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The Town

A 2010 movie directed by Ben Affleck.

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4.5/5 Get Lost in The Town

  • Dec 3, 2010
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 movie's shortcomings.  It can be a little tough to really get into that for those who don't thrive on character development.  And even for those who do some of it can be a little heavy handed.

Affleck also stars in the film.  He plays Doug MacRay.  A guy who works with a bunch of criminals to rob banks in Charlestown, Boston.  Charlestown is known primarily as "The Town."  One member of his team, James (played extremely well by Jeremy Renner) is disturbingly hostile.  During one bank robbery James takes one of the bankers hostage.  Her name is Claire (Rebecca Hall) and the event traumatizes her.  Doug and his gang decide that someone should watch her in case she goes to the cops or something.  Or finds them out.  Doug watches her, and eventually begins to associate with her and fall in love.  Helping her slowly forget the pain and trauma of being a hostage.  Just the same, she helps Doug to realize that he doesn't want to lead this life of crime forever. 

Meanwhile a cop (Jon Hamm) is on the trail, piecing it all together and getting ready to bust Doug, James and everyone they work with.  As soon as they can prove it.  It all boils down to how badly Doug wants to escape his crime life.  But that means leaving The Town forever.  With or without those he's closest to.

What makes The Town noteworthy is just how well captured some of its more emotional moments are.  It's "R" rating mostly comes from coarse language rather than coarse violence (but make no mistake the film is violent too, particularly the climax).  But the heart comes mostly from the characters.  We grow to like Doug.  Even pity him.  To the point where we are worried what will happen should Claire discover just who he really is.  In spite of his crimes you actually do want to root for Doug.  We also learn just how close he is to James.  So much so he considers James a brother.  And as we learn more about James we discover he's probably the one holding Doug back while Claire offers him a chance to move on... a chance for redemption.  It's an amusing dilemma, one that might get your attention.

Some of it is a little heavy-handed.  There are moments we learn a bit much about the characters in scenes designed for specifically that purpose.  Going into Doug's past is amusing, but do we really have to dig so deeply into Claire's?  I understand she's a major character but it isn't necessary to learn her life story.  Likewise, or someone who is supposed to be so close to Doug, we don't learn quite as much about James as you'd think.  His backstory is a little more scattered.  The good news is that Jeremy Renner plays him so well that at the very least you don't notice you haven't learned much about him aside from one large portion of backstory that's important. 

The movie isn't too long, it just has moments that can be a little stretched.  The good news is even the superfluous conversations can be very interesting because the dialog is great!  There are hardly any laughs but a lot of the dialog is quick, snappy, to the point and filled with character.  You probably won't mind some of those long drawn out conversations because they're done so well.  And there are moments when Affleck is meticulous to make sure the Audience sees exactly what he wants them to see.  He pays particular attention to James's tattoo and also shows us how the police discover just who Affleck and the gang is.

The are some action sequences but the movie is a drama through and through.  The climax is amazingly emotional and there is a really awesome care chase thrown in there, but if you're looking for action you're not really going to get it from The Town. 

It is, for the most part, a really good film.  Ben Affleck is showing that he can direct and produce a good movie.  He even shows that he can act in spite of making some poor career choices in the past.  The Town is worth seeing, even if little bits and pieces of it are a little stretched.  If character driven drama is what you want then The Town does deliver.

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December 03, 2010
exceptional review and great observations. This was one of those movies that I know was predictable but the direction, characters and the acting kept it together and the final product was compelling and smooth. I really liked this movie, I am waiting on the Bluray for sure.
December 20, 2010
I just re-watched this on BD and I liked it more with the extended scenes. This has one of the best gun battles ever filmed recently.
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 . May 02, 2011
I so badly wanted to love this movie, but all I did was like it. I was also kind of wary because I know the history Ben Affleck has with movies (especially with his amount of razzie nominations) and I wasn't even aware of the existence of Gone Baby Gone until this movie was released. The Town definitely shows that what Ben Affleck doesn't know about acting, he certainly knows about directing, and this proves that Ben is a director to be reckoned with. Despite odd and slow pacing and a somewhat …
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 . October 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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, …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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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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