Everybody knows that there’s been a huge boost in films about Boston or set in Boston, within the last 15-20 years. And let me just say, I love it. Can’t get enough of ’em. I can get enough of the depicted Boston accents in them though… Damn, we should’ve done a Friday (Least) Favorites: Boston Accents in TV/movies (looking at you, wife in Ray Donovan). Oh well, next year for sure. Anyways, accents aside, these are 8 pretty great flicks set in Boston. And although set and centered around Boston, I opted to leave off the comedies Celtic Pride, Fever Pitch and TED. No real reason behind doing so, I just find it harder to compare comedies with other genres of movies, like dramas or action movies.
Here we go, in order, my Favorite Boston Movies:
8. Friends of Eddie Coyle
There’s some story about my grandfather taking my grandmother to see this movie in theaters and she walked out halfway through because of the cursing in it. Kinda funny to me. Relatively unknown to my generation, but it’s worth watching if you’re looking for another Boston movie.
7. Boondock Saints
Even though it’s #4 on my list of Favorite Movies to Watch Around St. Patrick’s Day, it drops to #7 on this list. I’ve said it before, but this movie really has a cult-like following. It’s got action, comedy, crime, good characters and a decent story which holds up nicely, but perhaps it’s the local relevance that draws my attention best.
6. Mystic River
Spawn of the Dorchester native Dennis Lehane’s book by the same name. A kind of haunting drama about three friends who have drifted apart since childhood but local crime intertwine them once more. Absolute all-star cast.
5. Gone Baby Gone
Another Lehane novel-turned-movie, which have been nothing but hits. AND another great Affleck appearance. Casey, that is. Similar to Mystic River, this one is also pretty gut-wrenching, with scenes that are disturbing enough to make you look away. The ending has been a topic of debate since it’s release and I’ve known people on both sides of the argument, who stand firmly in their beliefs.
4. The Town
It looks like my favorites are being ranked by date of release, and I don’t know how to explain that. The Town is a classic Boston crime movie, with sort of true aspects. It’s tense, action-packed and pretty well written. I know some people could do without the Fenway part, but it really didn’t bother me. Here’s one of my favorite scenes…
3. The Fighter
I’m sure everybody knows this one about local boxer Mickey Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg. But Christian Bale really steals the movie, wicked convincing as Dicky Eklund, Mickey’s older half-brother. Something I appreciate a lot about The Fighter is the very realistic boxing scenes. Not that the Raging Bull or the Rocky’s are unrealistic, but this one might be the best in terms of actual fight scenes.
2. The Departed
What can I possibly say about The Departed? Just an all around perfect movie. Anyone who knows me, knows just how much I love this and knows I can and sometimes do quote it on a daily basis.
I could write forever about it, but I’ll leave that to #1…….
Just kidding, this movie is awful. But the kind of awful where you gotta see it to really know what I’m talking about. (Hopefully nobody noticed I’ve used this joke already).
1. Good Will Hunting
I remember the first time I watched Good Will Hunting. I was a sophomore in high school, and had watched a little bit of it over a friends’ house one night and needed to finish it the next day. I remember thinking how much I liked it then, but how young was I to really enjoy and appreciate movies? Yet it instantly became one of my favorite movies of all time and still holds true today.
Not that I can relate very much, but but as someone who grew up and still lives in Dorchester, I can appreciate Will’s attachment to the neighborhood. It’s about city-life, surrounded by working class people. You think about how much others have sacrificed for you and expect to live your life in the only surroundings you know. While you want to better yourself, you make reasons why staying in that environment was fine for those before you and will be fine for you. As we read yesterday, it can be tough for anyone to leave the place they call home, and people they love, even if it means bettering their life in some way.
I’d say most people’s favorite scene would be the “how you like them apples” line or any of the other funny one-liners. But mine is actually the part where Will (Matt Damon) and Sean (Robin Williams) are sitting in the Public Garden and Sean gives a whole speech on topics like women, art, war and love. He basically acknowledges and shoots down what Will would say on each matter, because Will has never experienced them himself, all he has is what he has read. Such a great scene in a movie that has too many to name, all of which make up why it is my Favorite Boston Movie.