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The best Brooklyn-centric movies and TV shows to binge

Pickle Day 13
Seth Rogen in “An American Pickle.”
Photograph by Hopper Stone

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on New York City, canceling most in-person events and forcing friends, family and maybe even you into quarantine, If you’re stuck hunkering down for the New Year, you’re in luck — Brooklyn Paper has compiled a list of movies and television shows, old and new, to transport you back onto the streets of the borough we love. 

An American Pickle 

This 2020 movie starring Seth Rogen can almost be looked at as a metaphor to the coronavirus pandemic. Based on a short story written by Simon Rich for the New Yorker, Rogen portrays Eastern European Jewish immigrant Herschel Greenbaum who finds a job at a pickle factory in Brooklyn in 1919, and one day falls into a vat of pickles. He wakes up in 2019, fully preserved, in a Brooklyn that looks very different from the version he left. Streaming on HBOMax.

Last Exit to Brooklyn 

This 1990 film takes viewers back to Sunset Park in the 1950s and portrays life at that time for the working-class residents of the neighborhood. Union corruption and violence are displayed alongside storylines of sex workers and homosexuality. The youngest Baldwin brother also has a role in the cult classic film. Available to rent on Amazon. 

Dog Day Afternoon

Attica, Attica! An iconic Brooklyn film based on a real-life bank robbery and hostage situation that took place at a Chase Bank in the borough in the 1970s. The box-office smash hit stars Al Pacino as first-time bank robber Sonny Wortzik, who robs a Gravesend bank branch for his partner’s sex reassignment surgery. Streaming on HBOMax, available to rent on Amazon.

Moonstruck 

This Brooklyn Heights-based film is a must-see for all Cher fans, as the actress-musician portrays Loretta Castorini, a widowed woman who falls in love with her fiance’s younger brother, played by Nicholas Cage. Castorini’s boyfriend proposes to her before heading to Sicily to be with his dying mother, at which time he asks his fiance to invite his estranged brother to the wedding. Streaming on HBOMax, available to rent on Amazon andAppleTV.

The Warriors 

This 1979 film focuses on a Coney Island street gang that gets accused for the murder of a rival gang leader and must fight their way back to their home turf while every other city street gang is after them. Streaming on Hulu.

Saturday Night Fever

Boogie oogie oogie till you just can’t boogie any more! This classic film is based in southwestern Brooklyn and is a must on any Brooklyn movie list — featuring the beloved Lenny’s pizza and a now defunct Bay Ridge nightclub. Starring John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever shows Brooklyn when disco reigned — and it’s bound to bring anyone back to that era. Streaming on HBOMax.

Abbi and Ilana navigate the streets of New York City in the episode, “Along Came Molly.”Cara Howe

Broad City 

For something a bit more modern, look no further than Broad City. A TV show about two best friends who are trying to make their way in Brooklyn in every way  — careers, relationships, finances, you name it. The pair’s hilarious friendship with zero boundaries will have you looking for an Abby to your Ilana when you arise out of quarantine. Streaming on Hulu, Comedy Central. Available to rent on Amazon.

Search Party 

This hilarious murder-mystery show has its final season out on Jan. 7, so catch up while you can! Alia Shawkat plays Dory an Iranian-American Brooklyn transplant who is trying to figure out a path after stagnating in a going-nowhere career as an assistant since college. When an acquaintance goes missing, she gets caught up in a sticky situation that will follow her for the rest of her life. Streaming on HBOMax.

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