Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Movie Review: "The Town" (2010)

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Movie"The Town"
Director: Ben Affleck
Year: 2010
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

A crew of bank robbers from the community of Charlestown in Boston, Massachusetts have just finished a big robbery. However, when one of the crew members falls for the bank manager of the place they just held up, it puts the rest of the crew and their future together in danger. 

"The Town" is directed by Ben Affleck, who also helped pen the screenplay with Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard. It is based on the novel "Prince of Thieves" by Chuck Hogan. It stars Ben Affleck as Doug MacRay, who is the brains behind a group of bank and armored car robberies. Also in the gang is MacRay's lifelong friend James Coughlin, played by Jeremy Renner, who is a bit of a loose cannon and is someone who is very willing to kill people. Rounding out the crew are Desmond and Gloansy, played by Owen Burke and Slaine. After the group's latest heist, MacRay begins a relationship with Claire Keesey, played by Rebecca Hall, who also happens to be the bank manager they took as a hostage in the frenzy of their latest robbery. At first, MacRay "accidentally" bumps into her to keep an eye on her, but their friendship quickly turns into a romantic affair that puts the entire group at risk.

"The Town" is a well constructed, nicely assembled, superbly acted dramatic crime thriller. Despite some questionable acting choices early in his career, Ben Affleck has gone on to be quite the accomplished director. He has proved that he has a great eye when it come to visual story telling, and the shots he picks and chooses are incredible. There are many great moments of palatable tension between Renner, Affleck, and Hall as we wait to see if Hall's Claire will discover MacRay and Coughlin were the ones who took her hostage. Affleck does well in front of the camera as MacRay, who clearly has a conscience and only wants to rob, not to kill anyone. Renner does a fantastic job creating the intimidating, slightly unhinged character of James Coughlin, who is no stranger to crime and, on the other hand, becomes increasingly harder to control with a gun in his hand. Renner even managed to earn an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his part in this film. Rebecca Hall is equally as brilliant as Claire Keesey, the woman who is often tormented by the bitter memory of being taken hostage at her work. Once she meets MacRay, she seems to be reserved, but eventually put her trust in him, never knowing his full story, and falling in love with the person responsible for all of her pain. Finally, Jon Hamm plays Adam Frawley, a ruthless, no-holds-barred FBI special agent who will go to great lengths to capture MacRay, Couglin, and the others. To go along with the tense and dramatic moments are some exciting action sequences that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the end of the film as an explosive showdown between cops and criminals ensues.

Director Ben Affleck does a wonderful job both in front of and behind the camera making us relate to his character and allowing us to root for him, despite that fact he's a criminal. He takes his time to tell the story of "The Town" in a smart manner with many dramatic moments, and though there are some obvious genre cliches at play, there is still lots of action, tons of thrills, and even some surprises, too. Even if you think you hate Affleck as an actor, try out his directorial works. He's consistently a much better director than he is an actor.
My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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