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12 Wicked Awesome Movies Set In Boston

April 09, 2018

12 Wicked Awesome Movies Set In Boston

Plenty of movies claim to be "about Boston" or "set in Boston", but all too many fall short with unconvincing Hollywood sets and ridiculous accents. The 12 films on this list are not only brilliant in their own right, they also manage to pay homage to the true spirit of Beantown.

1. Fever Pitch 

Who cares if Jimmy Fallon is actually a Yankees fan? In this 2005 romantic comedy that chronicles the Red Sox's 2004 championship season, his performance as an obsessed fan is more than convincing. 

The movie features several past and present players and many scenes were shot at Fenway during and after home games - including Opening Day.

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2. Good Will Hunting

This 1997 classic features a fresh-faced Matt Damon as brilliant MIT janitor, Will Hunting. The film was co-written by hometown boys Damon and Ben Affleck and also stars the late-great Robin Williams as Will's therapist and father figure.

The famous bench scene between Williams and Damon in the Boston Public Garden inspired fans to create an impromptu shrine on that particular bench with flowers, letters and gifts in the wake of Williams' 2014 death.

3. Patriot's Day

Dorchester native, Mark Wahlberg stars in this 2016 thriller that tells the harrowing tale of the 2013 marathon bombing and the resulting manhunt to capture the terrorists responsible.

The movie was filmed partially on location in Allston and featured real locals as extras.

4. The Departed

This dark, gritty film tells the story of an undercover cop infiltrating Boston's Irish mob and a devious mole within the police force attempting to protect a notorious crime boss.

According to IMDb:

Martin Scorsese wanted to shoot the film in Boston, where the story is set. The bulk of the film was shot in New York, partly due to concerns about setting up production and politics, partly because of New York's 15% filmmaking tax credit. They shot in Boston for 3 weeks in June and 3 more in August. After the success of this film, Massachusetts created a 25% tax credit for filmmaking.

5. The Fighter

The 2010 true story of Lowell-born boxing brothers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund is at turns heartbreaking, uplifting and hilarious. Eklund, once a great fighter known as the "Pride of Lowell," battles drug addiction to help his younger brother achieve glory.

The boxing gym where Micky trains in the film is the actual Lowell West End Gym, not a set. 

6. Gone Baby Gone

Based on a book by Boston-born author, Dennis Lehane, Gone Baby Gone tells the story of two private detectives hired to find a missing 4-year-old girl in the tough Boston neighborhood where they grew up.

Filmed entirely in the Boston area, the film features real local extras and landmarks like Murphy's Law bar and the Quincy Quarries.

7. Mystic River

Another harrowing Lehane novel-turned-movie, Mystic River is the karma-laced story of three childhood friends who have grown to lead very different lives. One is a crime boss, another a homicide detective, and the third, a damaged survivor of a childhood abduction that may or may not have led to murder.

Like Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River was filmed almost entirely on location in the Boston area, showcasing Dorchester, Charlestown, Chelsea and Jamaica Plain among others.

8. Spotlight

Winner of the 2015 Academy Award for Best Picture, Spotlight tells the shocking true story of the Boston Globe reporters who uncovered the massive child molestation cover-up within the Boston Catholic Archdiocese.

Several of the reporters who broke the story are themselves Roman Catholics.

9. The Town

The fictional tale of Charlestown bank robbers and lifelong friends planning their next score under pressure from the FBI and their own desire to take diverging paths.

Co-written and starring Boston boy, Ben Affleck, the film features shots of Fenway Park, Bunker Hill, Harvard Square and Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Casino.

10. The Verdict

This 1982 courtroom drama stars the iconic Paul Newman as a drunken lawyer hoping to redeem himself by fighting for justice in a medical malpractice case.

The film cleaned up at the 1983 Oscars, winning Best Picture, Best Actor for Newman, Best Supporting Actor for James Mason and Best Director, Sidney Lumet.

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11. Black Mass

Johnny Depp stars as the coldhearted head of Boston's Irish mafia, Whitey Bulger. Brother of a state senator, Bulger is Boston's most notorious criminal as well as an FBI informant and an elusive former fugitive.

The movie was filmed in the real Boston neighborhoods where the leader of the Winter Hill Gang wreaked havoc in the 70s and 80s including Bulger's apartment in Louisburg Square, where victims' bodies were found.

12. Manchester By The Sea

Casey Affleck leads the cast in this heartbreaking drama about a reclusive loner forced to face the ghosts of his past when his brother dies and he is named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew.

Shot in the gorgeous seaside village of Manchester-by-the-Sea and surrounding North Shore towns, the film scored Affleck the 2016 Oscar for Best Actor.


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