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Minnesota Made: Enjoy some movies shot in the Lake of 10,000 Lakes

Photo illustration by Gary Meader / gmeader@duluthnews.com

We've got it all in Minnesota, the lakes, the loons, the Mall of America. Filmmakers have long recognized our cinematic offerings. Here are a few Minnesota-made movies — and a few of their homegrown filming locations — for whatever you're in the mood for in the new year.

'90s THROWBACK

"The Mighty Ducks" (1992)

Hot-shot attorney Gordon (Emilio Estevez) gets a DUI, and part of his sentence is to coach a peewee hockey team. It's Disney, it's hockey, it spawned a movie franchise and a lifetime of flying-V references. (Note: Of the trilogy, this writer prefers "D2.")

• Filmed: Minneapolis

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, VUDU

"Grumpy Old Men" (1993)

It's a hate-hate relationship for John and Max (Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau). They've been frenemies since they were kids, and the now-retired, neighbors compete and pull pranks in their ice houses and beyond. Their rivalry flares when attractive and eclectic Ariel (Ann-Margret) moves in. Also starring: Daryl Hannah and Kevin Pollak.

• Filmed: Center City, Faribault, Lake Rebecca, Minneapolis, St. Paul

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, VUDU

"Mallrats" (1995)

Besties T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee) try to recover from breakups at their local mall, where run-ins with a hostile retailer (Ben Affleck), an optical illusion, and Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) keep them occupied as they scheme to reunite with their exes. Also starring: Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, with a Stan Lee cameo.

• Filmed: Eden Prairie, Minneapolis

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, VUDU

"Fargo" (1996)

Jerry (William H. Macy) hires two crooks (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife for ransom. The hostage deal goes south when a traffic stop turns bloody, prompting pregnant police chief Marge (Frances McDormand) to follow the trail. Expect Minnesotans portrayed with accents, bangs and blank stares — all in good fun from Minnesota-born-and-raised writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen.

• Filmed: Brainerd, Minneapolis

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, VUDU

DARK, FUNNY, TRIUMPHANT

"Purple Rain" (1984)

The Kid (Prince) is on the rise as a Minneapolis musician, but he must contend with romantic strife, a troubled home and other bands. Also starring: Morris Day, Apollonia Kotero. (R.I.P., sweet Prince.)

• Filmed: Eagan, Minneapolis

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, VUDU

"North Country" (2005)

Sexual harassment and abuse ensue when women begin working at a local iron mine. Single-mother Josey (Charlize Theron) starts to fight back to resistance at home and at work. Based on real-life Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. class action lawsuit. Starring Frances McDormand, Jeremy Renner, Woody Harrelson. Warning: There may be tears.

• Filmed: Eveleth, Minneapolis, Virginia

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, VUDU

"A Serious Man" (2009)

Things are tough for Larry (Michael Stuhlbarg). In the works: divorce, blackmail and a bar mitzvah. To top it all off, Larry can't get time with his rabbi. True to Coen brothers' form, this film has its comedic reprieves.

• Filmed: Minneapolis

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, VUDU

"Young Adult" (2011)

Mavis (Charlize Theron) is a YA ghost writer on deadline when she gets an emailed pic of her ex's newborn babe. With her Pomeranian and a mixtape in tow, Mavis returns to her hometown to win back her high-school sweetheart. There's drunken debauchery, lots of Diet Coke and many persona changes in this Diablo Cody joint (remember her?). Also starring Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson and Elizabeth Reaser.

• Filmed: Minneapolis

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, VUDU

"I Am Not a Serial Killer" (2016)

He's got homicidal thoughts and a sociopath diagnosis, but John (Max Records) is set on controlling his urges. He gets tangled into a series of murders when a drifter rolls into town. Expect sleuthing and the supernatural. Also starring Christopher Lloyd and Laura Fraser.

• Filmed: Hibbing, Minneapolis, Virginia

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play, Netflix, VUDU

DULUTH-PROUD

"You'll Like My Mother" (1972)

Recently widowed and pregnant Francesca (Patty Duke) travels to Minnesota to meet her mother-in-law for the first time. There, things get creepy, as Francesca investigates the family tree and finds more than she bargained for. This was filmed in the Glensheen Mansion, and starring Rosemary Murphy and Richard Thomas.

• Filmed: Duluth

• Available: Amazon (for purchase)

"Iron Will" (1994)

Will (Mackenzie Astin) needs to raise money to save the family's land, so he signs up for a sled dog race, which conjures memories of his father, who died in a mushing accident. Also starring Kevin Spacey and Brian Cox with appearances from the News Tribune's opinion editor, Chuck Frederick.

• Filmed: Brookston, Cloquet, Duluth, Two Harbors

• Available: Amazon Video, Google Play

Melinda Lavine

Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

(218) 723-5346
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