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I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

The Town

The Town (2011)

Directed by Ben Affleck

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Chris Cooper, Pete Postlethwaite

This 2010 film was adapted from the 2005 Prince of Thieves: A Novel written by Chuck Hogan. In addition to starring in the film, Ben Affleck also directs this crime drama. His co-stars include Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Chris Cooper, and the late Pete Postlethwaite. Jeremy Renner would walk away from this film with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He has had multiple successes with his recent films starting with The Hurt Locker and including recent hits like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Rebecca Hall has also been in some big films including The Prestige and Frost / Nixon.

This movie also has one of my personal favorites, Chris Cooper. He’s been in movies like The Kingdom and Adaptation which won him an Oscar. In addition to Cooper, Jon Hamm from Mad Men makes an appearance in the film with a good performance. Finally, the late and great Pete Postlethwaite made his second to last performance with a great role in The Town. His career would include roles in movies like Romeo + Juliet and In the Name of the Father. He would be posthumously nominated for a BAFTA for his work in this movie.

When Doug (Affleck), a career bank robber, gets to know one of his victims he finds himself falling for the young bank manager (Hall). Now as he plans one more job he’s torn between the chance to score and his hope for a future with his new love. He’s at odds with his long-time partner James (Renner) who has begun to question his loyalty. He also has the pressure of powerful people who want the job done. As the pressure builds, Doug is being pursued by a talented F.B.I. agent Adam Frawley (Hamm). The stakes are high as Doug tries to save himself from his own choices, and save those he loves.

This was a good film with solid performances from all the actors. Jeremy Renner stands out as the star of the movie, despite being in a supporting role. His performance added to the drama and tension of the film from beginning to end. He’s surrounded by talent in the film as well. Each of the major parts was played excellently.

The film had a nice visual presentation and great action sequences. The shootouts are some of the better ones I’ve seen in a movie in a while.  The film also takes advantage of the locations it shoots at quite well.

I do have some criticisms with the film. The end seems a bit unsure of itself. This didn’t ruin the movie, but it lacked the payoff I was hoping for. I was also a bit disappointed that the tension between Renner and Affleck’s characters wasn’t given more focus. There seemed to be a history there that could have added to the fireworks. Finally, the score was good, but not great. When a film costs this much money to make it should have a score that keeps up with the movie.

All together this was a good movie with some great aspects. The acting steals the show and makes up for any shortcomings in the film. Overall the story is also really good. I’d suggest this for anyone who likes heist movies. I give this movie 3.6 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 125 minutes


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