Sicario (2015)

The 2015 Denis Villeneuve film “Sicario” was shot in Mexico, Texas and New Mexico. In the film, FBI Special Agents Kate Macer, played by Emily Blunt, joins a Joint Task Force overseen by CIA operative Matt Graver, played by Josh Brolin and the mysterious Alejandro Gillick, played by Benicio del Toro.

Kate travels with the team to Juárez, Mexico to extradite Manuel Díaz’s brother, Guillermo. As their convoy travels the streets, Alejandro tells Kate “Welcome to Juárez,” as they spot dismembered bodies hanging nude from an overpass. These scenes were actually filmed in the city of Nezahualcóyotl (commonly known as Neza), just east of Mexico City. The convoy travels west on Av. Chimalhuacán, turning left at C. 3 beneath the overpass from which the bodies hang. The exact intersection is Av. Chimalhuacán / C. 3, El Barco, 57410 Nezahualcóyotl, Méx., Mexico (GPS coordinates: 19°25’18.1″N, 99°03’14.2″W).

Kate and Reggie, played by Daniel Kaluuya, meet up with the team at this motel, where they discuss plans on a crossing point for a covert mission into Mexico.

LOCATION: 2001 Candelaria Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107

The team meets inside of room 117. The motel appeared to be abandoned at the time of our visit.

The task force raids a bank used to launder Díaz’s money and freeze his accounts. The real building is not a bank.

LOCATION: 2801 Eubank Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112

Kate and Reggie get drinks at the Wild Pony in Los Lunas, about thirty minutes south of Albuquerque, where Kate meets Ted, played by Jon Bernthal. This location has since been demolished and different building now stands in its place. It was formerly located at 4555 NM-314, Los Lunas, NM 87031.

No Country For Old Men (2007)

The 2007 Coen Brothers film, “No Country for Old Men,” is set in West Texas in 1980. The movie was filmed in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico, with much of the film shot around Las Vegas, New Mexico (not to be confused with the famed city in Nevada). Early in the film, Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem, becomes agitated at a gas station owner and gambles the man’s life on a coin toss. The building currently sits abandoned and can be found on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

LOCATION: 2619 NM-104, Las Vegas, NM 87701

While it is never seen from this angle in the film, here is a closer look at the gas station exterior.

Most of the scene takes place inside. Here is how the interior looks where Anton Chigurh stood.

On the run with drug money, Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin, gets a room at the Regal Motel.

LOCATION: 1809 N Grand Ave, Las Vegas, NM 87701

Rightfully paranoid he’s being tracked, Llewelyn heads up to the front desk and books a second room.

Llewelyn is seen exiting room 138.

On the hunt for Llewelyn, Anton Chigurh uses a pay phone to call Llewelyn’s mother-in-law. In reality, no pay phone exists where Anton stands, it’s just some parking spaces in front of the Las Vegas Train Station.

LOCATION: 500 Railroad Avenue, Las Vegas, NM 87701

Llewelyn checks into the Historic Plaza Hotel, where he realizes he’s been tracked. The same hotel is seen in the film “Easy Rider.”

LOCATION: 230 Plaza Park, Las Vegas, NM 87701

The lobby of the real hotel appears in a few scenes, most memorably when Anton confronts Carson Wells, played by Woody Harrelson.

As Carson walks up the stairs, Anton approaches him from behind and tells him to proceed to his room. In the film, the room is shown to be room 213. However, we visited room 213 and can confirm it is not the room used in the film. Nothing about the layout matches what is seen in the film, including the hallway outside. What is seen in the film is either a different hotel or a set. The lobby scenes are the real Historic Plaza Hotel, however.

Right next to the stairs is this sign noting the hotel’s appearance in the film.

Here is the area where the hotel clerk’s front desk was located.

Llewelyn pays off the clerk to notify him is anyone else enters the hotel. When he later calls and no one answers, he confirms Anton is in the building.

A gun fight spills into the streets between Llewelyn and Anton. Llewelyn stops a truck to try to escape, but the driver is quickly shot by Anton.

LOCATION: 518 Douglas Ave, Las Vegas, NM 87701

Llewelyn flees in the truck and jumps the curb of this intersection before crashing.

