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The Town

Rating: 4.0

Rated: R for strong violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use.
Release Date: 2010-09-17
Starring: Chuck Hogan, Ben Affleck
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In his second effort as a director, actor Ben Affleck tackles another Boston theme film in ‘The Town,’ about a romance that stems from a bank heist. This sophomore project is not as enthralling as his first film ‘Gone Baby Gone,’ yet, it is perhaps one of the better films of the 2010. Come Oscar time, it wouldn’t surprise me if it is elected to the ten best films of the year. The acting is wonderful yet again, the story is as interesting as any other this year and its entertaining enough to keep you from ever thinking of ‘Gigli’.

On the surface, ‘The Town’ is a bank heist film and a darn good one too, but at its core, it is about a guy who’s trying to get out of the slum, and more importantly, the life of crime he’s inherited from his father. The premise follows Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), a ‘good guy’ bank robber who is the leader of a crew of ruthless bank robbers, who pride themselves on taking what they want and getting out clean. However, everything changed on the gang’s last job when Jem (Jeremy Renner) briefly took a hostage: bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). Doug unfortunately crosses the line and becomes romantically involved with the hostage. Yes, he’s crazy, but it’s part of the thrill of the tension-filled film. Don Draper (cough), I mean Jon Hamm, decides he’s Melvin Purvis and Eliot Ness combined and is on a mission to get Doug and Jem. So what’s it going to be Doug? Betray your friends or lose the woman you love?

Compared to other recent crime dramas, like Brooklyn’s Finest or Pride and Glory, this one stands higher because the characters feel more real, like they could exist in real life, except of course, Don Draper who is a walking comic book.

Affleck co-wrote, directed and acted in this film, which is not an easy task for anyone, just ask Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino. He is establishing he has a skilled and adroit hand at the camera, emotional depth as an actor with each passing film and a keen and intuitive sense for story selections.

The film has very good entertaining value. It has sequences full action and suspense worthy of knots in your stomach. If you like bank heist films this will definitely be on the top of your list along with ‘Inside Man,’ but without the rapid cutting, loud thumping explosions helicopter scenes. This is slower paced, the characters are more thoroughly developed, almost methodically. The Town is a fantastic selection for this weekend and any other time you want to see a film that is a bit better than the rest.

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