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121 of 132 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honor (As Well As Romance, Retribution and Remorse) Among Thieves
Ben Affleck returns to his old stomping grounds--the working class neighborhoods of Boston--for his second directorial effort "The Town." A solidly constructed crime thriller, "The Town" is at its most successful when it's exploring the specific dynamics of the area in question. Affleck has a sense of the place, the language and rhythm of its inhabitants, that lend an...
Published on September 30, 2010 by K. Harris

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ben Affleck, Just Ughhh
People are so easily pleased with movies these days because of the obvious lack in quality of films over the past few years. Now that doesn't mean this movie is terrible, but it's definitely NOT all it's cracked up to be. Yes it is reminiscent of Michael Mann's Heat but shorter, with a Boston backdrop (a great break from the typical LA) and not nearly as good...
Published 23 months ago by Julian Pope


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121 of 132 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honor (As Well As Romance, Retribution and Remorse) Among Thieves, September 30, 2010
This review is from: The Town (DVD)
Ben Affleck returns to his old stomping grounds--the working class neighborhoods of Boston--for his second directorial effort "The Town." A solidly constructed crime thriller, "The Town" is at its most successful when it's exploring the specific dynamics of the area in question. Affleck has a sense of the place, the language and rhythm of its inhabitants, that lend an authenticity to the film that elevate it beyond typical genre fare.
That's why he has achieved success working in an area and with characters identifiable to his own upbringing. His previous Boston efforts include "Good Will Hunting" (a screenplay Oscar for Affleck) and "Gone Baby Gone" (Affleck's acclaimed first feature as a director). "Gone Baby Gone," in many ways a standard detective plot, was a huge revelation for being surprisingly hard edged and cynical (it helps to be adapted from a Dennis Lehane book with similar qualities)--and it is that cynicism that made it one of my favorite films of its year.

Now adapting Chuck Hogan's "Prince of Thieves," Affleck casts himself as the stoic lead Doug MacRay. Raised in the Charlestown area, MacRay has been unable to break away from the legacy of his youth, his father, and local crime bosses. He runs a successful crew in robbing banks and armored cars. On a job gone wrong, a bank manager (Rebecca Hall) is temporarily taken hostage. When MacRay's best friend on the job (Jeremy Renner) becomes concerned she might know something to identify them--Affleck sets off to observe her as she lives uncomfortably close to the crew. But getting a little too cozy, he starts to idealize her as an opportunity to escape the life he now feels trapped in. One more big score and maybe he can get a fresh start.

Affleck plays the role with a tight lipped intensity and calm. It's left to the dynamic Renner to provide the menace and unpredictability within this tale. Turning on a dime, Renner is terrific here (as he almost always is--even in lesser films). Small roles by Chris Cooper, Blake Lively, and Pete Postlethwaite help illuminate how MacRay, while basically a decent guy, went wrong. Jon Hamm adepts himself well as MacRay's FBI foil. The cast is uniformly excellent, the action sequences are well choreographed, and the grittiness feels real and alive. However, the romance between Affleck and Hall (so inherent to the plot) is actually the least successful element of the film. The biggest lapse of logic comes after Affeck has identified that he's being tailed by the FBI. Instead of laying low--both for her sake and to appear uninvolved--Affleck continues to date Hall openly, even lunching in a sidewalk cafe. And when she learns the truth, I'm not sure her character has been developed sufficiently to make her choices appear logical.

In the scope of the picture, however, these are small gripes. "The Town" is most assuredly a successful and rich thriller for adult audiences. Affleck displays range and restraint as a director--and if that's not enough, there's a terrific cast working at the top of their game! Check it out! KGHarris 9/10.
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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Applause, September 25, 2010
This review is from: The Town (DVD)
I went into this movie knowing absolutely about it, there was little advance hoopla that I can recall, that usually accompanies a major motion picture.

The idea of mask wearing, semi automatic toting nuns at once seems invigorating and slightly surreal, but the viciousness, and sloppy impulse control of one of the robbers played brilliantly by Jeremy Renner (of Hurt Locker) immediately brings us crashing into the reality of what's happening.

These hardened ruthless criminals hide behind a funny mask, and will eliminate anyone who gets in their way. So they kidnap the attractive female bank manager played adorably by Rebecca Hall for leverage, and let her go.

Upon checking her drivers license, and discovering she lives in their neighborhood, the psycho wants her eliminated to cover their tracks. Ben Affleck's character takes the card and decides to investigate her, and discover what she knows. One thing leads to another, and the lives of everyone involved starts to move in ever decreasing circles as the FBI investigation starts closing in.

The story is brilliantly told, and the theater audience responded to the irony of the conversations between the criminal and his unknowing victim.