LOCATION: 527 Grand Ave, Las Vegas, NM 87701

After fending off Anton, Llewelyn crosses the border to Mexico. The border station was built by the production at this intersection.

LOCATION: E University Ave / Grand Ave, Las Vegas, NM 87701

Llewelyn walks up E University Ave (also known as NM-104), where he buys a coat off some men passing him. He also tosses the money over the fence, but below is not the grassy area seen in the film, rather some railroad tracks. Carson Wells is seen later at the same location.

LOCATION: E University Ave, Las Vegas, NM 87701 (GPS coordinates: 35°35’47.4″N, 105°12’44.2″W, overlooking 700 Railroad Ave, Las Vegas, NM 87701)

Wounded and in need of medicine, Anton blows up a car in front of Mike Zoss Pharmacy, in order to distract everyone inside as he takes what he needs.

LOCATION: 610 Douglas Ave, Las Vegas, NM 87701

After recovering from his injuries, Llewelyn stays at the Desert Sands Motel in Albuquerque, which has since been demolished. The front street can still be matched up, when Ed Tom Bell, played by Tommy Lee Jones, arrives right after a crime has transpired.

LOCATION: 5000 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108 (now demolished)

Ed Tom meets a fellow officer at the morgue, also located in Albuquerque.

LOCATION: 715 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Carla Jean, played by Kelly Macdonald, lives at this home.

LOCATION: 915 Jackson St, Las Vegas, NM 87701

Late in the film, Anton gets into an accident at this intersection. In the film, a traffic light is seen, but in reality there is only a stop sign.

LOCATION: Baca Ave / 6th St, Las Vegas, NM 87701

After some boys approach Anton to check on him, he asks for one of their shirts and then escapes down this sidewalk.

Related articles: Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Better Call Saul

Much like its predecessor, “Breaking Bad,” the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is so ingrained as a backdrop for the spin-off series, “Better Call Saul,” it takes on the life a character on the show. In the early seasons, Jimmy McGill, played by Bob Odenkirk, cares for his brother Chuck, played by Michael McKean. Chuck is housebound with a mental illness that causes a strong aversion to electricity and electric devices, with his house featured prominently in the series.

LOCATION: 1607 San Cristobal Rd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Gus Fring, played by Giancarlo Esposito, plays a recurring character in the show and we see his infamous Los Pollos Hermanos many times. The restaurant is actually named “Twisters” and still operates today. There are a few of these restaurants in the area, so be sure to go to the one on Isleta Blvd in order to see the location used in the show. The restaurant was of course also featured heavily on “Breaking Bad.”

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LOCATION: 4257 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105

By season six, Saul has set up his office in the same location featured in “Breaking Bad.”

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LOCATION: 9800 Montgomery Blvd, Albuquerque, NM 87111

A few businesses have come and gone from the location, but the current restaurant actually has their front door made up to look like Saul’s office.

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A pop-up replica of Los Pollos Hermanos was built on an open parking lot space in Los Angeles for just a few short days in 2017, in promotion of “Better Call Saul.” For the event, they featured Jimmy’s car from the show, which he is seen driving throughout the early seasons.

Related articles: Breaking Bad

Army Of The Dead (2021)

The 2021 Zack Snyder film “Army of the Dead,” starring Dave Bautista, was filmed around New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada. During the opening credits, mercenary Scott Ward, played by Bautista, is seen rescuing a woman during the zombie outbreak in front of this building.

LOCATION: 140 Juan Tabo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87123

Scott Ward works in this burger restaurant, where a newscast explains Las Vegas has been quarantined, with an imminent nuclear strike planned to eliminate the zombies, who have overtaken the city. Ward is visited by Bly Tanaka, who offers him a deal to breach the evacuated city and retrieve $200 million from a safe inside a vault under the Vegas strip.

LOCATION: 3521 Constitution Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Natural Born Killers (1994)

Oliver Stone’s 1994 film “Natural Born Killers” was shot in quite a few different locations, including Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois and Indiana, as the story depicts two killers on a cross-country mass murder spree. In the opening scenes of the film, Micky and Mallory, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis respectively, visit a restaurant on a desert road known as the “5 To 2 Cafe.”  After some unwanted advances and rude remarks from some locals, things quickly turn violent.

