Movies Filmed in the Dominican Republic

It’s no surprise that the Dominican Republic is known for its beaches; it has 200 of them along 800 miles of coastline. But it also has rainforests and over 2,400 mountains, including the Caribbean’s tallest, Pico Duarte, which stands at 10,164 feet. There is also plenty of other water here, including the Caribbean’s largest lake, Lake Enriquillo.

While there are thirteen countries within the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is number one when it comes to tourism and second only to Cuba when it comes to size. In fact, there are more direct US flights to the Dominican Republic than any other island. This is most likely due to its outstanding climate: the Dominican Republic averages about 300 days of sunshine.

It’s also known for its world-famous golf courses, such as La Cana and Playa Grande Golf Course, which actually has 10 holes that are on the ocean. It’s also big on baseball, with many of the most famous players, such as David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez, calling it home. In fact, behind the US, the Dominican Republic has the second-largest amount of MLB players.

We also have the Dominican Republic to thank for such dances like merengue and such exports like cocoa, coffee, and tobacco. Although what really sustains the country’s economy is tourism.

There are 18 national parks, including Los Haitises National Park, which is only reachable by boat, and Monte Cristi National Park, known for its coral reefs. And Santo Domingo, the country’s capital city, is actually a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

And due to its natural beauty, it’s not uncommon for the country to be chosen as a prime location for filming movies in part, or even in their entirety. Check out this list of some of the most interesting:

Movies Filmed in the Dominican Republic

Finding Ohana (2021)

Finding Ohana (2021) movie poster
Finding Ohana (2021) – Movie poster – Fair Use

This family movie starred Kelly Hu, Lindsay Watson, and Kea Peahu. When two kids from Brooklyn head to Hawaii for the summer to visit their father, they end up learning a lot more about themselves, where they came from, and even get involved in an adventure. Although the setting and title speak a bit differently, some scenes were filmed in the Dominican Republic.

Duration: 123 minutes
Rating: PG

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014) movie poster
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014) – Movie poster – Fair Use

Movie number three in the horror series about a flesh-eating disease, this one starred Sean Astin, Ryan Donowho, and Lydia Hearst. A prequel, the movie took place in the Dominican Republic, where a small bachelor party turns into a nightmare when a group stumbles upon a research facility. Filming was done in the Dominican Republic.

Duration: 99 minutes
Rating: NR

The Godfather (1972)

Based upon Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel, this epic mob movie was about the fictional Corleone family. It starred Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Diane Keaton. While a great deal of the movie was shot in New York City, the Cuba scenes used Santo Domingo as a stand in.

Duration: 175 minutes
Rating: R

The Good Shepherd (2006)

The Good Shepherd (2006) movie poster
The Good Shepherd (2006) – Movie poster – Fair Use

This spy movie was directed by, starred, and even produced by Robert De Niro. Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon also starred. It is loosely based on real events involving the beginning of counterintelligence within the CIA and James Jesus Angleton. Some filming was done at Parque Duarte.

Duration: 167 minutes
Rating: R

Havana (1990)

Havana (1990) movie poster
Havana (1990) – Movie poster – Fair Use

Don’t get confused by the name of this drama movie. A great deal of it was filmed in Santo Domingo, specifically Palacio Nacional, Ensanche La Fé, Parque Mirador Sur, and many other areas. It starred Raul Julia, Robert Redford, and Lena Olin. Redford’s Jack Weil leaves America to head to Havana to gamble, but finds that there are more important things at risk during the Cuban Revolution.

Duration: 144 minutes
Rating: R

Fidel (2002)

As you may have guessed from the title, this mini-series was about Cuba leader from 1959 until 2008, Fidel Castro. However, nothing was actually filmed in Cuba. All filming was done in Mexico with some scenes also in the Dominican Republic. It starred Víctor Huggo Martin, Gael García Bernal, and Patricia Velasquez.

Duration: 206 minutes
Rating: NR

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now (1979) movie poster
Apocalypse Now (1979) – Movie poster – Fair Use

A great deal of this war movie was done in the Philippines, but there were some scenes done in both California and the Dominican Republic. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the movie starred Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall. It is loosely based on Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella, Heart of Darkness, with the setting changed to Vietnam during the war.

Duration: 182 minutes
Rating: R

Sugar (2008)

Sugar (2008) movie poster
Sugar (2008) – Movie poster – Fair Use

This sports movie starred Algenis Perez Soto, Rayniel Rufino, and Andre Holland. It tells the story of Miguel Santos, AKA Sugar, a young Dominican baseball pitcher who gets his big break in American baseball on an A team in Iowa. But assimilating to this life is not as easy he had hoped. Some filming was done in Consuelo and San Pedro de Macoris.

Duration: 120 minutes
Rating: R

Old (2021)

Director M. Night Shyamalan’s fourteenth movie, this thriller was filmed at Playa El Valle. It is based on the 2013 graphic novel, Sandcastle. It featured a large cast, including Gael García Bernal, Rufus Sewell, and Alex Wolff. At a secluded beach, a group of people find that they are aging at an extremely rapid pace.

Duration: 120 minutes
Rating: R

XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017) movie poster
XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017) – Movie poster – Fair Use

Movie number three in this action series, this one starred Donnie Yen and Ruby Rose with Vin Diesel reprising his leading role. This time he’s after Pandora’s Box, a dangerous weapon that controls military satellites. Some filming was done in Samana, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Baní, Moca, and more.

Duration: 110 minutes
Rating: PG-13