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The Town

A 2010 movie directed by Ben Affleck.

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2 1/2 Stars: this is not the town for me

  • Dec 22, 2010

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 second and most infamous of all the actors who have ever played Superman). Who now has become a legend as one of California's most notorious mysteries (that is a story for another time). Affleck has always picked the wrong roles unlike his Oscar winning best friend who he and Damon both co-wrote the classic drama "Good Will Hunting" his career has never been as prestigious. Affleck has never given up no matter how many bad films he has made (and trust me there are many films that are just plain bad). However, just when things were looking grim for Affleck he bounced back in the best possible way he   went behind the camera and directed one of the best films of 2007, "Gone Baby Gone.” With "Gone Baby Gone " Affleck proved that  he  may not be the best actor of all time  but he certainly has what it takes to direct a motion picture, now four years later Affleck is back behind the camera to direct the dark horse sleeper hit of the year "The Town".

Ben Affleck's second directorial feature "The Town" is a stunning grand epic on an unimaginable scale, a film that shows that he[Affleck] has what it takes to make a film but not that he knows exactly how to choose his projects. "The Town" is an immensely well made and well executed film with high production values and well cast stars (including a surprising turn from Blake Lively). This heist thriller suffers from the lack of originality it does not introduce anything new or groundbreaking and sad to say this film, unlike Affleck's emotional directorial debut, has no emotional resonance to it. At some points, a messy film leaps from one point to another without stopping to think deeply about the cause or effect of what it is doing. Now don't get me wrong "The Town" is an excellent film a well-told thriller/drama that has amazing performances all around   but the fantastic performances from this fine cast are not enough to save this film from its dullness and clichéd story. The plot for this film is as standard as they come a career criminal(played  excellently by Ben Affleck ) is growing tired and weary of robbing banks with his team and his volatile best friend(Jeremy Renner in one of hid best performances) he wants out  his buddies don't. They want to keep on robbing until A.) The cops finally stop them or kill them or B.) They pull of there biggest heist yet and never have to rob another bank in there entire lives, now I know this sounds familiar. If you have seen "HEAT" than you know the story of "The Town,” you know how this film is going to end even before it starts and that, sadly to say, is one of the most disappointing parts of this film. It has unpredictability the greatest part about watching a film is not knowing how it is going to end, if you know already how a film is going to end then what is the point of watching it. "The Town" means well and it tries its hardest to be compelling drama/thriller but it lacks the propensity to go out and grab its audience by the throats and hold them there until the end. The only problem is is that it lacks that kind of appeal to it, it lacks the hard edged slick style of other heist films before it   however, what this  film lacks in originality it makes up with  taunt pacing(even if a little dull at some points) some scene of compelling drama and excellent performances. “The Town" is able to save itself from being a total lose and comes out one of the more impressive, if not all that enthralling, films of the years. 

I liked this, I liked this film allot just not as much as I was hoping. You see I was hoping that this film would be just like Ben Affleck's previous directorial effort   “Gone Baby Gone" a taunt, tense, smartly written piece of emotionally driven filmmaking that transcends its story, its plot, and its characters. This second film from gifted director Ben Affleck lacks the emotional resonance of his previous film is more focused on the action than on the characters, which causes this film to leave the audience high and dry emotionally. Although this film does make up for that with gritty action, high adrenaline situation such as the "Heat" inspired end heist  including a romance between Ben Affleck's character and Rebecca Hall's. This is an excellent movie the only thing that keeps it from being great is  its self reliance on  old plot devices, stock characters and a formulaic plot  hampers what could have been one of the best films of the year. This film settles to easily for average when it could have aimed a little higher and become great, "The Town" is good but not good enough.

Ben Affleck is not one of my favorite actors in fact I do not really like him all that much. You see Affleck has never been much of an actor he tries to take roles that he thinks fit his persona but all he does is come out making trash films that have no substance what so ever such as "Gigili", "Reindeer Games" and  many more. He is not as reliable as a leading man is, as a director he has proven that his real gift lies behind the camera as the man who work behind the scenes to make the movie happen. Affleck has proved this with "Gone Baby Gone" and now with his new Boston set crime drama/thriller "The Town.” Affleck's performance is typical Affleck slightly dull and bland the only difference in his performance is the fact that he is actually trying   but Affleck is still Affleck and is still a relatively untalented actor in ”The Town" he turns in a relatively quietly strong  performance  as Doug McCray. Affleck's character Doug McCray comes off as a rather intelligent quiet man, the kind of person you would not peg for being a career criminal let alone a Bank robber of the sorts. Affleck wisely down plays McCray he tries not to make him seem like a sympathetic criminal or a sympathetic anti-hero no, Affleck plays McCray like a man who has very little options in life and has taken up a career that is less illustrious. What I found most impressive about Affleck's performance is the fact that he is able to play Doug as such a low-key kind of person. Yet able to make him such an interesting presence on the screen Affleck turns in one of his best and most prominent performances in one of the less impressive films of the year the rest of the cast including Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, and Rebecca Hall. Blake Lively, Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite all turn in fine supporting performances in this gritty crime drama.

"The Town" is admirable, beautifully shot and excellently well-executed film that is definitely one of the darker films to come out this year but it is one of the more lackluster films to come out this year as well. This film lacks all the essential needs that are required in a picture of this caliber  originality, enjoyment and emotion I was not emotional invested in these characters I did not care what happened to them because truthfully I never really got to know them ergo I never cared what happened to them. The most surprising thing this film lacked a sense of enjoyment in what it was doing  the actors did not seem to enjoy themselves very much they did not seem to take much joy or pride in what they were doing. They just went through the numbers as usual that, to me, took me out of the story of this film. It left me high and dry when I should have been drowning in this film’s deep and vivid story sadly it does not. "The Town" is an excellently well-crafted film with smartly written dialogue and fine performances all around however, the lack of an original story or truly compelling drama and action leaves this heist thriller in the dust.

2 1/2 Stars: this is not the town for me

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December 23, 2010
EXCELLENT review although I actually loved this film, Renner has always been one of my favorite actors [maybe why I like it so much]. I have been following his career since his first film, you should check out the movie "Dahmer" about the serial killer, Renner plays Dahmer in that and did an amazing job.
December 23, 2010
Thank you very much. And I like Renner too he is a fantastic actor,did you hear he has been nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor for his performance in "The Town? That is an amazing feat after his Oscar nominated performance in "The Hurt Locker ". But sadly this film was far to cliched for me to actually like it and the fact that it had stock characters and an un-original plot did not help this film at all. It was good but it could have been so much more.
December 23, 2010
wow! I admit this movie was quite cliched but I liked the delivery. Did you see the director's cut? Though we are in opposite sides of the fence, I have to say, you wrote a great review! Thanks!
December 23, 2010
I found it just completely cliched and lackluster it didn't do anything new or try to do anything new and I just found that depressing with such a film with such talent and high production values I thought it would have been better but it was just average for me. Sad to say I have not yet seen the Director's Cut but I really want to, the director's Cut is almost always better than the original theatrical cut of the film. And thank you very much.
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 . 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 . 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, …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
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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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