Ben Affleck's character seems a little at odds with his criminal life, and you wonder why he is a bank robber, nevertheless he has a well developed dark side, and is very resourceful, resourceful enough to be the the architect.

But you also get the sense that here is a guy could go straight if he chose to, and that dilemma of wonder is what makes this movie so great. He makes the good choice of distancing himself from an addicted ex girlfriend, yet makes bad choices as well. But in order to get to that place of going straight he is forced to make criminal but understandable choices, some of which may surprise you.

You can tell that this is somewhat of a passion project. The movie is set in Boston as was Goodwill Hunting for which he won the Oscar for Best screenplay with Matt Damon. Here Affleck shows he is perhaps the under admired element of that partnership as he wears not only a mask but the multiple hats of Director, Actor, and Writer, and as the architect of this movie pulls all those elements together.

The Town is one of those movies that just works on every level, without falling into the trap of just another formula caper movie. In some ways the mask wearing robbers reminded me of the the Presidential mask wearing robbers of Point Break (Pure Adrenaline Edition)starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves.

As I think back on the best movies of the last several months I think of the over the top antics in Machete, the intellectual stimulation of Inception, and now the mystery and dilemmas of The Town. The Town manages to convey some Indie style while not following the typical Hollywood formula.

It would be remiss not to mention the brilliant ensemble cast, Jon Hamm of Mad Men as the FBI agent, and Jeremy Renner. Particularly though I found Rebecca Hall to be an amazing and beautiful talent. According to the imdb star meter her popularity has risen 570% in the past week. She also starred as Vicky in the Woody Allen movie Vicky Christina Barcelona, and I predict her star will continue to rise.

If you like this movie I think you will also love Point Break [Blu-ray]The Bank Job, and The Lookout, a personal favorite.

And at the end of the movie the audience applauded. I hope this was helpful. This is definitely one to catch in the theater. I think you will love it.
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Crime Thriller With Depth!! Go See It!, September 18, 2010
This review is from: The Town (DVD)
I've wanted to see The Town ever since I saw the first previews of it. First, the story seemed quite intriguing: what happens if a man falls in love with the woman he anonymously took hostage while robbing a bank? Another thing that made me want to see this film is that, unlike many crime dramas, this one seemed to escape the artificially polished Hollywood-ish feel. I had to see it.

...And I was correct on all counts! The Town, which was co-written, directed, and features by Ben Affleck, was every bit of what I thought it would be. The directing was very "real" feeling (especially capturing the working-class feel of Charlestown, MA very well). The script was quite good, not once seeming over-the-top or under-developed. The cast and acting was very good.

But I reserve a separate paragraph for talking about the plot and its execution. This film is somewhere between a crime thriller, a character study, and a romance. It has enough teeth to excite those who like car chases and heists but enough depth of emotion to satisfy those who want strong characters and plot lines. The story revolves around Doug McRay, who robs banks with his friends from Charlestown. On one heist (the movie opener), they deviate from the plan and take a hostage. After letting her go (she never saw them), Doug decides to follow her and talk with her. They end up starting a relationship. The questions: how can Doug keep this secret, and how can he get out of his life of crime?

The plot's execution was very well done: fast enough, slow enough. By the end, you have really identified with Doug McRay and may end up feeling as conflicted as he.

For its great story line, believable direction, and its originality, I give The Town 5 stars and recommend it highly to you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ben Affleck, Just Ughhh, December 25, 2012
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This review is from: The Town [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
People are so easily pleased with movies these days because of the obvious lack in quality of films over the past few years. Now that doesn't mean this movie is terrible, but it's definitely NOT all it's cracked up to be. Yes it is reminiscent of Michael Mann's Heat but shorter, with a Boston backdrop (a great break from the typical LA) and not nearly as good.

The film has some good action scenes but the other stream of the story, with Rebecca Hall's character, drags on. The most disappointing part of the film to me is how good it could have been if Mr. Affleck, having written and directed AND taken the starring role himself had *spoiler alert* encountered the same fate as his comrades. I personally can't stand Ben Affleck but if you can bare him it's a decent film. Jeremy Renner was incredible and incomparable to every other actor in the film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superficial Similarities Do Not Make a Bad Film, January 16, 2011
If the previous reviewer 'Dave' was familiar with plot structure, he would realize that the similarity to Heat is mostly aesthetic, and any similarities to The Departed are uh... there are none. Other than the fact that it's about Irish criminals in Boston. Kind of like the way Valkyrie and Inglourious Basterds are 'basically the same movie' because they're both about a plot to kill Hitler...

