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Gone Baby Gone

A movie directed by Ben Affleck

< read all 11 reviews

Solid in most of the good ways, a bit predictable

  • Apr 14, 2008
Rating:
+4
Pros: The story and plot are really good, the acting good, the pacing is great

Cons: Nothing really stands out, but it lacks something intangible from being 5 stars

The Bottom Line: A solid interpretation of a complex plot. Without reservation, it is worth the time.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

Ben Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel by the same name is solid but not spectacular and is a victim of timing.

In a dangerous neighborhood on Boston’s south side a four-year old girl, Amanda, disappears. Though the police are doing all they can, Amanda’s aunt Bea (Amy Madigan) and uncle Lionel (Titus Welliver) hire private detectives Patrick Kinsey (Casey Affleck) and his girlfriend/associate Angie (Michelle Monaghan to augment the police investigation. Apparently by Boston law, the police are obligated to share information they find with private investigators and vice versa. I will state the obvious anyway—this will lead to some interesting twists.

The investigation points to a kidnapping in lieu of money owed a drug dealer. Amanda’s mother Helene (Amy Ryan) is a heavy drug user and sometime mule for her dealer. The police, Patrick, and Angie get involved in a swap of the girl for the cash. Things go horribly wrong.

Not too long after this a 7 year old boy goes missing. Following leads, Patrick and the police involved in the Amanda case--Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton)—come to help as the lead becomes more and more credible.

Gone Baby Gone is a layered glazing. If I say too much the muddy picture becomes too clean too fast and ruins the effect. I will say that the plot alone is reason enough to watch the film.

Directors with more films to their credit have signatures, so it is very difficult to determine whether this is or will be true for the older Affleck. The camerawork was good but not great; the best and worst thing I can say is that it never gets in the way. His choice of action and character development are predictable, but this doesn’t cause any problems, it just locks Gone Baby Gone into the multiple storyline with red herrings aplenty genre.

The acting was generally good, but the accents were terrible. Casey Affleck seemed out of his usual element in that he was surprisingly good. Amy Madigan also stood out despite her role being small. Morgan Freeman (who plays the chief of a division devoted to crimes against children) is his usual stellar self. Everyone else was good but no one else stood out.

I say the film is a victim of time because 3 years before, Sean Penn directed the very successful Mystic River about a child missing from a dangerous neighborhood in Boston’s south side. Mystic is a stronger story, so if watched back to back Gone Baby Gone may not register in the slightest. If you have seen Mystic then you will have to cut Gone some slack; if you have not seen the earlier film, then this one will still be fresh.

Either way, the film is worth the time spent.

Recommended:
Yes

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December 23, 2010
Great review but didn't Clint Eastwood direct Mystic River
 
