7 Of The Most Famous Movies Filmed In Albuquerque
Albuquerque is a popular choice for filmmakers, and for good reason. With more than 310 days of annual sunshine, producers can avoid costly weather-related delays, while its four mild seasons means it can often double up as other places – like Mars. Plus, the Southwestern city frequently makes it to the Top 10 Cities to be a Movie Maker, thanks to its incentives, production resources and blockbuster landscapes. If you’ve ever visited Albuquerque, we’ll bet you’ve spent plenty of time pointing urgently at the TV screen, trying to work out why you recognise that backdrop. Here are some of the most famous movies filmed in Albuquerque.
Here is a List of The 7 Most Famous Movies Filmed In Albuquerque
1. The Avengers (2012)
Famous locations: Albuquerque Rail Yards, Albuquerque Studios, Atrisco Heritage Academy High School
Remember when Bruce Banner wakes up in a rubble heap after crashing through a warehouse? That’s actually Albuquerque Rail Yards, a huge abandoned rail hub built in the 1900s. Most of the interiors were also shot in Albuquerque, at Albuquerque Studios. The exterior of the helicarrier, S.H.I.E.L.D, is actually Atrisco Heritage Academy High School. Obviously, they had to augment it with lots of hi-tech features, including a full-scale helicopter pad school’s quad.
2. The Lone Ranger (2013)
Famous locations: Rio Puerco
This big-budget Disney blockbuster stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Armie Hammer. It follows the story of a Native American Warrior as he recounts the untold tale that transformed John Reid into a legend. The movie actually features 16 different locations across New Mexico, most of them shot in and around Albuquerque.
Rio Puerco formed most of the movie’s backdrop. The team transformed the valley into the Wild West, including the towns of Colby and Promontory Summit. It was also the home base of all operations. Other famous locations around New Mexico include the Plaza Blanca rock formation, the Valles Caldera Nature Preserve and the Gilman Tunnels, used for the train scenes.
3. The Goldfinch (2019)
Famous locations: Various
The Goldfinch is based on the award-winning book written by Donna Tart. It tells the story of a boy taken in by a wealthy family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In a panic, he steals ‘The Goldfinch’, a painting that eventually draws him into a world of crime.
Multiple locations feature in the movie, but some of the most memorable scenes are in Albuquerque. When Theo’s father takes him to the outskirts of Las Vegas, that’s actually the outskirts of Albuquerque. The team made the landscape as empty and bleak as possible, even removing palm trees from the backyard where Theo sits drinking with mate friend Boris.
4. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)
This dark-comedy starring Tina Fey and Margot Robbie tells the story of a journalist recounting her wartime coverage in Afghanistan. It may be set in Afghanistan, but most of the filming took place in New Mexico. Alberquerque stands in for Kabul for most of the time. To do this, the team used 25,000 of dust. They also recreated two square blocks of Kabul and used this for most of the movie.
5. No Country for Old Men (2007)
Locations: Downtown and the Desert Sands Motel
The Coens’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel takes place on the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Look closely, and you’ll recognise plenty of New Mexico locations though, such as the bus station is located in Albuquerque. Without a doubt, the most iconic location is at the end of the movie. When Moss gives Carla Jean instructions to meet him at El Paso they actually meet at the Desert Sands Motel in Albuquerque.
6. Hell or High Water (2016)
Locations: Gold Avenue,
Filming for this western-epic mostly took place in Albuquerque, even though it’s set in Texas. The movie follows a divorced father and his ex-con older brother who resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas. The ‘Texas Rangers HQ’ is actually the New Mexico Bank & Trust on 320 Gold Avenue SW. You might also spot the Route 66 Casino Hotel, which stands in as the Oklahoma casino where Toby and Tanner launder their stolen cash.
7. Frank (2014)
Locations: Various locations downtown, including the Doubletree Hotel, the Albuquerque Convention Center, the Fourth Street Mall, Sister bar, and the Sunshine Theater.
This Sundance Film Festival favourite saw Michael Fassbender don a gigantic plastic head for most of the movie. Also starring Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the comedy focuses on a young wannabe musician who bites off more than he can chew. Shot in Albuquerque and other cities in the Southwest, there are plenty of familiar sights, including the Doubletree Hotel, the Albuquerque Convention Center, the Fourth Street Mall, Sister bar, and the Sunshine Theater.