Following on the promise he showed in his powerful debut feature, Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck’s latest film as director is further evidence of his talent behind the camera, particularly when it comes to adapting dense crime novels into taut, inventive thrillers. Like his previous film, The Town is made up of a star-studded ensemble cast put to exceptional use; Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Chris Cooper and Affleck himself are all vital pieces in the story’s intricate jigsaw narrative.
Adapted from the celebrated novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan, The Town is set in the Boston neighbourhood of Charlestown, where Doug MacRay (Affleck) heads a posse of bank robbers. Although Doug spends the majority of his time alone, his partners have come to form a kind of surrogate family. This is especially true of Jem (Renner). However, their friendship is put to the test during a botched robbery where they momentarily take the bank manager, Claire Keesey (Hall), hostage. Claire never sees their faces but becomes haunted by questions about what occurred during her brief kidnapping.
In order to make sure she doesn’t reveal his identity, Doug reaches out to her and strikes up a relationship, all the while concealing that he is one of the four men who terrorized her. A new-found love for Claire changes Doug, and he decides that he wants to leave his life of crime behind, but this may put him and Claire at an even greater risk from his suspicious and ruthless gang members. Caught between the woman he loves, the group of criminals he betrayed and an FBI agent (Hamm) in hot pursuit, Doug’s options all carry heavy ramifications.
A smart, dramatic thriller that recalls the brilliant works of William Friedkin, Michael Mann and Clint Eastwood, The Town‘s seamless combination of elegant narrative, rich characters and visceral action re-affirms Affleck’s status as one America’s most promising young directors. –TIFF
Tall and handsome in a meat-eating sort of way, Ben Affleck has the looks of a matinee idol and the resume of an actor who honed his craft as an indie film slacker before flexing his muscles as a Hollywood star. A staple of Kevin Smith films and such seminal indies as Dazed and Confused, Affleck became a star and entered the annals of Hollywood legend when he and best friend Matt Damon wrote and starred in Good Will Hunting, winning a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for their work.
Born in Berkeley, California on August 15, 1972 to a schoolteacher mother and drug rehab counselor father, Affleck was the oldest of two brothers. His younger brother, Casey, also became an actor. When he was very young, Affleck’s family moved to the Boston area, and it was there that he broke into acting. At the age of eight, he starred in PBS’s marine biology-themed The Voyage of the Mimi, endearing himself to junior high school science classes everywhere. The same year he made Mimi, Affleck made the… read more
A lean, tough, very good old fashioned cops & robbers flick with a stand-out performance for me, from Jon Hamm. But people say, isn't it just 'Heat?' Well isn't 'Heat' just 'L.A Takedown?' Isn't 'L.A Takedown' just Kubrick's 'The Killing?' And so on and so forth. Despite this, The Town is still very much worthy of your time in watching.
I regret buying the Bluray combo Heat+The Town without seeing the latter. Now I just want to unstuck Mann's masterpiece from this gathering of archetypical characters, painfully obvious scenarios and sea of dejá vù's. It is very much an antithetical movie to Heat in that sense. Ben Affleck is not a bad director, but he needs to stop hating the word "layers".
"As a director, Ben Affleck is more of a grafter than a dreamer," writes David Jenkins for Time Out London. "The same could be said of his
Now that we've had a look at the films in the official competition at this year's Venice Film Festival (September 1 through 11) — and Neil
Y a encore quelques années (et pas si longtemps que cela), le nom de Ben Affleck au cinéma avait tendance à faire (sou)rire. Et puis, il est passé à la réalisation et attrape depuis lors un certain… read review
When i first sat down to watch this film I wasn’t expecting it to be anywhere as good as it was, first and foremost because I have never been a fan of Ben Affleck and always regarded him as that bloke… read review
Ben Affleck is talented. This is beyond dispute after Gone Baby Gone and, now, The Town. He rescued himself from the fate of being gossip fodder in the early 2000s by turning to directing, continuing… read review