspoken and, let’s be honest, annoying in his attempt to show how the proliferation of guns has set the stage for tragedies like Columbine. Watch it on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Video, iTunes, Vudu or with a Hulu subscription.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown: (1964) Starring Debbie Reynolds, this old school musical will have you feeling nostalgic and sing-songy while pondering the life of Denver’s Margaret Brown (aka Molly Brown). Although the movie is a fictionalized version of her life, you can find out plenty about her real-life through Denver’s The Molly Brown House Museum’s website. Watch the film on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Video or Vudu.