BOSTON - In the penultimate installment of this Boston movie countdown, we look now to the fourth and third best Boston movies ever made. And they might have some familiar faces in them, too.
4. Manchester by the Sea
Manchester by the Sea is not just a Boston film. It is a straight-up Massachusetts film. Filming locations for the 2016 Kenneth Lonergan drama included Salem, Essex, Gloucester, Lynn, Tewksbury, and many, many more towns in the Bay State. This helps New Englanders find some bit of comfort in the movie because, for the most part, it is an extremely tough hang. The story deals with heavy topics and morose themes. The performances from every actor are loaded with grief and loss and one cannot help but feel palpably sad when watching it.
The movie netted six Academy Awards nominations back in 2017, including one for Best Picture. Lonergan won for Best Original Screenplay and, in the lead role, Casey Affleck won Best Actor. His performance was astonishing, but it's Michelle Williams who truly stole the movie. Fortunately, she received a Best Supporting Actress nod, as well. If you ever feel like being bummed out, Manchester by the Sea is the film to pick. Don't be too swayed, though. It's a masterpiece, after all.
3. The Town
Speaking of Afflecks, The Town was brother Ben's directorial follow-up to Gone Baby Gone. However, Ben Affleck did more than direct The Town. He also contributed to the screenplay and starred as the film's lead. Based on the book Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan, The Town is the ultimate Boston heist movie because it follows the plan to rob Fenway Park, one of the city's most beloved cathedrals.
There are some heavy themes in The Town, as well, but for the most part, it is a kick-ass joy ride of a movie. Who doesn't love a good heist? And besides, rounding out the cast with Affleck is a who's who of impeccable character actors. Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Chris Cooper, Blake Lively, and more are all stunning. But the movie truly belongs to Jeremy Renner. There is no denying The Town's earned spot on the Mount Rushmore of Boston movies.
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