Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

10 wicked awesome movies based in Boston

Anyone from Massachusetts probably has some small amount of Boston pride. Many of whom tend to get a little excited when they find out that Hollywood filmed the next blockbuster in, or around, the city. So why not celebrate them with a list of 10 good movies that were filmed in the city known for the most epic tea rager in history?

“Shutter Island”

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or didn’t know, “Shutter Island” takes place in Mass. on an island off of the Boston coastline. Set in 1954, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an upcoming U.S. Marshal investigating the disappearance of an inmate at Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. Critics gave generally positive reviews to the mystery thriller and the movie has Leo which makes it instantly that much more awesome. What’s not to love? The movie is still in theaters so head down and check it out!

“Edge of Darkness”

Another recently released film, the movie stars Mel Gibson in his first leading role in seven years. Finally leaving his secret island fortress to star in a movie, Gibson plays Thomas Craven, a detective who works the streets of Boston. When his daughter is killed right outside his doorstep, Craven begins investigating the murder which leads him to discover a plot filled with corporate conspiracy. The Boston critics loved it and you should too.


No, this is not another movie about Spartan’s in Greece who wore muscles for body armor. This movie, filmed almost entirely in Boston, stars Val Kilmer as Scott, a U.S. secret agent, who is hired to recover the kidnapped daughter of a government official. Scott, who represents many of the characteristics of a Spartan warrior, eventually discovers a deeper plot that leads him on an action filled chase throughout Mass. It’s definitely a fun movie to watch if you like thrillers and action, although I can only imagine part of Kilmer’s ruthlessness in the role is because his character doesn’t have a last name.

“Gone Baby Gone”

“Gone Baby Gone,” directed by Ben Affleck and starring his younger brother Casey Affleck, is about the disappearance of a four-year-old girl from Dorchester. Reluctant private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro take the case and face the tough streets of Boston, facing drug dealers, gangs and the like in order to find the girl. A critically acclaimed emotional story, this one is a must see. Plus it also stars Morgan Freeman and his voice alone is reason enough to see a movie.

“Mystic River”

This Oscar winning film, directed by Clint Eastwood, follows the story of three childhood friends, Jimmy Markum, Sean Devine and Dave Boyle, who reunite during their adult years following the death of Jimmy’s daughter. Sean is the police detective on the case and Dave is one of the suspects in a plot that twist and turns in an incredibly moving story. Also, it’s in the city of Boston. Definitely a must see.

“Good Will Hunting”

In the only movie on this list not involving cops or criminals, this film is an Academy Award winner starring Robin Williams, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Will Hunting (Damon) is a janitor at MIT with an extraordinary ability for mathematics which could take him out of the blue-collar life he lives, if he was willing to leave his neighborhood and best friend. A brilliant movie with some very emotional scenes, this is another Boston-based must see film.

“The Friends of Eddie Coyle”

This gangster film from 1973 stars Robert Mitchum as Eddie Coyle, a Boston gangster as he is caught between ratting out his friends to avoid doing jail time and smuggling guns to bank robbers. Based on a true story, the film is gritty and digs into the dirtier side of Boston cops and robbers. One of the better realistic gangster movies out there, this is definitely worth a view.


Based on the true story of a bunch of MIT students who learn to count cards, go to Vegas, and make a ton of money while living it up. With Kevin Spacey as the professor who trains the students, this is an awesome flick for any college student who wants to know what they can do with math. Disclaimer: card counting is frowned upon and will get your knees broken by Laurence Fishburne.

“The Boondock Saints”

“The Boondock Saints” celebrates the story of two Irish brothers, living in Boston, who set out to rid the city of its criminal underbelly. This movie is surprisingly overlooked, having only a limited theatrical release and receiving generally poor reviews from critics. Yet despite this many have come to love the movie for its vigilante justice and stylistic action sequences and over the years it has developed a huge cult following. The critics can’t always be right.

“The Departed”

What would a list about Boston movies be without “The Departed,” one of Boston’s most celebrated crime thrillers? With four Oscars under its belt, including best picture, this movie has an all star cast with Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and DiCaprio. The movie follows two graduate officers from the Mass. State Police Academy and the officers trying to rid Boston of the Irish mob. This is a must see no matter where you’re from.

Tappan Parker can be reached at [email protected].

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    ConnorAug 15, 2012 at 12:11 am

    this was very helpful and was very thankful for this blog. had to say my thanks for this!