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The Town

A 2010 movie directed by Ben Affleck.

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My Bank Gets Robbed in 'The Town'

  • Oct 5, 2010
Pros: cinematography, scenery of Boston, accents

Cons: unlikable characters, unrealistic

The Bottom Line:

Ben Affleck will never live like common people.

I’m not opposed to rooting for the bad guy. Really, I’m not! There have been some very likable villains in the great history of cinema. Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is simply not one of them.

MacRay and his buddies are bank robbers from Charlestown, Mass., a blue-collar section of Boston that is becoming yuppie-fied. Worlds collide when MacRay’s crew, which includes Jem (Jeremy Renner), Gloansy, and Desmond rob Cambridge Savings Bank in Harvard Square and take Claire (Rebecca Hall) as a hostage.

The robbers begin to worry that Claire is going to talk to the FBI, so Doug begins stalking her to find out what she knows. In the meantime, they begin a romantic relationship. But the two have no chemistry, and I just didn’t buy it.

While it’s understandable that Claire is initially attracted to Doug because he’s not like the other guys she dates, it seems unrealistic that she would continue seeing him after a dozen or so red flags. Affleck, with his Cambridge-rich-kid guilt, hits us over the head with the class implications of this relationship. Sure, most middle class girls date bad boys at some point in their lives, but this seemed extremely unrealistic. Once the FBI got involved, I think Claire would have come to her senses. She's not that crazy.

Affleck tries to build sympathy for his character by showing that he’s had a rough life, but I didn’t feel that his good qualities outweighed the bad. And the violence that Doug and his crew inflict is not justified. They’re just thugs.

If Doug, Jem, and the rest of his crew had clever techniques a la Ocean’s 11 or were stealing from other bad guys, the viewer might hope they’d succeed. But, to use a Bostonian word of the moment, because Doug is such a douchebag, I just wanted him to get caught. Plus, the handsome Jon Hamm* is the FBI guy on the case, so obviously I wanted the feds to win.

So, is there any reason to see The Town? Well, the accents are decent compared to most Boston movies, so it’s realistic in that sense. And the cinematography and attention to detail are impressive — Affleck does love his hometown. It was cool to see places where I hang out. I have gone to the ATM many times at the bank that gets robbed in the opening scene. But ultimately, Affleck seems to care a lot more about showing aerials views of the Zakim Bridge and careening around the narrow streets of the North End than writing realistic dialog or an original story.

* Don Draper from Mad Men is another example of a morally ambiguous character who is attractive to the viewer despite his flaws.


Movie Mood: Action Movie
Viewing Method: Other
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Plot

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January 09, 2011
I agree. Claire is just plain stupid! ;-)
December 28, 2010
Great review! I was actually going to see this movie but, something (intuition?) always kept me back. It was obviously for the best! Thanks for saving me some time and money :)
January 09, 2011
Don't bother. It's not worth it ;-)
More The Town reviews
review by . September 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Good Direction and Characters 'MAKE
Ok….last time I saw Ben Affleck on camera was when I saw the romantic drama “He’s Just Not That Into You” but my memory is forever tainted with memories of him playing opposite J-Lo in the movie “Gigli“ (which I haven‘t seen up to this day). I was never “pro-Affleck” nor was I an “anti-Affleck”; however, I do know that he has some storytelling skills as he co-wrote “Good Will Hunting” and despite several plot missteps …
review by . December 28, 2010
Let's get one thing out of the way, lest I upset the Affleck fanboys: The Town is not a good movie. And not just because the trailer looked interesting but completely misled the audience. I'm glad they gave Victor Garber a job, even briefly, since he'd probably be behind on his rent otherwise (and we know from Pretty Woman what happens then).   In case you don't know, it's about a bank robber doing "one last job" as a romance develops with a woman - previously …
review by . January 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Boo to Affleck!
The story is about robbers and robberies in Charlestown. The premise that the story is based on is not a healthy one; at least for me it is not.       Now, if I had been robbed and saw with my own eyes my colleague being hit in the head (and possibly died from it too) and then to be taken as a hostage, I'd have undergone an experience where I need to see my psychiatrist with immediate effect!            And yet, 4 days later, Claire …
review by . November 09, 2010
With GONE, BABY, GONE, Ben Affleck announced himself as a very capable director. It was a riveting film (even if it had some rather melodramatic turns…more the fault of author Dennis Lehane), and showed an excellent feel for working with actors. With THE TOWN, Affleck has stepped up his game another notch.    Very little that's truly new happens in THE TOWN. It tells the story of a small band of bank robbers, the cop who seeks them, and how the leader of the gang wants to get …
review by . December 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
When Ben Affleck's acting career began to go down the toilet he found a new calling when he directed Gone Baby Gone.  Directing.  If there was one thing we all discovered about Ben Affleck, it was that he was a competent director who knows what he's doing.  The Town shows that there are times when he can be rather meticulous.  The Town is a good movie in many respects, mostly because it focuses on characters more so than anything else.  That's also one o the …
review by . April 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A neighborhood in Boston called Charlestown is well known because it has the most number of armed robbers in the U.S. Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), Albert 'Gloansy' Magloan (Slaine), and Desmond Elden (Owen Burke) are all robbers living in this neighborhood. Doug and James are like brothers to each other, as the Coughlin family basically took Doug in since his mother died when he was young. The four together are very succesful bank robbers; however, one bank …
review by . December 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
2 1/2 Stars: this is not the town for me
Ben Affleck has never had it easy in Hollywood  he has had one of the roughest  careers of any actor I know and yet even tough times have been rough for him he always finds some way to bounce back  into the  limelight  and restore his image. In 2006 Affleck revived his fledgling career  with a Golden Globe nominated turn in Allen Coulter’s directorial debut "Hollywoodland"(2006) which had Affleck playing a washed up actor  named George Reeves(the …
review by . April 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
When looking for a good heist film I also try to look for something that will either have me on the edge of my seat or something strong actors that the characters keep me entertained.  The Town is a film that gives you a handful of shining moments with it's characters and just enough suspense and action to keep you from walking out of the theater.      I will admit that the film does achieve it's goal of entertaining an audience, because I truly was entertained.  …
review by . April 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
      THE TOWN      When this film was first released I was all kinds of excited since I am a huge Jeremy Renner and a Ben Affleck fan as well. Add in that not only do I like those two as actors but I thought Affleck's first film "Gone Baby Gone" was great. So needless to say that we [my little group of friends and such] really wanted to see this movie and were excited about it. Of course we loved it but I must say that this DVD/Blu-Ray combo …
review by . April 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, “Gone Baby Gone,”  starred his baby brother and the city of Boston, one of the few settings in recent movies that can almost function as a character.  I loved that movie; so much that I made it my number 1 film of 2007.  So imagine my excitement when I found out that Affleck was directing another crime drama set in his hometown.   And that it had Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Hall in it.  I needed a cup to catch …
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About this movie


The Town is a 2010 action crime thriller film starring, co-written and directed by Ben Affleck that is based on Chuck Hogan's novel Prince of Thieves. The film opened in theaters in the United States on September 17, 2010 to rave reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a "Certified Fresh" rating with 94% positive critical reviews.

The motion picture is one of a number of films set in Boston, Massachusetts over the past decade that have formed a "sub-genre" of crime movies, including Affleck's own Gone Baby Gone.

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Director: Ben Affleck
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 17 September 2010 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Ben Affleck, Peter Craig
Runtime: 123 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
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