Latinos Love NY: 20 Movies Set in New York City!

In the city that never sleeps, you can find just about anything: love, success, fame, or money. It’s no wonder there are so many movies set in New York City! Some of our favorite Latino actors and actresses have filmed some of their biggest movies in the city.

Cameron Diaz is currently filming the remake of Annie, coming out Christmas 2014, in the Upper East Side. But this isn’t her first time taking a walk through Central Park.

New York is a mixing pot of genres when it comes to film. Our list includes everything from dramas to rom-coms, all of which explore the better parts of this great city! Take a look:

1. nyc slide 01 West Side Story

West Side Story 

This film inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet depicts two warring New York City gangs, the white "Jets" and the Puerto Rican "Sharks."  The story gets interesting when Tony, a former Jet, and Maria, sister of a Shark, fall in love. Rita Moreno plays the beautiful Anita, girlfriend of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks, and Maria's closest confidante.

2. nyc slide 02 Center Stage

Center Stage 

In this movie about a group of young dancers trying to make it, Zoe Saldana plays Eva, the talented, smart-mouthed dancer destined to be pushed aside because of her poor attitude. All of the dancers are competing for a prestigious position in the American Ballet Company, based on the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. 

3. nyc slide 03 Honey


Jessica Alba stars as Honey, the tough-minded, Latina hip-hop dancer in New York's East Harlem that dreams of making it as a music video choreographer. We love the cameos by stars, including the one and only Miss Elliott. 

4. nyc slide 04 Hitch


Eva Mendes plays Sara, a gossip columnist, in this romantic comedy starring Will Smith as the “date doctor.” One of our favorite scenes is when they went  jet skiing by Ellis Island, even if Will does accidentally kick Eva into the water. Fun fact: Eva’s role was originally pitched to J.Lo, but she turned it down.

5. nyc slide 05 Maid in Manhattan

Maid in Manhattan 

This is one of our favorite rom-coms staring J.Lo as Marisa, a hotel maid who falls in love with a high profile politician (Ralph Fiennes) after he mistakes her for a rich socialite. Some of the scenes were filmed in the iconic Roosevelt Hotel, as well as the luxurious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

6. nyc slide 06 Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels 

This is one of our guilty pleasures! Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Jim Winston, an undercover cop with a secret story, who falls in love with Amanda, who works at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

7. nyc slide 07 Oliver & Company

Oliver & Company

This super cute, animated film based on Oliver Twist has funny man Ceech Marin voicing Tito, a bouncy Chihuahua full of passion and anger issues that befriends the orphaned kitten Oliver roaming the streets of New York.

8. nyc slide 08 What Happens in Vegas

What Happens in Vegas 

We told you Cameron Diaz loved New York! Don’t let the title of the movie fool you. Most of this film is set in New York, where Diaz’s character Joy is forced to live with the man (Ashton Kutcher) she married in Vegas if she wants to keep something. One of our favorite scenes is a spectacular chase scene through the city streets between Diaz and Kutcher.

9. nyc slide 09 New Years Eve

New Year's Eve 

This movie packs a star-studded cast spread all over New York, telling their stories for that New Year's Eve (cue the Times Square ball drop). The vivacious Sofia Vergara plays Ava, a fanatical assistant/friend of Katherine Heigl. Meanwhile, cutie Jake T. Austin is the teenage boyfriend of Abigal Breslin, looking for a romantic night out. 

10. nyc slide 10 Sex and The City 2

Sex and The City 2 

We were so excited when Penelope Cruz had a cameo as Carmen, Mr. Big’s banker friend, in this sequel! If only she had co-starring role – but at least she got to enjoy the NYC nightlife in her brief spot.

11. nyc slide 11 The Backup Plan

The Back-up Plan 

We’ve got another J.Lo movie for our list, but what can you expect? She's Jenny from the Block! In the story, Zoe (J.Lo) decides to give up men and have a baby through artificial insemination. The twist? She may just have met the man of her dreams.

12. nyc slide 12 Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four 

Everyone loves a superhero! Jessica Alba tackled the role of Sue Storm/Invisible Woman in this movie about a group of astronauts who gain superpowers after a cosmic radiation exposure. They use their newfound powers to protect the people of New York against a super villain. 

13. nyc slide 13 Men in Black 2

Men in Black 2 

Rosario Dawson plays Laura, Will Smith’s love interest, who winds up holding an important key that alien villains have been searching for. Interesante, no?

14. nyc slide 14 I Am Legend

I Am Legend 

While this movie was a bit of a solo mission for Will Smith in a postapocalpytic New York, we have not forgotten the scene where Alice Braga (as Anna) saved the day when Smith was nearly overrun by zombies at the South Street Seaport. 

15. nyc slide 15 Maria Full of Grace

Maria Full of Grace

In this movie, which earned Catalina Sordino Moreno an Academy Award nomination, Moreno stars as Maria, a girl who is desperate for money after getting pregnant. In her desperation, she agrees to become a drug mule and leave Colombia to travel all the way to New York.

16. nyc slide 16 Wall Street

Wall Street

Charlie Sheen occupies the financial district as Bud Fox, a young and impatient stockbroker that is willing to do anything to get to the top. He starred opposite the talented Michael Douglas, and chose to have his own father, Martin Sheen, play his on-screen dad.

17. nyc slide 17 Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York

This gritty film set in the Five Points area of New York City has Cameron Diaz as Jenny, a successful (and sneaky) pickpocket. Lucky for her, she is the love interest for hottie Leonardo DiCaprio, who is seeking revenge for his father’s murder. 

18. nyc slide 18 It Could Happen to You

It Could Happen to You 

In short, this movie is about a cop who gives a waitress a $2 million tip! We wish this movie would happen to us, and we’re sure a bunch of New York waitresses do too. Rosie Perez played a great character you loved to hate, Muriel, Nicholas Cage’s terrible, greedy wife. 

19. nyc slide 19 Vanilla Sky

Vanilla Sky 

In this one, Cameron Diaz plays Tom Cruise’s scorned lover. In the film, Cruise moved on with Penelope Cruz’s character Sofia. We were more interested in the real-life romance between Penelope and Tom afterwards. Did they fall for each other while in New York? Maybe they had a romantic date during filming! 

20. nyc slide 20 Do The Right Thing

Do The Right Thing 

The story was set on the hottest day of the year with tempers flying in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn. This was the feature film debut for Rosie Perez, where she played Tina, Mookie’s (Spike Lee) girlfriend and mother of their son, Hector.