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Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/www.freedigitalphotos.com

The Five Best Boston Movies of the Millennium

Boston has served as the setting of some of the coolest film dramas where suspense, crime and a generous dose of bloodshed has enthralled audiences across the globe. From 50s Oscar nominated crime drama ‘Mystery Street’ to the 1997 heartwarming flick ‘Good Will Hunting’, the city’s flair has defined the look, feel and authenticity of stories on the silver screen. Here is a look at five of the best Boston movies of the millennium.

The Departed : Martin Scorsese won his first Best Director Oscar with ‘The Departed’, which also took home the ‘Best Motion Picture’ gong at the prestigious award ceremony back in 2006. Deceit, lies, redemption and a bit of romance in a profanity-ridden and extremely catchy script make for a fast-paced adventure supported by some of the best actors of their generation, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen and the inimitable Jack Nicholson. The cat and mouse game between the Irish mob and the Boston police capture everything people love about Boston.

Mystic River : The sombre but riveting drama directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon as three friends whose lives are turned upside down by a tragedy, gives audiences a taste of the underbelly of Mystic River seaport. References to the Cantab lounge in Central Square notwithstanding, Mystic River paints a more haunting portrait of the city with its gripping story, powerful performances and superb direction by a Hollywood legend.

Gone Baby Gone : Based on the Dennis Lehane novel by the same name, Gone Baby Gone is one of the best whodunit movies in the last twenty years. Set in the historic Dorchester neighborhood, the crime thriller revolves around the disappearance of a four year old girl and the two investigators probing her case. The 2007 movie stars Casey Affleck with brother Ben in the director’s chair and an excellent supporting cast, including Amy Ryan, Morgan Freeman and Michelle Monaghan.

The Town : The 2010 movie set in the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown may have depicted it as the country’s bank robbery capital, but Charlestown locals will tell you it’s a close-knit community without the fear of robberies lurking around as dangerously as portrayed in the movie. Regardless of arguments, there is no denying that ‘The Town’ delivers fast-paced action, clever plots and engaging performances from Ben Affleck (also director), Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively and Rebecca Hall.

The Fighter : Starring Boston native Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in his Oscar-winning role, 2010’s autobiographical sports drama ‘The Fighter’ portrays the trials and tribulations of Lowell boxer Micky Ward and his family. Bale nails his Boston accent as Micky’s drug-abusing brother Dickie, and the critically-acclaimed movie’s Bostonian flair makes for a memorable experience.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/www.freedigitalphotos.com