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More Gone Baby Gone reviews
review by . April 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Amy Ryan shines and there are some fine piece parts...but there also are a lot of
Gone Baby Gone drops more F-bombs than dogs in a public park drop pooch poop. That's only part of the problem with this movie, which contains within a lot of wrapping a clever, complicated mystery. Scattered throughout the movie also are what seem to be endless "acting" moments for every featured actor, a style of self-aware directing that spills over onto some of the actors' performances, plus enough social sermonizing to keep even Sean Penn happy.       …
review by . August 11, 2010
The right thing
Based on a novel by Dennis LeHane. With Ben Affleck, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Morgan Freeman.      A little girl disappears from her run down Boston neighborhood, where Patrick Kenzie grew up and, now in his thirties, has never left. He and girlfriend Angie Gennaro live and work together, and life is good. When this pair of private investigators are asked to find the missing child, they reluctantly agree. But things don't go as hoped. And when Patrick finally uncovers the …
review by . November 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
A good neo-noir that will boggle you, while at the same time blow you away
This movie is what you call a can't miss movie it has all the makings of a great film and let me be say that it is a great crime film at that, probably one of the best since Street Kings and Narc. It's execution and style almost borders on Noir and it does so with oh so much style and grace. Ben Affleck proves that he's as good a director as he is an actor and screenplay writer. Ben Affleck surpasses his previous screenplay which he won the Oscar for( which was just as good here) and …
review by . June 19, 2009
DVD
The story opens in a run-down section of Boston, where a 4-year old girl has been kidnapped. The police Captain (Morgan Freeman) isn't having any luck with the investigation, so the child's aunt hires two private detectives (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) to help. Their work takes them into a cruel world where life is very cheap.     This movie really surprised me. First off, it was a tense and scary detective story, but then it became a story about Right and Wrong, …
review by . November 15, 2008
This movie pulls no punches in revealing the dark sides of its characters, and the result is a gritty, compelling crime drama, with a surprise around every corner.     Casey Affleck (brother of Ben a.k.a. the Director of the movie, a.k.a. half of Bennifer 2) plays Patrick Kenzie, a low budget private investigator who specializes in finding missing people. His partner is his live-in girlfriend Angie, and the two are hired by the aunt of a missing girl to supplement the efforts …
review by . December 05, 2008
Pros: great cast     Cons: ...     The Bottom Line:   "Could it be it's the end of our world?  All the things that we cherish and love  Nothing left but to face this all on my own"  ~Iron Maiden         Despite the subject matter, Gone Baby Gone was quite a good movie.  Ben Affleck made his directorial debut for a major picture and brought along his little brother Casey for …
review by . September 08, 2008
Ben Affleck's directorial debut, based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Mystic River was pretty good to me. Affleck's direction is more than adequate. I'm sure he's aping Clint Eastwood's film version of Mystic River much of the time, and there's one scene that's way too reminiscent of Se7en, but he shows a lot of skill. He's great at capturing his hometown of Boston and the people who live there.     The story revolves around the investigation of a missing girl. Morgan …
review by . February 14, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
`Gone Baby Gone' is as unsettling as it is intriguing. Behind the headlines of child abduction, the movie is disturbingly real with events that develop naturally. As complicated as life itself, the film captures a mystery of tangled proportions.     Little four-year-old Amanda MacReady has been kidnapped from her Dorchester, MA home. We see private detective, Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) watching the latest breaking stories of her abduction on television with his girlfriend …
review by . February 13, 2008
Ben Affleck has written (with Aaron Stockard) a superb screenplay adaptation of Dennis Lahane's novel GONE BABY GONE and has proceeded to direct this tough tale with an ensemble cast of both well-known actors and unknown actors and walk-ons from the streets of the Boston area where they grisly story takes place. The result is a film so well tuned and realistic with a perfect sense of pacing and character development that it becomes a remarkable calling card for Ben Affleck's career as a director. …
review by . January 08, 2008
This is a confident and assured directing-debut for Ben Affleck. He has proven to be a good screenwriter (he co-wrote this one, as well as the Oscar-winning script to GOOD WILL HUNTING), but has been prett spotty as an actor. Sometimes his choices were poor and sometimes his performances too. He is obviously very intelligent and capable...but that doesn't always come through in his performances.     With GONE BABY GONE, filmed in Affleck's beloved and familiar Boston...he has …
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For his initial offering as director, Ben Affleck returns to the site of his first Oscar: South Boston. (He and Matt Damon shared the award forGood Will Hunting.) Hot on the heels of his moving turn inHollywoodland, Affleck's Dennis Lehane adaptation marks one of the more seamless actor-to-filmmaker transitions in recent years. Ostensibly, a procedural about the search for a missing child, class and corruption emerge as his primary concerns. First off, there's low-rent private eye Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck, equally adept inThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). Then there's the girl's drug mule mother, Helene (Amy Ryan,Before the Devil Knows You're Dead). She and Patrick grew up in Dorchester, but he took a different path, setting up an agency with his girlfriend, Angie (Michelle Monaghan). Helene's aunt, Bea (Amy Madigan), hires the duo to augment the investigation, and they team up with Captain Doyle (Morgan Freeman) and Detective Bressant (Madigan's husband, Ed Harris). The authorities don't appreciate the interference, but Patrick knows how to get the local populace talking, and he soon finds there's more to the story than anyone could possibly imagine. Hard-hitting, but never soft-headed, the evocative end result proves Affleck has a flair for this directing thing and that his little brother can carry a major motion picture with aplomb.Gone Baby Gonebelongs on the list of great Boston crime dramas, along ...
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Movies, Drama Movies, Action Movies, Dramas, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Ben Affleck Movies, Casey Affleck Movies

Details

Director: Ben Affleck
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: October 19, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Ben Affleck
DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 55min
Studio: Miramax
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