REVIEW: ‘The Town’

Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
Rebecca Hall
Jon Hamm
Jeremy Renner
Blake Lively
Rated: R

Remember the Affleck who helped make Good Will Hunting, he is making a comeback.

The Town follows a group of four bank robbers led by Doug Macray (Affleck) who reside in Charleston Mass. Doug and his crew are very skilled in their profession and hardly have things go wrong. However, in their latest attempt at the beginning of the film, they are forced to take a hostage, a girl named Claire (Hall). They let her go and she goes to the cops and the FBI, but she doesn’t have much info since she was blindfolded.

This isn’t satisfying for the crew though as they believe she may actually remember something important and tell the authorities something that could put them in prison. Therefore Doug takes it upon himself to contact the girl and keep an eye on her. However, over this time he actually develops a relationship with her and starts to fall in love.

The film’s story worked well, showing the evolution of the conflict with Affleck’s character. As the picture goes along, his options begin to narrow and the tension from this happening adds to the effectiveness of the movie. The film also finds a nice balance between its crime drama and romance elements, allowing the two to go along in harmony rather than contrasting with each other.

Another factor adding to “The Town’s” success is the portrayal of the city itself. Affleck managed to capture the city to make it more than a setting and actually almost like another character in itself. The city’s grime, grit and aged buildings set the tone and the atmosphere for much of the runtime.

The characters of the film were really good, especially Affleck’s. He does some of the best acting he’s doone in a while. He provides the right accent but doesn’t over do it and manages to portray the emotional turmoil his stressful situation is putting him through. Another solid performance was from Rebecca Hall who was a good romantic interest and as a character who has been in shock since her abduction.

A real show stealer, though, was Doug’s best friend James Coughlin (Renner). Renner was great in the film, showing an angry temperamental side while at the same time being a very good friend to Doug, plus he has great chemistry working with Affleck.

Another honorable mention goes to Pete Postlethwaite, who plays the character Fergus, the man who gives the crew their jobs to rob banks and also is disproving of Doug’s growing affection of Claire. Postlethwaite makes for a very chilling character and really works as a type of opposition to Doug later.

As I said, the action adds a lot to the film. The car chases and gun fights were shot in a way to be very realistic and was made to put you right in the middle of it. It works, and it will put one on the edge of their seat.

Overall, this film is great, in fact one of the best of 2010. Because of the good performances, action and drama. I’ll put it at a 5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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