Albuquerque, New Mexico, is one of the best known filming locations of all time. Not only is it home to two of the most widely watched crime drama series currently on TV, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” since the 19th century, it has also been a sought-after filming location for many highly regarded film directors.
With the historic Spanish buildings of downtown Albuquerque contrasting with the urban sprawl and the surrounding Chihuahuan desert, it’s easy to see why this city is such a popular filming location. Since the area receives around 315 days of sunshine per year, it isn’t surprising that those in the know often consider Albuquerque their ideal spot to film the next big blockbuster.
If you’re a film geek, chances are that Albuquerque is already high up on your must-visit list. Most films today have multiple filming locations, but each of the examples below has at least one scenes shot in Albuquerque, either in the studio or around the city itself. Let’s see how many films you recognise.
#1 “Independence Day Resurgence” (2016)
Continuing on from the already popular “Independence Day” (1996), starring Will Smith, “Independence Day Resurgence,” starring Liam Hemsworth, shows how the world has progressed on since the devastating alien invasion. To avoid a similar occurrence in the future, a space defence programme monitors and reacts to any threat from extraterrestrial beings. Will this be enough to fight off the dangers that lurk out there in the universe? It really does seem unlikely.
#2 “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails” (2015)
Just when you thought they had escaped the maze, Thomas and the surviving Gladers find themselves running once again, this time through a desolate landscape full of perilous obstacles. Will they survive or will the scorch catch up with them?
This series of films is based on a set of dystopian science fiction books by James Dashner. The series is set to conclude with a third movie, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” due to be released in 2018.
#3 “Sicario” (2015)
This American crime drama starring Emily Blunt has to be one of my favourite films from the last few years. Emily Blunt joins an FBI task force to hunt down the brutal leader of a Mexican drug cartel. The drama unfolds on the United States-Mexican border, where the task force utilise another asset in hopes of flushing out the bigger prize.
#4 “Lone Survivor” (2013)
This film stars Mark Walhberg and is set in Afghanistan. It’s a modern war drama depicting the life of a U.S. Navy SEAL tasked with the difficult mission of seeking out and capturing a well-known Taliban leader.
Unfortunately, the mission doesn’t go as planned, as the team members find themselves penned in, outnumbered, and outgunned. The film is based on a nonfiction work by Marcus Luttrell, who relies on eyewitness accounts to tell the story of operation Redwing, during which many Navy SEALs paid the ultimate sacrifice.
#5 “We’re the Millers” (2013)
I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this American comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, but I was pleasantly surprised. Aniston joins forces with her neighbour, becoming involved in a small-time drug smuggling plot that takes place near the U.S.-Mexican border. If you enjoy comedies and have yet to see this one, I would recommend it for one of those days when you want to laugh at something funny but don’t want to think too hard about the story line attached.
#6 “Paul” (2011)
In this film, aliens have landed on our planet yet again. This time they come in the form of funny and somewhat loveable Paul. When two UFO geeks head off on a road trip to explore some UFO sightings around the U.S., little did they know what they would be in for! After colliding with Paul, the alien, the rest of the film sees the unlikely threesome trying to save Paul from whoever and whatever may come along.
In addition to those mentioned above, “The Avengers,” “Terminator Salvation,” No Country for Old Men,” and “The Book of Eli” all have filming locations in Albuquerque. As you can see, Albuquerque is clearly a hotspot worth visiting for all film junkies out there.
Of course, there is plenty more to see whilst in the city, therefore remember to allow time to not only wander the streets in search of film stars but also to explore the other fantastic sights Albuquerque has to offer.
Looking for ideas for where to stay in Albuquerque? Visiting such a large city can be daunting, and knowing where to stay can be a nightmare. We always make a point of reading reviews so we can make an informed choice. We then tend to book with a reputable company like Hotel Planner in order to make sure that our reservation has actually been made.
Have you visited Albuquerque? Perhaps you have a favourite hotel you would like to recommend to our readers or have a particular area you prefer to stay in. We would love to hear your suggestions.