The building still stands all these years later, although it is long since boarded up and closed down.  The former diner can be found on AZ-99, along an isolated stretch on the outskirts of Winslow, Arizona.  To visit in person, it feels quite remote.  However, in reality, it’s only a few miles from Interstate 40, between the highway and the town of Leupp.  The exact location of the building is 35°06’54.8″N, 110°52’20.3″W.

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LOCATION: AZ-99, Winslow, AZ 86047 (between Interstate 40 and Indian Rte 15, Leupp) (GPS coordinates: 35°06’54.8″N, 110°52’20.3″W)

The property is fenced off from the sides and there is a residence next door, so be careful not to trespass or disturb the tenants.

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These distinct circular windows can still be seen on the sides of the building.  The windows are seen in the film behind Juliette Lewis, as she dances in front of the jukebox.

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The overheating truck pulls up in front.

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For those wondering, the “5 To 2 Cafe” sign out front near the road is long since gone.

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Micky and Mallory get married at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in El Prado, New Mexico. The bridge is far removed from most tourist destinations, requiring hours of driving through mountains and winding terrain to reach it. Once you’re there, however, it’s instantly recognizable.

LOCATION: Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, US-64, El Prado, NM 87529

The same bridge appeared in the films “Twins,” “She’s Having A Baby,” “Wild Hogs,” “Vacation,” “Paul,” “Terminator: Salvation,” “The Signal,” “Catchfire” and “White Sands.”

Here is where the doll falls at the beginning of the scene and where Micky and Mallory cut their hands, hold them together and drop their blood into the river below.

Here is where the loud truck passengers drive by and momentarily irritate Micky and Mallory.

The gorge is a very sheer drop, so the surrounding land is mostly fenced off, preventing you from getting too close to the edges. Here is about as close as you can get, with this view taken through the wire fencing.

Here is a view standing on the middle of the bridge looking out at the road. It gets extremely windy on this bridge, so much so, you can feel the vibration on the bridge as you stand on it.

This side of the gorge isn’t seen in the film, but here is the view from the opposite side of the bridge.

Here are some landmarks and signs for the bridge. You can see some of the fencing in the background, which is taller than it may appear here.

While it is permissible to fly drones at the bridge, the area is so windy, you’ll almost certainly lose your drone immediately if you attempt to fly one. We don’t recommend trying it. There is a parking lot available on one side of the bridge and a rest area on the other side, making it easy to access on foot. The drive to get there is the hardest part.

Later in the film, Micky and Mallory are finally captured at the “Drug Zone” after being bitten by rattlesnakes and in need of medicine.  The building is currently a crafts store and can be found in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Aside from the sign and some changes to the front entrance, the building otherwise still resembles how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 9350 Eagle Ranch Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114

A standoff between Micky and the cops ensues out front and after surrendering, Micky is then beaten by the police, as they try to prevent a film crew from capturing it.

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Here’s a look from inside the store, in the general area where Micky exits and surrenders.

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Related articles: U Turn (1997)

Breaking Bad

In the wake of the popular television series “Breaking Bad,” it’s difficult to even mention the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico without thinking of the show.  Albuquerque plays a central role in the series and there’s a vast array of filming locations scattered all across the city.  Here, we’ll take a look at those, as well as a some props and even a pop-up set.

