This is why the historic city of Boston has become a popular location for some of the most memorable films in the history of cinema.
As a city that has appeared in several films and television series, Boston has a long and rich history. That’s perhaps not a surprise, given some of the city’s most well-known landmarks. Despite the fact that it can’t claim to be the city that never sleeps, it has earned its spot in Hollywood.
On a list of Boston-based movies, you might be startled by some of the choices. If you’re a local and happen to notice something familiar, you may not recognize it. Whatever your thoughts on the subject, we’re here today to discuss the top ten Boston-centric films. We’ll go one step farther and order them based on their IMDb scores.
1. Gone Baby Gone (2007) – 7.6
Gone Baby Gone tops our list of great Boston movies. This film, which has a respectable IMDb score, is a fan favorite since it is set in Boston.
Two detectives are sent in to investigate the kidnapping of a little girl in Boston. Everyone engaged in this case, especially the two lead detectives, had to deal with the emotional toll of such a crime. Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and Casey Affleck star in Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone. The film also features a large cast of other well-known actors.
2. The Town (2010) – 7.5
The Town is next on the must-see list. This film was well-received and received high marks on IMDb, earning it the ninth spot on our list of the top Boston movies.
For The Town, the story revolves around an experienced criminal who has developed love for a bank manager due to his involvement in a prior crime. As if that weren’t enough, the FBI is closing in on its prey. Ben Affleck directs and stars in yet another Ben Affleck film, this time starring Rebecca Hall and Jon Hamm (and many others as well).
3. The Boondock Saints (1999) – 7.8
This list of Boston movies wouldn’t be complete without The Boondock Saints, which has an impressive IMDb rating. Despite the fact that this film has a devoted following of admirers who would gladly argue its case for a higher ranking.
After moving to Boston, two brothers from Ireland become vigilantes because of the criminal underworld that has damaged their lives on a regular basis. For many, this is a brutal and oddly pleasurable film. It starred Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and David Della Rocco and was directed by Troy Duffy (and many more). Almost ten years after the original’s release, a sequel titled The Boondock Saints II: All Saints’ Day was released in 2009.
4. Manchester By The Sea (2016) – 7.8
According to IMDb, Manchester By The Sea is the next film to be added to the list. It’s a great movie set in Boston, and it’s been getting a lot of buzz since it came out in 2016.
An uncle is compelled to step up and take care of his nephew in Manchester By The Sea, even as he struggles with his own depression and other challenges. It’s a deeply moving story that touched a nerve with a lot of people. Manchester by the Sea, starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, and a host of other brilliant actors and actresses, was directed by Kenneth Lonergan and released in 2015.
5. The Fighter (2010) – 7.8
The seventh film on this list is The Fighter, which received an excellent rating on IMDb and earned it a slot on this list. With a focus on the boxer Micky Ward, this drama takes place in Boston and follows him as he strives to surpass his legendary brother’s legacy. I think it’s worth highlighting that this story is based on an actual one, which adds so much to the experience for some viewers.
With a stellar cast including Mark Walhberg, Amy Adams and Christian Bale, The Fighter was directed by David O. Russell and released in 2015.
6. Mystic River (2003) – 7.9
Because on its IMDb rating, Mystic River is next on our list. In the wake of the death of an ex-daughter, con’s two independent investigations were initiated. The homicide detectives are on the other side. And on the other side, the ex-convict and his companions, who are looking for retribution and understanding for the events that took place. And did we mention that it was all set in the city of Boston?
Mystic River, starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon, is one of Clint Eastwood’s best directorial efforts to date, and one of the best films he has ever made.
7. Shutter Island (2010) – 8.1
Because of its IMDb rating, Shutter Island is next on our list of Boston movies to watch. While investigating the mysterious disappearance of an American murderess in 1954, an FBI agent is compelled to confront his deepest personal demons.
Martin Scorsese directed Shutter Island, which included an all-star cast. Many famous actors and actresses are featured in this engrossing psychological thriller, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, and Mark Ruffalo.
8. Good Will Hunting (1997) – 8.3
The IMDb rating of Good Will Hunting places it second on the list. There are times when it’s easy to lose track of where a movie is taking place because of how overpowering the story itself is. A film like Good Will Hunting falls within this category.
Even though Will Hunting is a genius, he chose to live an unconventional life. Until he realized he couldn’t keep his talents a secret any longer, he wanted to work as a janitor at MIT. After that, his life took a dramatic turn for the better. Robin Williams, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck feature in Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting.
9. The Departed (2006) – 8.5
In our ranking of the best Boston movies, The Departed, a definite fan favorite, takes the No. 2 spot, and it’s for good cause.
There are Irish gangs in South Boston, and this version of Infernal Affairs has an undercover cop and a mole snooping around, all the while trying to keep their identities secret. It’s a challenge that’s easier said than done, and one that merits its own film. Martin Scorsese directed The Departed, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson, to name just a few of the actors.
10. Spotlight (2015) – 9.1
Last but not least, thanks to its excellent IMDb rating, Boston makes it onto our list of great movies. With its Boston setting, this is an ideal choice for this list.
Spotlight is based on the true story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church’s infamous cover-up of child molestation within the church. Tom McCarthy directed Spotlight, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams, among others.