The Town Movie Review

The Town Movie Review


Ben Affleck stars in this upcoming movie, his second attempt at directing. This is a cop movie and takes place in Boston. The Town has a real blue collar feel about it. It’s the story of a youthful criminal who wants to make changes in his life after he finishes one more crime.

This Warner Bros. box office movie opens September 17 after its debut at the Venice Film Festival. Affleck certainly has the feel of Boston’s Irish American communities down pat. Unfortunately, as much as the area of Boston that these characters hail from impacts their lives, the characters still remain characters. This movie on the new movies list is going to appeal those same viewers who made “The American” a hit.

Ben Affleck plays Doug McRay, a guy from the area of Charlestown in Boston, who’s been robbing banks for most of his life. His partner, Jem Coughlin, played by Jeremy Renner, is a friend from McRay’s childhood who has a hot temper and a love for violence that puts both himself and McRay in constant danger. The Town is based on Chuck Hogan’s book “Prince of Thieves.”

This new movie release has plenty of action and in the first bit of action Jem beats a bank worker during a robbery and takes the branch manager, Claire, played by Rebecca Hall, as hostage. McRay and Coughlin are not interested in kidnapping and release Claire, only to find out that she also lives in Charlestown, although in a better part of the neighborhood. Both Coughlin and McRay were masked during the robbery so Claire can’t finger them to the FBI agent played by Jon Hamm. Jem wants to ensure that Claire can’t identify them but Doug says he’ll deal with the problem. So, of course, Doug falls in love with Claire and a few good scenes ensue.

Affleck is a somewhat sympathetic character. The viewer wants to see him get out of Charlestown and clean up his life. He is an “honorable crook.” We always think that he can turn out right.

Peter Craig, Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard are responsible for the script. They do well with the feeling of localism and sarcasm but have a harder time with action and drama. The storytelling is good but there’s no real punch.

Jon Hamm’s FBI agent does well with his role, after a slow start. Other members of the movies cast, Titus Welliver (who plays a detective) and Blake Lively (Doug’s on again-off again girlfriend) do well in their roles. Pete Postlethwaite plays a sort of Charlestown Mafia type kingpin.

Robert Elswit’s camerawork is fluent and Dylan Tichenor does excellent editing. The score, by Harry Gregson-Williams and David Buckley is a bit weak. Affleck’s strength in “The Town” is his ability to capture the grittiness of Boston’s Charlestown.

The Town” is a good evening’s entertainment.


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