First, we begin with one of the more notorious film locations; the Walter White house.  Beyond the notoriety of the house within the show itself, the real home has it’s own reputation, due to the sometimes adversarial owner.  While most of the time it’s fine to visit properties once seen in films or TV shows, on occasion, property owners of these locations are not receptive to visitors.  While that’s not exactly the case with the Walter White house, the owner could be considered particular to the acceptable ways in which visitors approach her home.  This is not without reason, however, as some past guests have abused their visiting privileges, by doing things like trespassing into their back yard, while others have even gone as far as throwing pizza on her roof, in a distasteful attempt to parody a famous scene from the show.  The pizzas in particular escalated to the point where series creator Vince Gilligan himself had to publicly denounce these acts and tell fans to stop doing it.  That’s not to mention the sheer volume of guests that visit the house, which was said to be dozens per day at the height of the show’s popularity.  So while there’s seemingly no harm in looking at a house, it is nevertheless understandable if the property owner has developed a low tolerance for intrusive visitors.  Since the show ended, the owners have made a habit of opening their garage up each day and sitting in front of the house, from dawn to dusk.  It isn’t often you’ll visit the property in the daytime where the owners won’t be perched out front.  They also installed cameras around the house, posted a “no trespassing” sign and erected a steel gate at the front door, in an effort to curb the repeated trespassing issues.  While the owner of the house can be friendly, she has also had some verbal altercations with visitors, if she feels they are being intrusive.  All of this, however, is not to say visitation is discouraged.  The owner has stated she does not mind fans of the show stopping by and taking photos, as long as they remain on the opposite side of the street and do not disturb them.  While one can make a valid argument that it’s perfectly legal to walk right up to the curb in front of the house and take a photo, doing so will likely provoke the ire of the homeowners, so please respect their wishes if you intend on visiting the property and you’re unlikely to encounter any issues.

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LOCATION: 3828 Piermont Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111

Jesse Pinkman’s house requires a bit less discretion when visiting, as we are unaware of any animosity between the owners and fans of the show.

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LOCATION: 322 16th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM, 87104

Agent Hank Schrader’s house is located in this cul de sac.

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LOCATION: 4901 Cumbre Del Sur Ct. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111

Next we take a look at the infamous “Los Pollos Hermanos,” the restaurant owned by criminal mastermind Gus Fring.  Here we have photos from both the real location (a restaurant named “Twisters”), as well as a pop-up replica of the restaurant, which was used to promote “Better Call Saul.”  First, lets look at the actual location in Albuquerque, called “Twisters.”  There are a few of these restaurants in the area, so be sure if you plan to visit, you go to the one on Isleta Blvd, in order to see the location used in the show. The location also resurfaces in “Better Call Saul.”

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LOCATION: 4257 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105

The counter inside at the real location, which features a small “Los Pollos Hermanos” sign.  You can also sit and eat at the table Walter White sat in, if it isn’t already occupied by another customer.

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This is a “Los Pollos Hermanos” logo painted inside the real Twisters location, on the wall beside the entrance door.  This was added by the “Breaking Bad” production and the restaurant allowed it to remain up.  They are very welcoming to fans of the show.

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Now we move on to what is a pop-up replica of “Los Pollos Hermanos,” which was built on an open parking lot space in Los Angeles for just a few short days, in promotion of “Better Call Saul.”  These are not photos of the real restaurant and the pop-up has long since been dismantled.

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A “Los Pollos Hermanos” restaurant sign built for the pop-up.

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Visitors to the pop-up were given a complimentary order of french fries and a cup of water, both bearing the “Los Pollos Hermanos” name.

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A mock application form was also given out to visitors of the pop-up.

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Back in Albuquerque and to the real show locations, here is a look at the office of Saul Goodman.

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LOCATION: 9800 Montgomery Blvd., Albuquerque, NM 87111

A few businesses have come and gone from the location since the show aired, but the current restaurant actually has their front door made up to look like Saul’s office.

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The Whites’ car wash.

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LOCATION: 9516 Snow Heights Cir. NE, Albuquerque NM, 87112

Tuco’s headquarters, which is left in bad shape after a visit from Walter.  The real building is actually a coffee shop.

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LOCATION: 906 Park Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM, 87102

This is Walt and Jesse’s RV from the show, which can be seen as part of the Sony Pictures Studio Tour in Culver City, California.  The show had 2 identical RVs for filming, one of which actually was destroyed on the show.  This is the only remaining RV from the production.

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Walter White’s vehicle from the show is also on display at the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.

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Next up are some props from the show, also seen on the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.  Included are Gail’s lab notes, Walt’s missing person flier, the stuffed animal that falls into Walt’s pool and much more.

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Last, but not least, we leave you with a couple of Bryan Cranston’s costumes from the show.  First up, this Heisenberg outfit can be found on display on the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.

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Another of Walter’s outfits can be found on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Related articles: Better Call Saul