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The Town
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Showing 1-10 of 262 reviews(4 star). See all 1,105 reviews
on October 8, 2013
A good script, a good cast, lead to a great movie! Ben Affleck proves he knows how to make a movie leaving film lovers glued to the screen. Ben plays a criminal mastermind with a crew that works very well together. Jon Hamm plays an FBI agent who swears to bring him down. When the opening scene of Ben and his crew taking a bank down goes wrong, they take a hostage, an employee from the bank. When they release her they learn she talks to the cops and lives in the vicinity where the crew lives. Fearing she will lead the FBI to them, the crew wants to take her out, but Ben says no. He courts her, dines her, tries to get the feel for what her plans are. Jon Hamm diligently does everything his power allows him to find out who this crew is and bring them down. When Ben tries to get out of town before it's too late, his crew threaten him. He must pull off one last heist before being given his freedom.

The Town is an exciting movie that you will not want to miss. It has action, drama, suspense all rolled into one.

David Lucero, author
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on September 11, 2012
Early reviewers who deemed this film "Heat with a Boston accent" clearly missed a great deal of the subtlety, inflection, and sheer artisanship of The Town. It's actually a highly original piece of work-- a crackling crime thriller with a very cleverly developed script, gritty authenticity, and terrific performances from all hands, especially Rebecca Hall and the late great Peter Postlewaite. Indeed it's the second time that Affleck has taken a beach-read book and constructed a better, more resonant film from it (the first was his underrated debut Gone Baby Gone, based on a Dennis Lehane formula mystery).

On to the details of this edition:

This Blu-Ray version contains most of the same extras as the non Blu-Ray Special Edition-- a disc worth of vignettes that focus on the making of the film. As is typical of films that veer from a central truth in the interest of art, one theme explored is a sort of backhanded apologia: there's a glancing acknowledgement that the Boston neighborhood Charlestown (The Town of the title) is no longer the hotbed of highly skilled bank robbers it was in the Fifties and Sixties.

Technical Notes: Visually, it's a dark film , with a very urban look, so the benefits of added detail take effort to find. The Blu Ray resolution gave me some plot details I had not discerned earlier: in the nuns-with-guns armored car robbery, you can now see gas cans in the rear seat, evidence that the thieves need to torch the getaway vehicle, and are willing to risk self-immolation to assure that trace evidence is consumed.

What is here is an alternate ending that is darker, cleverly interlaced with subplots developed early in the film, and far more faithful to the book, albeit slightly overtold by an unnecessary "summing up" fake news report. Oddly enough, the central theme of The Town is little changed by the changed outcome: bad deeds, even those that predate a moral redemption, still have consequences.

Highly recommended.
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on June 1, 2013
Given Affleck's close association with Matt Damon; it was very hard not to keep comparing this film with Academy Award winning movie THE DEPARTED. The fact that I'm Irish and have a weak spot for films set in Boston makes it even more difficult to say THE DEPARTED was a slightly better film. The love story in THE TOWN is much better, the acting is comparable...maybe that's it. THE TOWN does not have quite the A-List star power that THE DEPARTED did.

It can't be that the action sequences are inferior. THE TOWN's bank robbery scenes make for some taut action drama. Maybe I should be comparing this film to HEAT, which is a damn fine film and also about bank robberies. These are some elite company for ANY movie to be traveling in. I guess I would rank HEAT at four stars, THE TOWN at four and a half, and THE DEPARTED as five stars.

There is a sequence in THE TOWN between Affleck's character and his life long friend; played by Academy Award winning actor Jeremy Renner. Not only does this sequence epitomize these nature of these two characters; and the bond between them; feel it should be nominated to the Halls of Vahalla of great Tough Guy Moments:

[small spoiler]

Doug MacRay: I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people.
[Jem pauses to think for a moment]
James Coughlin: Whose car are we gonna take?

I'm sorry, but that pause there when you're wondering what Renner is going to say, what questions he may ask, what objections he might raise and what reservations he could possibly have.... All those character issues are resolved instantly in what I consider one of the greatest I'VE GOT YOUR BACK, BRO'. moments ever set to celluloid. There is REALLY never any question Rennar's character was going to do it and we the audience are lessened for not having already known that. Tough Guy poetry.
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on November 1, 2017
Got my attention from the gitgo. Typical me, though. How does a woman, under suspicion, manage to launder a million bucks to build an ice rink??? She doesn't.
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on August 19, 2017
Good action movie, with various real themes bound to resonate with anyone born in Irish Boston. Very entertaining and well acted, filmed and cast.
1 helpful vote
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on December 26, 2012
Ben Affleck's "The Town" is based on Chuck Hogan's book "Prince of Thieves" (later released under the name "The Town" to capitalize on its tie-in to the movie), and it is a remarkably faithful adaptation of a truly engrossing book. I read the book just a couple of weeks before renting the movie, and I often find that this is a recipe for disaster as far as the movie is concerned (it is just very hard to compete with a reader's imagination).

