Director: Ben Affleck
Time: 2 hour 3 minutes
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner
Ben Affleck stars and directs in "The Town"-- A gritty story of a group of bank robbers from the Boston section known as Charlestown. As the introductory disclaimer to the film will have you believe, Charlestown is the bank robbing capital of the United States (2 minutes of research would have me believe otherwise but the accuracy of Affleck's claim isn't under scrutiny here). Affleck plays Doug MacRay, a once promising NHL rookie turned bank robber who resides in Charlestown. His main partner in crime is James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), a cold-hearted killer who served 9 years in prison for murder. The two pair up with a couple of friends and do score after score of robberies. Hot on their heels is FBI agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm). Will Frawley catch up to the thieves or will MacRay and company be able to leave Charlestown unscathed?
"The Town" is a well developed suspense flick full of high-tension sequences and very strong pacing. While Affleck's career has been pretty hit or miss with films he chooses to be a part of, he has struck gold with this one. With subject matter closer to home, you can tell Affleck really put a lot of effort into the way each scene plays out and the perspective with which he tells this story.
If Affleck doesn't have the audience caught up in the high-stress moments of the film, he's taking his time to develop his supporting cast -- and that cast lives up to the hype too. Jeremy Renner proves once again why he is one of the best actors in Hollywood as he delivers a very intimidating performance as James Coughlin. The performance is so good that it probably outshines Affleck's character in the film even though Affleck did perform quite well himself. The screenplay is just well done.
In fact, "The Town" is a thoroughly developed film. Not the best bank heist film ever, but definitely a great film. Strong acting, great pacing, powerful dialogue, unique atmosphere and white-knuckle suspense make "The Town" the movie to watch this weekend. Considering how great "Easy A" was, that speaks volumes for just how good Affleck's big-screen offering is.
5 out of 5 stars.