Ever since Matt Damon and Ben Affleck convinced the world that a janitor from Southie could do wicked hard math and, harder still, keep the Infinite Corridor spotless, Boston's movie star has shone bright. And because Hollywood is so slavish about realistic portrayals, everyone here is always drinking, frequently at well-known local watering holes. With that in mind, this 11-stop pub crawl from Cambridge to Southie hits all the spots you may or may not recognize from your favorite flicks.
Stop One: Good Will Hunting Kick things off in Harvard Square at the location where Matt Damon uttered perhaps his most famous line ever, but don't expect to like any of them hard apple ciders -- the scene was shot at a bar called the Bow & Arrow Pub on Mass Ave, which is now a Dunkin' Donuts. Fitting.
Stop Two: The Town For your first drink, head around the corner to Grendel's Den, a cozy, faux-fireplaced Harvard pub that once fought (and won) a landmark Supreme Court case to allow you the right to drink, and Ben Affleck the right to make his movies on the premises
Stop Three: The Social Network According to the opening scene of the movie, Mark Zuckerberg created what was essentially "Hot or Not" before eventually
stealing the idea for starting Facebook after getting dumped by his girlfriend at Inman Square Irish pub The Thirsty Scholar. Dodge the tourists as you cut across campus before strolling down Kirkland and banging a right on Beacon to get there
Stop Four: 21 After fittingly "Liking" the Scholar on FB, meander your way past brownstones and down tree-lined streets until you hit Central Square, where, assuming you can get by Erik at the door on Friday night, you'll recognize the The People's Republik -- a quintessential Soviet-themed neighborhood bar, if there is such a thing -- from its cameo in that movie about card-counting students from MIT
Stop Five: Fever Pitch At some point during this very hokey remade romantic comedy about a rabid Red Sox fan, Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon dine at Newbury Street's Sonsie. Catch the #1 bus down Mass Ave from Central, and you'll find their cocktails far more enjoyable than the movie
Stop Six: Ted As you're probably starting to get a bit famished, cut through the Pru and huff it over to iconic Columbus Ave greasy spoon Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe, where they've been serving patrons -- including Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane -- since 1927. Enjoy a brief respite from booze as you stuff yourself full of their award-winning eggs and turkey hash
Stop Seven: Knight and Day Yes, this movie did get made. And no, you probably didn't see it. But had you, you'd recognize the popular French bistro Gaslight Brasserie as the place where Tom Cruise kidnaps Cameron Diaz! Engage in a spirited discussion about Tom Cruise's filmography en route whilst enjoying a scenic walk through the historic South End
Stop Eight: Gone Baby Gone Hop the #9 bus to get from the South End to South Boston (finally!) and bask in the glow of the Ben-directed and Casey-acted Affleck thriller about the search for a missing girl from Dorchester, which boasts multiple scenes at local Summer Street dive Murphy’s Law.
Stop Nine: Good Will Hunting Look, you need to come full circle, so do yourself a favor and walk the eight blocks down L Street to grab a pint at the film's popular neighborhood bar, Southie's L Street Tavern.
Stop Ten: The Town It wouldn't feel right to discuss The Town without actually hitting Charlestown, so definitely use Uber or Hailo or the telephone to call a cab and head to Bunker Hill for a draught at the Irish drinking den known as Old Sully's, whose history stretches back to pre-Prohibition.
Stop Eleven: Mystic River Assuming you possess a Roger Ebert-like enthusiasm for movies and aren't passed out in front of the Charlestown Ninety Nine, hail one last cab and put the day to rest way across town at Jamaica Plain's Doyle’s Cafe, which opened in 1882 and has been featured in many a Hollywood blockbuster, and whose tap room was once described by director Clint Eastwood as "the perfect spot to shoot a bar scene"
Assuming 11 stops isn't enough, what other Hub movie bars would you add to the list? Maybe something from the Departed? Boondock Saints? Drop it in the comments below.