Picking the Top 10 Best Movies Filmed in Illinois

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With the Oscars around the corner, IllinoisBet.com decided to take a break from Illinois sports betting to rate the best movies filmed in Illinois, the Prairie State (yes, there’s a lot less prairie than when the state got its nickname).

IllinoisBet.com ranked according to a scoring system comprised of IMDB reviews and Rotten Tomatoes audience reviews. All movies have been filtered over to be filmed in Illinois and have more than 10,000 total reviews. Here are the results:

Top Movies Filmed in Illinois

RankMovie TitleTotal Score
1The Dark Knight (2008)18.5
2The Sting (1973)18
3Batman Begins (2005)17.65
T-4Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)17
T-4The Breakfast Club (1975)17
6The Blues Brothers (1980)17.1
7Groundhog Day (1993)16.8
8The Untouchables (1987)16.7
9High Fidelity (2000)16.4
10The Fugitive (1993)16.2


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Breaking Down the Top 10

Best, of course, is subjective, just like the Oscars, and personally, I can’t figure out how “Home Alone” didn’t make the list. But IllinoisBet.com data crunchers have done their work and determined that No. 1 is 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” with No.3 “Batman Begins” (2005), sandwiching the 1973 Robert Redford-Paul Newman classic, “The Sting.”

In fourth place is John Hughes’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986), with its iconic scene of Matthew Broderick rocking out to “Twist & Shout” at Chicago’s Von Steuben Day Parade on downtown Dearborn Street.

Coming to grips with its own feelings, tied at No. 4, is another John Hughes 1980s teen hit, 1985’s “The Breakfast Club,” in which Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall, spend Saturday detention at Shermer High School in the fictional Shermer, Illinois. Interiors were actually Glenbrook North in Northbrook, while the exterior was Maine North in Des Plaines. Hughes, an Illinois native, was very good for the Illinois film production business.

At No. 6 is the 1980 John Belushi-Dan Aykroyd comedy “The Blues Brothers,” which was shot all around Chicago and destroyed the bulk of the city’s police cars. Chicagoan Bill Murray got Woodstock and Algonquin, Illinois turned into Punxsutawney, Pa., for No. 7, 1993’s “Groundhog Day.”

The infamous Chicago gangster Al Capone gets his due in No. 8, 1987’s “The Untouchables,” which filmed at Union Station and other locations in the Windy City. Evanston native John Cusack got Nick Hornby’s London-based record store moved to Chicago for 2000’s “High Fidelity,” spinning hip vinyl at No. 9.

And rounding out the list at No. 10 is 1993’s “The Fugitive,” in which Harrison Ford plays a Chicago surgeon who didn’t kill his wife. But lawman Tommy Lee Jones won’t believe him, so he must run. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade scene was shot in Chicago, but the bulk of the movie was filmed in North Carolina.

Sadly, one of the great Chicago movies, 2002’s “Chicago,” was shot in Toronto.

When it is not following Illinois sports betting apps or casinos, IllinoisBet.com occasionally writes about cultural interest stories such as this.


Howard Gensler

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist covering the Illinois casino and sports betting market for IllinoisBet.com. Before his focus on U.S. sports betting, Howard worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Howard is also a founding editor of bettorsinsider.com.

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