Hollywood actors – what a buncha hacks.

For the last however many years, the folks behind TV and film have tried their best to imitate the distinctive mating call of the Bostonian, and only a handful have ever come close to achieving something believable. Most that try are utter garbage, but it’s well appreciated when an actor takes the time to perfect the subtleties of a dropped R. Now, there’s plenty of debate about who falls on what side of the divide, and everyone from Complex to IMDb have given their two cents to the matter, but we got three Boston locals to answer it once and for all.

BDCwire staffers Jerard Fagerberg, Donald Rock, and Tyler Cumella hashed out this list of 10 popular Boston accents to see who is worth buying and who is worth selling. The answers weren’t unanimous, but it give us all plenty to argue about, and that in itself is a gift ’round these parts.

Sean Penn as Jimmy Markum
“Mystic River”
Jerard Fagerberg: This is an unpopular decision, but I’m buying. Fuck it. Penn went a little wild with the pitch, but Markum is a character. You gotta respect the dedication.
Donald Rock: I’m buying Sean Penn’s accent in “Mystic River” because he’s one of the few actors who doesn’t over-do the Boston accent and comes across as a somewhat believable Bostonian. He definitely doesn’t deliver the best Boston accent I’ve ever heard, but for a guy from LA, he passes in my book. Plus, winning an Academy Award for this role gives him a bit more credibility.
Tyler Cumella: Say what you want about Sean Penn, but he can act. Subtle enough with just the right inflection. No wonder he won an Oscar. Buy.

Melissa McCarthy as Shannon Mullins
“The Heat”
JF: McCarthy is a rare imitator of the Boston brogue in that she doesn’t overdo it. Maybe Detective Mullins is from the Metro West, eh? I’ll buy it.
DR: I’m not sure who exactly Melissa McCarthy was trying to impersonate in “The Heat,” but she doesn’t sound like anyone I’ve ever met in Boston. I’m going to sell her accent, but her performance is still hilarious, like always.
TC: F for no effort. McCarthy just sounds like her typical rough-around-the-edges persona. Barely any Boston accent to be heard at all. Sell

Jay Baruchel as Pat
JF: Baruchel’s Pat, from Orangetown MA, has such a despicable Boston accent that it’s painful. Not despicable like “it’s despicable that real people actually sound like this,” but despicable like “I can’t sell this hackneyed caricature fast enough.”
DR: Jay Baruchel captures the anger and pissed-off attitude of most Bostonians, but I’m going to sell the Canadian’s attempt at a Boston accent. Just saying, “Yeah? Go fuck yourself!” doesn’t instantly make you sound like a Bostonian.
TC: I give him a thumbs up. Not bad, not necessarily great, but almost appropriately cartoonish. Buy.

Amy Adams as Charlene Fleming
“The Fighter”
JF: Though Adams’ take on the local inflection isn’t nearly as convincing as Bale’s, I have to give it to her. It’s a bit of a reach, but Fleming’s voice reminds me of my buddy’s girlfriend from Stoughton, and I can buy that.
DR: Every now and again in “The Fighter,” Amy Adams sort-of almost sounds like a Bostonian. But for the most part, she sounds like she put no effort into her accent for the movie. I’m going to sell her accent because if she walked around Boston talking like the way she did in the movie, she would be spotted as a phony instantly.
TC: She’s got the goods. Her accent sounds like more than a few people I’ve encountered on the T post-Red Sox game. Buy.

Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett.
JF: Do actors consult Mark Wahlberg when they accept roles as Hub locals? They should. The guy nails it, every time, and his everyman John Bennett in “Ted” is an instant buy.
DR: Mark Wahlberg embodies Boston. I am undoubtedly buying the Dorchester native’s accent in “Ted” because he sounds like a majority of the Bostonians I pass while walking around the city.
TC: BUY. This one is kind of a cheat, since Wahlberg’s from the area, but I know a Boston accent when I hear one.

Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello
“The Departed”
JF: Nicholson’s Frank Costello is just so fuckin’ sinister, it could really be Whitey Bulger at the core. But he’s also just Jack Nicholson dropping his Rs. Sorry ol’ Jack, I’m selling, but you did much better than Vera Farminga, so there’s that.
DR: In “The Departed,” Jack Nicholson sounds way more like Jack Nicholson than someone from Boston. I appreciate his attempt at subtlety, but I’m selling his accent for his lack of resemblance to anything remotely real-life.
TC: This is similar to the Melissa McCarthy situation. Nicholson just sounds like his typically gravelly self here, which isn’t bad, but it doesn’t have that Boston magic. Sell.

Tom Hanks as Carl Hanratty
“Catch Me If You Can”
JF: Tom Hanks is simultaneously the best and worst actor ever. “Catch Me If You Can” is a great flick, but Hanks’ cartoonish take on Agent Hanratty is Razzie-worthy. Selling all day.
DR: Tom Hanks is an Oscar-winning actor, so it’s hard to bash him. However, none of those awards were won for his performance in “Catch Me If You Can.” Perhaps his atrocious and cliche attempt at a Boston accent is the reason why. Despite his attempt to overemphasize that his name is “CAHL,” I’m going to sell this cheesy accent.
TC: National treasure, Mr. Tom Hanks, should steer clear of any accent-heavy roles, because he certainly struggles with this one. It sounds like he studied cartoon portrayals of Boston accents, cleaned them up a bit, and we’re left with this misguided attempt. Sell.

Dan Castellaneta as Mayor Quimby
“The Simpsons”
JF: Mayor Quimby’s accent is, more accurately, a Kennedy accent than anything, but goddamn is it a good ribbing of Massachusetts’ First Family. I’ll buy that, America.
DR: I’ve been pretty tough on this list, but one Boston accent I’m buying is Mayor Quimby’s. All he needs to do is mumble his words a bit more, and I wouldn’t be able to tell if I was listening to a character from The Simpsons or Mayor Menino.
TC: You ALWAYS buy “The Simpsons,” especially when we’re talking about Mayor Quimby and his JFK inflections. This time around, it’s OK to be cartoonish.

Michelle Williams as Dolores Chanal
“Shutter Island”
JF: What the heck, I’ll buy it. Williams doesn’t give the most ambitious rendition of the Bay State affect here, but she takes it seriously. That’s more than most this list can say
DR: I would buy Michelle Williams’ Boston accent because it’s one of the most believable I’ve heard in a movie. Listening to her speak, I’m not sure if I’m watching the weird “Shutter Island” or if I’m in a restaurant in Medford.

TC: Michelle Williams is one of the greatest actresses of her generation, but phew, this is a stinker. Every time DiCaprio’s character has a flashback, I groan because I know I’ll have to sit through a scene of her mumbling about her children and whatnot. Sell.

Julianne Moore as Nancy Donovan
“30 Rock”
JF: What a piece of shit accent this is. If Moore’s goal was to be a parody, I’d be buying this, but Nancy Donovan’s accent is trying to be earnest. SELL.

DR: People say there’s not much Julianne Moore can’t do, but despite her being a BU grad, one of those things is a Boston accent. When I first heard her speak in “30 Rock” as Nancy Donovan, I thought she was purposely mocking Boston’s accents. It took me about four episodes to realize she wasn’t joking. I’m definitely selling her accent.
TC: No thank you. I love Julianne Moore and “30 Rock,” but she sounds like a Boston-based cartoon character being slowly butchered. Sell