The Town is a thrilling and dramatic crime picture, with great acting, directed by a steller artist. The critical praise is well deserved. It's a character focused piece, with some stunning action set pieces, and great realistic Boston-Irish atmosphere. There is one scene in this that got me so tense in the theatre that... well that actually happened, that never happens to me! Affleck knows how to build tension, is what I'm saying.

Shades of 'Heat' are surreal, but practically subconscious, they are entirely different movies. If you can get over VERY superficial similarities (bank robberies, some of the costumes, the realism) and look at the finer points that make Ben Affleck's film unique you will not ruin your experience with this one.

Next time I would suggest that Dave actually watch the three movies he is comparing before comparing them.

I don't want to give away the plot, and there will be plenty of synopsis in the future I'm sure. If the worst you can say is 'It reminds me of other crime epics, and most people say it's good.' To me that basically sounds like a recommendation, no? Look into it if you're a fan of the genre.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'll see you again. On this side or the other.", December 23, 2010
This review is from: The Town (DVD)
I always like to give credit where credit is due. And while Ben Affleck has been in a string of box office dissapointments after winning an Oscar for Good Will Hunting, he certainly hit his mark with "The Town". For being a first time director, screen writer as well as acting in this film, I think Affleck has hit his mark again in film and I only hope that he continues on his winning streak.

The Town opens with a quote.I'm summarizing of course, but as quoted, "No town has produced as many bank robbers as Charlestown. Robbing banks and armoured trucks became a trade passed down from father to son, from one generation to the next."If that didn't grab your interest, the film opens up with a bank robbery. A quick hit (in&out)a Townie crew leaves with the money and this time a hostage.

Doug McCray is the head of this crew,followed by his life long friend Jem who is a little more itchy on the trigger. Jem is paranoid that the the bank manager they took along for "a ride" saw more than she thinks" and he "wants to take care of business".Doug steps in to look into it instead to cool Jem's heals and put his crew at rest.

The flip side of this is the crew paying its dues to Fergi, or "The Flourist" who has a tight grip on this Charelstown crew.Well aware that the FBI is on them, in time Doug grows weary of doing any more jobs,and at the same time developes a relationship with the bank manager Clair. Possibly against his better judgent, but I think he sees her as a means to change, and to put knocking over banks and armoured cars behind him. Clair, as he sees it, is "his Eskimo."

Quiting is not as easy as it seems. Not only will Jem let him leave without doing a few more jobs, but The Flourist won't either.Not without Doug paying dearly for it in the end be it his own life, or someone very close to him.Two more jobs down the line, one nearly getting them pinched and the last...robbing Fenway Park, the biggest heist of all.

