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Culture

The 11 Wildest Movies & TV Shows All About Florida Chaos

It’s called Florida excellence — get into it.

There’s something about Florida — gorgeous beaches, lax gun culture, immense heat — that makes it the perfect place for chaos, and sometimes, outright lawlessness. There’s a reason the state has it’s own meme, the bizarre and often idiotic criminal offender known as “Florida Man.” This energy naturally transfers over to Hollywood’s take on the state, and ahead, you’ll find the most outrageous TV shows and films that could only take place in the Sunshine State.

Scarface - 1983

A man getting butchered by a chainsaw in a motel bathroom, mountains of cocaine, drug cartel fights, and Michelle Pfeiffer looking absolutely perfect in every scene — Scarface is synonymous with Florida chaos for a reason. (Netflix)

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The Birdcage - 1996

Robin Williams plays a gay Miami drag club owner who pretends to be straight and attempts to hide his relationship with his star drag queen and life partner (played to perfection by Nathan Lane) all to please his son’s future father-in-law, a staunch republican senator. It’s madness and pure comedy gold. Retroactive Oscars for the whole cast, now! (Peacock)

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Wild Things - 1998

This bonkers Miami erotic thriller starts off with rape accusations against a high school guidance counselor and only gets messier from there. As police investigate, cracks in the story reveal themselves, including dirty cops, fake deaths, and some old-fashioned scamming and blackmail. Plus, the sex scenes (including a gay kiss in a pool!) had 90s audiences reeling. Only the best soapy salaciousness south Florida can offer! (Starz)

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2 Fast 2 Furious - 2003

When a character moves to Miami to “start over,” you know things are going to get wild. Ex-cop Brian O'Conner (RIP Paul Walker) gets involved with street racing in his new city, which of course unfolds in a world of mayhem that includes high-speed chases, undercover agents, and a powerful drug lord. Miami, baby! (HBO Max)

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Miami Vice - 2006

More drug cartels and murder. You know, classic south Florida sh*t! (Peacock)

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Spring Breakers - 2012

Harmony Korine’s cult favorite feature is chaos personified. Spring Breakers has the classic Florida film underpinnings of drugs and robbery, but this time, the perpetuators are hot college girls in candy-colored bikinis. Spring break, forever. (Showtime)

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Magic Mike - 2012

The raucous Florida strip club scene is front and center in Magic Mike, which stars Channing Tatum as the titular Mike. He may strip to pay the bills, but the guy has big dreams! And because it’s Florida-based, you know there’s tons of partying and drugs. (HBO Max)

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Floribama Shore - 2017

Jersey Shore, but make it go down in the Florida panhandle. (MTV)

MTV

The Florida Project - 2017

The story of a single mother and her young daughter living day by day in an Orlando motel hits on all fronts — capturing touching, childhood wonder alongside the harrowing realities of poverty. (Netflix)

On Becoming A God In Central Florida - 2019

An MLM pyramid scheme, an underrated Kirsten Dunst performance, and relentless Florida sun should be all you need to be convinced to watch this (unfairly canceled) black comedy series. Oh, and someone gets eaten by a gator in the first episode. Can’t get more Florida than that! (Showtime)

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Zola - 2021

The Twitter thread that launched one of the most buzzy movies of the year. Zola’s “hoe trip” down to Florida gets more fraught by the hour, providing nonstop twists that will have you keeled over in laughter. (In theatres)

A24