Jack Nicholson during "The Departed" New York City Premiere Sponsored by Belstaff - Inside Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Shawn Ehlers/WireImage for BWR Public Relations)

If you’re from here (or HE-yA) it’s not easy to pull off the most famous regional accent on the planet. Are these ABSOLUTE WORST BOSTON accents in the movies?

The world famous Boston accent has been used, abused and made fun of, in movies and television for decades. Some shows and movies have gotten it right, others, not.


As discussed last year here, our language is so famous, it’s been the inspiration behind countless Saturday Night Live skits. How about those famous Dunkin commercials? Remember Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch? He had to learn all about our wonderful vernacular, and he’s a Yankees fan. But, I’m sad to report, not every attempt to capture our accent in the movies and TV nailed it. In fact some of Hollywood’s biggest names, are the biggest FAILS, when it comes to the Boston accent.

When Do We Lose Our Accent? (Or Do We?)

That’s a great question. Some always retain a bit of the Boston-ese. If we’re together during the holiday’s listen carefully. You can hear me slip back into my childhood tone, as if I was with Mom at Joardan MAASH at Christmas. Sometimes, I bring a grinda, to work. (In Philly, they call it a hoagie.) Being from WISTA, it took me a few years, to loose the accent. But it comes back around the holidays, CUZ, I’m with my family, and the influence is OVA-powering.

The List

We have put together of some of the more famous attempts at Boston-ese in the movies and TV. Some are good, others, NOT so much. A few that made the list, you may not even remember seeing. It was probably for the best.

So, let’s go find the ABSOLUTE WORST BOSTON accents in the movies and TV! Maybe someday, Hollywood will hire us, to coach the stars!

  • The Good! Good Will Hunting

    These guys know their Boston accent. It’s almost as if we were there with them in the bar. This movie was so good, you forget Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are actors.

  • Good: The Departed-Mark Wahlberg-Alec Baldwin

    Mark Wahlberg IS BOSTON. It’s impossible for him to NOT sound like he’s from here. Alec Baldwin, on the other hand is not. But his accent was authentic enough to pass.  

  • Good: The Real Housewives of South Boston

    This frightfully authentic, and SO real. But yet, hysterically fun! I THINK these people are actors, but I’m not so sure. The line from a wife: “My husband is Marky Marks cousin and was an extra in the Funky Bunch video…I’m SO lucky….” is comedy gold. Which may be on his gold chain.

  • Good: The Fighter-Mark Wahlberg-Amy Adams

    Being from Wista, this scene feels very authentic to me. Wahlberg is a natural actor. He seems like the character he’s playing. Amy Adam’s is playing someone from Boston. Mark IS Boston.

  • BAD: Rob Morrow-Quiz Show

    This 1994 Robert Redford directed movie had everything right, in portraying a 1950’s TV show game show scandal. It was the first time we saw Hollywood crack open the door to behind the scenes cheating for ratings. Rob Morrow plays real life lawyer, Boston’s Richard N Goodwin, who investigates the accusation of game-show fixing. Richard was married to Concord’s own Doris Kearns Goodwin, who is a wonderful presidential historian. Because I enjoyed this movie, I’ll give Rob Morrow’s bad Boston accent a pass.

  • BAD: The Town-Blake Lively

    Not even close. Sorry Blake! But keep scrolling. We may have found one even worse!!

  • BAD! 13 Days-Kevin Costner

    Actually, this was a great movie, sharing the frightening 13 day period of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that challenged President John F. Kennedy. Bruce Greenwood played a convincing Kennedy, to me. But Kevin Costner’s portrayal of White House adviser Kenneth O’Donnell was held back by Costner’s weak New England accent. The real Ken O’Donnell  was born in Worcester. Costner never stood a chance!

  • BAD: The Departed-Jack Nicholson

    While everything Jack does is always great, his attempt at Whitey Bolger’s Boston accent falls short. Not that any of us has ever SPOKEN to Whitey, we can assume that he didn’t sound anything like The Joker. 

  • BAD: Fever Pitch-Jimmy Fallon

    I thought they got ALOT of this movie about the Red Sox, right. I especially loved the Lenny Clark 1970’s Fenway scene, where they digitally REMOVED all of the modern day Fenway advertising from the Green Monster. I also loved realistic batting practice scene with YAZ! But, Jimmy Fallon’s Boston accent fell short.

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