The Town is a well rounded film.It is a "heist" film on one side, but on the flip side of the coin you have layers of character and conflict.It has some great action with adrenaline pumping car chases and shoot outs. It also has a good dramma side to it.The on screen chemistry between Doug and Clair is realistic and heart felt.You realy want him to "make right" as well as the others to pull through at the end.Well acted by a great cast and well directed and adapted to the screen by Affleck, it leaves only one to pause, "I just wanted you to remember who clipped your nuts first."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars extended version, March 27, 2011
This review is from: The Town [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
i really enjoyed this movie.it's the second film directed by Ben Affleck,who also stars in the film.i thought it was well written.the dialogue was very good.the movie flowed very well from one scene to another.there is a fair amount of action which is well done,and there is lots of tension and suspense.the acting is good all around,but i thought Jeremy Renner was really impressive as James Coughlin as was Blake Lively as Krista Coughlin.the Boston accent is pretty thick at times,so you might want to use caption or subtitles so you don't miss anything.there is a fair amount of strong language here,as well as some nudity.and of course being a crime drama,there is some violence,but it's not a violent as you would expect.the extended version clocks in at 150 minutes compared to the theatrical version of 125 minutes.i can't compare the two,as i only viewed the extended cut,but i will say it never found it boring or slow.for me,The Town (extended cut) is a 4/5
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOWN, ROCKS!!!, June 8, 2011
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This review is from: The Town [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I honestly wasn't a Ben Affleck fan before this film. Now, I totally am. This is an amazing action film. Very well performed. From start to finish, this one should have you at the edge of your seat, waiting for the next thing to happen. I really thought the nun masks were creepy looking.
Ben Affleck seems to be in the shape of his life. He is such a strong character in this film. Convincingly capable of being a gentle character and the hard liner.
If you're an action fan, this is a must see. You will not be dissappointed. A+
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing up criminal, April 27, 2011
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This review is from: The Town [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
While it may take a village to raise a child, if the village in question is Charlestown, MA , the child may very well be trained in the modern guild of bank robbers. "The Town", Ben Affleck's second film as a rapidly maturing director in the no nonsense mold of Clint Eastwood, gets it right, from the broad "a"s that trip naturally from Affleck's tongue to the Notre Dame tattoo which simultaneously adorns and identifies the neck of the Jeremy Renner character. Shot largely on location,"The Town" uses the people, sports facilities/teams and especially the neighborhood bars and strip joints to create a tribal world of crime and corruption,loyalty and omerta which defines and delimits its characters.
In the past filmmaking decade, blue collar MA has become a favored setting for films as diverse as "Mystic River", "The Departed", "Gone Baby Gone" (Affleck's first directorial effort) and "The Fighter". Where "The Town" has the edge over the Eastwood and Scorsese efforts, and parallels that of David O. Russell/ Mark Wahlberg, involves the question of home turf. From the time of his Oscar winning "Good Will Hunting" script to the present film, Affleck has been most successful when he sticks close to home. Here he expertly directs a superb cast which features "The Hurt Locker"'s Jeremy Renner (in a performance of deeply unsettling precision and nuance) as the always ready to explode character of the best friend, Blake Lively as the sluttish, drug running and addicted single mother (a direct parallel to the Amy Ryan character in "Gone Baby Gone")who was once the Affleck character's girlfriend, Jon Hamm as the tenacious but outplayed FBI agent and Pete Postlethwaite in his valedictory performance as the skeletal but lethal crime boss.
The extended Blu-ray version of "The Town" deepens the central relationships between the Affleck and Rebecca Hall characters, bank robber and bank robbery victim/hostage who become lovers, and the Affleck and Renner characters, boyhood chums raised in crime school together. The Blu-ray makes additionally fine use of the city of Charlestown/Boston as a main character and punches up the energy level in the film's two most memorable sequences: the "nuns with guns" masked robbery and subsequent chase through the narrow and winding historical streets of Boston's North End and the extended robbery of big game(Yankees) receipts from Fenway Park, the cathedral of baseball. In their scripting and directing, but especially in their sound and visual editing, these parts of "The Town" belong in the company of "The Dark Knight" and "Heat". In general, this Blu-ray's images are vivid and almost palpable, the sound track crisp, deep and rich.
Ben Affleck's "The Town": local boy makes good, really, really good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT MOVIE, April 8, 2011
This review is from: The Town [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
THE TOWN

When this film was first released I was all kinds of excited since I am a huge Jeremy Renner and a Ben Affleck fan as well. Add in that not only do I like those two as actors but I thought Affleck's first film "Gone Baby Gone" was great. So needless to say that we [my little group of friends and such] really wanted to see this movie and were excited about it. Of course we loved it but I must say that this DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack is great with an extended version. Add in the behind the scenes features and you have one great combo pack.

The story follows a group of Charlestown bank robbers as the FBI is looking into them after a recent successful heist. It turns out that while they did this they took a hostage and after letting her go they wonder if she will be a problem. So Doug MacRay [Affleck] takes on the responsibility of finding out what she knows, she won't recognize him because they robbers were wearing masks [of course]. But has the heat from the FBI increases and Doug's feelings for her grow the rest of the crew becomes restless. The problem being of course is has Doug falls for her he wants even more to get out of the game, but they have one more big job to do.

I have to say that while some of not liked this as much as me I really enjoyed this film and found it to be very well done. I have to give Ben create because I really do like this film and as a writer/director he is really becoming a top guy I the business. As an actor I have always liked him, he has a certain charisma that shines through. Of course my boy Jeremy Renner was excellent in this film as James Coughlin, in fact if Bale had not won the best supporting actor award at the Oscars I would say it would have gone to this man. While he brings a nice intensity to the character I actually see the sympatric side of the character that a lesser actor may not have brought out.

Rebecca Hall does a great job as Ben's love interest Claire and plays a very real character, very well done. Jon Hamm is the FBI guy after the crew and does an excellent job here as well as does every one in the film, very well cast and cast with actual residents of Charlestown. I would also like to point out that Renner spent all his time with actual bank robbers from Charlestown to get the character and the accent down right. Based on a novel called "Prince of Thieves" by Chuck Hogan Affleck has proven that even if he wants to leave acting he has a career in filmmaking.

This is one of my favorite films and that may be because I have been following Renner's career since his first film but hey I enjoyed it. I also recommend that you check out Renner in "Dahmer" as it is one of the best performances ever. I do highly recommend this film and say go ahead and buy it, skip the rental. I bought it the day it was released and have watched it many times since.
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The Town [Blu-ray]
The Town [Blu-ray] by Ben Affleck (Blu-ray - 2010)
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