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The Town (2010) Movie Review

September 17, 2010

In 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone”, audiences took notice of Ben Affleck’s abilities to adapt complex novels for the big screen.  He didn’t star in “Gone Baby Gone” though, deciding instead to have Casey Affleck take the lead.  Now in “The Town,” based on a novel by the author of “Gone Baby Gone,” Ben Affleck returns to direct and star in another complex feature.

“The Town” revolves around a group of bank robbers fronted by Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) and James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner).  Gone are the old days where banks keep large amounts of cash.  The robbers here time their heists with armored car pick-ups when they know the bank will have a large haul available.  During the robbery at the start of the film, Doug brings a young female bank manager named Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) along with them in the escape vehicle.  While the FBI may have been following their heists previously, this job grabs their interest even more.

It is clear from the beginning that Doug is a lot smarter than his brothers in crime, especially James, who has a short fuse and enjoys hurting people.  After the first job, James suggests that he is going to knock off Claire because she may be able to identify them, or at the very least assist the FBI in their investigation.  To keep James from doing anything stupid, Doug starts to follow Claire around and soon they become romantically involved.

We watch as the robbers take on a few other jobs; each time they come close to capture by the police or the FBI.  What makes “The Town” stand out is the development each of the characters receives.  I was completely drawn in by Doug’s relationship with Claire and winced every time it looked like something else might get in the way.  Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, and Jeremy Renner each give realistic performances that help give the film emotional weight when things come to a close.

Harry Gregson-Williams and David Buckley composed the music in the film.  The soundtrack provides variety from fast paced beats providing tension to subdued emotional pieces with simple yet effective melodies.  The music is used sparingly and properly enhances the weight of the images.  “The Town” is a compellingly human drama with a powerful ending that stuck with me after the credits rolled.

5/5

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From → Crime, Drama

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