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Great performances all-round and directing make this well worth watching
lekgolah20 January 2011
Despite not having seen Gone Baby Gone, I've heard a lot of good things about Ben Affleck's switch to directing and so I decided to watch The Town, which put simply is about band robbers but to expand on that, the film is also about the leader of the group, played by Ben Affleck.

When watching the trailer it easy to draw comparisons to Heat and The Departed but this is different. Many films about crime make the audience side either the police or the criminals yet The Town allows the audience to see people from both sides of the law fairly. Jon Hamm plays an honest working FBI officer while Ben Affleck plays the criminal. The film is shot predominately from the criminals perspective, therefore the audience feel the same sense of urgency that they do but we don't want to see them gun down the FBI and police and let them get away with their crimes. It is a difficult challenge for the director to deal with but he does it well and the end result is very good.

The entire cast are all fantastic even when given smaller roles, for example Chris Cooper and the late Pete Postlethwaite steel the scenes that they are in. Jeremy Renner has earned a lot of attention from his role and he deserves it, giving an honest performance, which clearly took a lot of research to perfect. An almost unrecognisable Blake Lively and Rebecca Hall are both great. Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm as the opposing forces are also great but it is Renner's performance that stands out.

As a crime film, it is important that the action doesn't turn the whole film into an all guns blazing film. The action scenes are handed pretty well and the car chases through the minor roads of Boston are really exciting to watch.

The Town is not only only a solid action/ crime film but also marks Affleck as a great director. I strongly recommend this film if you are interested in the genre. While it is not perfect, it does so much well, that you would be missing out if you didn't see this.
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One of the finest pieces of ensemble acting in years
Simon_Says_Movies17 September 2010
To say that The Town is everything Takers tried to be and failed at would actually be an insult to Ben Affleck's latest film. Mentioning that bland rehashing in the same breath would imply they even exist on the same plane, but the honest truth is this gritty Boston crime drama is something special and the best film of the early fall season.

Affleck's first foray into directing with the Dennis Lehane adaptation Gone Baby Gone shocked viewers and the critical community in kind, showing that a fading acting career does not mean one is down-and-out in Hollywood. Affleck marries his two passions in The Town, directing, producing and writing the film as well as starring in the lead role, his first since 2003's Paycheck. He owns this comeback performance, successfully wiping any lingering distaste from duds like Daredevil or Gigli. This is by no means a one-man show, but The Town has nothing close to a weak link, in fact, this may be one of the finest pieces of ensemble acting in years.

Joining Affleck in a supporting role is Jeremy Renner, fresh off his best actor Oscar nomination for The Hurt Locker and he beyond a doubt proves he is no one-hit wonder. This is Oscar-worthy acting yet again for Renner, nailing his Boston accent along with his loose-cannon mentality. He is terrifying, but impossible to pry your eyes away from. The most shocking revelation comes from Blake Lively (TV's "Gossip Girl") as a doped-up mother with more than a few issues. She is not only unrecognizable, but owns her role, never calling attention to her drastic deviation from type. Substantial buzz was also placed in the way of John Hamm from the acclaimed television drama Mad Men. He is sufficiently pompous as a dedicated FBI agent also scoring a number of the films laughs.

Before I wander too much further into specifics, the characters in The Town populate a Boston suburb called Charlestown, which an introductory message informs us, is the world-center for bank robbers. Affleck's Doug MacRay heads a team of those in such a profession including Renner as James Coughlin and two others played by Slaine, and Owen Burke. During one of their routine bank heists, they are forced to take a hostage (Rebecca Hall) during their hasty escape. Afterwards, to make sure she does not know anything incriminating following her release from captivity, MacRay follows her and inadvertently falls for her in the process.

There is nothing particularly revelatory about The Town, there are few surprises or much that deviates from a standard crime drama. But Affleck directs with such skill and confidence while showcasing yet another peek into suburban Boston that it is never less than riveting. There is an overlying sense of impeding dread that perforates The Town and a handful of sensational action sequences do little to let up the firm grasp the film has on our windpipes. Propelled by faultless acting and a pitch- perfect script, this slice of the Boston criminal underworld is everything for which we could have hoped following such a bland summer. Affleck has always been a star, and if he continues to produce films of this pedigree, then there might be hope for the movies yet.
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Affleck's second matches realism of the first and the fine ensemble carries the rest
Movie_Muse_Reviews19 September 2010
Ben Affleck's second feature film as a director -- if nothing else -- proves he's no fluke. In all the ways his sincere and revealing debut "Gone Baby Gone" succeeds, so does "The Town." Both are Boston-based crime dramas that are both touchingly dramatic at times yet gripping at others. More impressive with his work on "The Town," however, is that it proves he could just as easily go on to direct an action blockbuster as he could an Oscar-winning drama.