Instead, however, I found that actually seeing the familiar Boston landmarks brought the book alive in a very different way. The story is very well translated to screen and the constant tension from the book manifests itself very well on-screen.

There are a few notable things in the movie: the late Pete Postlethwaite is typically terrific in a small but powerful role, Jeremy Renner plays a slightly out-of-control character that is very different from his Bourne or Hawkeye characters, and Rebecca Hall is nearly perfect in the role of Claire (vulnerable but strong, pretty but not glamorous). It is also interesting to see Jon Hamm (of Mad Men fame) in a current day role as an FBI agent who shares almost nothing with his Don Draper character on the television show.

This is the second of Ben Affleck's movies as a director ("Gone Baby Gone" was first and "Argo" is the third), and it is a terrific piece of work.
1 helpful vote
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on April 19, 2017
I've seen this movie 4 times now and it doesn't disappoint. Great action and story. I love crime movies and this is near my top of modern action crime movies.
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VINE VOICEon February 14, 2011
I was harsh with Ben Affleck and his directorial debut, `Gone Baby Gone'. After reflection, maybe I was a tad too harsh (although the film is still far from anything truly inspired). That said, one thing I did find commendable in his debut was, well, his direction, which was sharp and thrilling to say the least. With `The Town', his sophomore effort, Affleck proves that his greatest asset is his knack for creating a riveting film, despite obvious flaws and drawbacks.

I don't think it would be too far fetched to presume Ben Affleck will win an Oscar in the near future for direction; ala Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson and Robert Redford (you know, those other popular actors who never could `act' their way to an Oscar).

Thrusting a little more weight on his shoulders this go around, Ben Affleck not only directs but co-writes and co-stars in this crime thriller that piles on the clichés while maintaining a slick and engrossing presence. The film centers on a Boston thug named Doug MacRay. Doug and his longtime friends make their money robbing banks. On the outset of the film, Doug and his posse rob a bank and, when Doug's friend Jem loses his head, they wind up with a hostage. That hostage is bank manager Claire. Claire is obviously petrified, but that fear doesn't leave her when the whole episode is over. She carries the burden with her. When Jem decides he wants her out of the picture entirely, Doug takes it upon himself and make sure she isn't going to rat them out. He does this by falling in love with her. Unfortunately, the cops trailing Doug are smart enough to erode this newfound relationship and use it to their advantage. Couple that with the fact that Doug's `friends' won't let him just walk away from their way of life and you have major problems for Doug and his perilous search for redemption.

The film's premise and script are littered with holes and cliché ridden errors that keep the film from being anything truly spectacular. The dynamics between Claire and Doug and believable in chemistry alone, but their relationship is beyond illogical. The friendships and loyalties boil down to recklessness and don't carry any true weight because the film isn't beyond turning every character into a liar. The ensemble cast has received a lot of praise but in all honesty there is really only one performance that actually stands out as heartfelt, and that is Rebecca Hall. Sure, the character is sadly underwritten in areas (it could have been a drag-down, knockout, Oscar winning piece of work had it had a little more color) but she makes so much out of it. It bothers me that Jeremy Renner's serviceable performance stole all the media attention.

Really though, this film lives and breathes in the hands of Ben Affleck and his directorial choices. The film is just so alive. He really knows how to make every frame sing, and he creates such body out of every surface he films. The thrills all feel legitimate. He makes the standard (and overdone) car chase seem fresh and exciting. He created so many layers out of a script that was, at times, layerless. It is really a commendable piece of work and one that I think truly deserves the attention and praise it can garner.

He has a skill, and I can't wait to see him fine-tune it even more.
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on August 25, 2017
Ben Affleck did another great job in this movie. Wow, has he grown as an actor.
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on July 27, 2015
Somewhere between Gone, Baby, Gone and Argo, Ben Affleck directed the Town, from a book by Chuck Hogan, about a bank robbing crew screwing itself into a corner. Pete Postelwaite (spelling?) gives his last performance, and he strips the robbers who come to him like he strips flowers; a truly menacing performance. Titus Welliver (Harry Bosch in the future) and John Hamm play respectively a Boston Detective and an FBI Special Agent who fruitlessly persue Affleck's crew. Lots of grimy Boston detail and violence keep this tight noir afloat. I like it.
1 helpful vote
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