With the 91st Annual Academy Awards airing this weekend, we started thinking about all the great movies – Oscar nominees and otherwise – that have been filmed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, specifically right here in Fairfax County and the surrounding Northern Virginia region.

While this isn’t a full list of everything filmed here, Fairfax County makes an appearance in all of the ones below.

How many of these Hollywood films have you seen? 🎬


Argo (2011)

This Oscar-winning film starring and directed by Ben Affleck tells the true story of the late Tony Mendez, a CIA agent who led an operation to rescue hostages under the guise of scouting locations for a Hollywood film. It won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Achievement in Film Editing.
On location: McLean


Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

This sequel to Michael Bay’s blockbuster Transformers franchise was partially filmed on location at the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was heavily featured as Jetfire, a wise and elderly former Decepticon (an evil Transformer)  turned Autobot (a good Transformer). The film was nominated for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing at the 2010 Oscars.
On location: Chantilly


National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

Nicolas Cage is back on the hunt in a quest to prove his ancestor’s innocence in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in this sequel to the popular National Treasure series. Several crucial scenes were shot on location at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Today, visitors to Mount Vernon can take a special “National Treasure” tour (daily, March-December) to hear stories about filming and visit typically closed-off areas of the grounds.
On location: Mount Vernon


The Pelican Brief (1993)

In this thriller based on John Grisham’s novel of the same name, Denzel Washington and John Lithgow must find a non-compromised location to discuss their investigation into the shocking murders of two Supreme Court justices. George Washington’s Mount Vernon provided a dramatic backdrop for the conversation.
On location: Mount Vernon


J. Edgar (2011)

This biopic of J. Edgar Hoover looks back at the life and career of the powerful former head of the FBI. The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Clint Eastwood, filmed several scenes in Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia region.
On location: Great Falls


Broadcast News (1987)

While this Oscar-nominated movie starring William Hurt, Albert Brooks, and Holly Hunter was almost entirely filmed at Washington, D.C. locations, several scenes that involved a TV set and newsroom were filmed backstage at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
On location: Vienna


Contact (1997)

Starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey, Contact tells the story of scientist Ellie Arroway’s attempts to make first contact with extraterrestrial life. Production scouts searching for historic homes to represent young Ellie’s childhood home found one on Grace Street in Herndon.
On location: Herndon


Breach (2007)

This crime thriller dramatizes the well-known story of Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent put on trial for selling secrets to the Soviet Union. Starring Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe, the film shot at many familiar locations in the region, including Foxstone Park where Hanssen was arrested after leaving highly classified information underneath a park bridge.
On location: Vienna


Several other movies were filmed on location in surrounding Northern Virginia localities, including the Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum Oscar nominee Foxcatcher (Leesburg), The Bourne Ultimatum (Fauquier County), The Silence of the Lambs (Quantico), and the upcoming 2019 blockbuster Wonder Woman: 84 (Alexandria). (Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot even stopped by INOVA Children's Hospital in Fairfax during filming.)

Learn more about filming locations and film history in Virginia at the Virginia Film Office. Tell us your favorite locally-filmed movies in the comments below or on social media using #FXVA and @VisitFairfax. Did we miss any big ones?