It starts with the cast and the performances he gets from them. In 2007, he helped Amy Ryan to a supporting actress nomination, and that's ignoring the other talents in the film such as Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan and Ed Harris. In "The Town," he gets Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner in his first major film since his breakout in "The Hurt Locker" and Jon Hamm in his first major film since TV's "Mad Men" took off. He also gets a pair of up-and-comers in Rebecca Hall and "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively. And that's not to mention Pete Postelthwaite and Chris Cooper. Next to "Inception," it's the best ensemble cast of the year.

Based on the Chuck Hogan novel "Prince of Thieves," the film follows a team of bank robbers from Charlestown, an area notorious for grooming the best at intercepting armored cars and taking down banks. As with "Gone Baby Gone," also based on a novel (by Dennis Lehane), the city of Boston and the people and culture are as important to Affleck as the plot. He's sure to let shots of the Charlestown bridge and Fenway Park soak in amidst the ever-building pinch the main characters are in.

Doug MacRay (Affleck) and his buddy Jim (Renner) and a couple others pull off a bank job in the opening scene, but when it doesn't go exactly as planned, they're forced to kidnap the bank manager (Hall). To make sure she didn't see anything and can hand them on a platter to the feds (led by Jon Hamm's Special Agent Frawley), Doug trails her, only to find himself falling for her.

"The Town" is one of those crime dramas/bank-job action films that while not revelatory for the genre, executes everything well and sticks to a character-driven story in order to stay meaningful. Perhaps the reason it works so well is because it floats in between the drama, never becoming too much of a guns 'n robbers flick, but also not slipping into crime melodrama for too long. Affleck's performance as MacRay acts in accordance; it's tastefully understated and he lets go of the machismo that has marred a few of his previous roles.

The film also has an unexpected but much appreciated sense of humor. In a mile-a-minute crime drama/thriller, you don't expect to laugh the way you will in "The Town," which speaks even more to the writing and Affleck's versatility. Even if there are some plot conventions and no-surprise characters (as good as Hamm is, he's playing every other quick-witted FBI guy in films), the dialogue is sharp, the story is exciting and the way we are so easily able to see things from MacRay's perspective as the bank robber who wants out makes up for any use of convention as a crutch.

There's no doubt that if "The Town" becomes a success that studios will seek out Affleck for some more high-profile projects and it will certainly be interesting to see how he handles material not rooted in Boston sub-culture. As long as he continues to get such memorable performances out of his actors, he'll be doing things on the other end of the camera for a long time to come.

~Steven C

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Take a bow Mr. have certainly earned it.
blackmambamark14 September 2010
My Oh My how Ben Affleck has had a up and down career. Starting out as the cheesy yet funny guy in those Kevin Smith flicks, to the academy award winning writer of "Good Will Hunting", all the way back down to the pathetic string of acting he produced only 10 years ago. But there is a silver lining....with his directorial debut in "Gone Baby Gone", and his much improved acting in "Hollywoodland". Ben Affleck is beginning to once again prove his worth in Tinsel Town. Hopefully he can continue to feverish pace.

Well i can say with complete just, that this is the best "Heist" movie since "Swordfish"......Now i know most of you may not like "Swordfish", but what other bank robbery movie can you compare it to in the past 10 years? Maybe "Snatch"? "Lock Stock"?, if you classify those movies as "Heist" pictures, than okay, it's the best heist movie since "Snatch" or maybe even "Oceans 11"....either way, it's a big compliment.

Ben Affleck has certainly proved that "Gone Baby Gone" was not a fluke. He can actually direct a major motion picture. And not only can he do it, he does it very well. Sure the movie had some minor flaws, but nothing that takes too much away from the overall big picture. The best way i can compare it's like an east coast "Heat". Now, the group is not as fool proof or professional as the gang in "Heat"......well, let's face it, you will probably never top that group in movie.....ever. But never the less, the style of film making really pulls you into each sequence, whether it be the action packed bank robbery, the emotional dialog between characters, or the intense decisions the players all must endure.

The movie doesn't try to WOW! you by offering a different style of bank robbery. Which is a good thing, because you really run the risk of tripping over your own two feet in the process. But i really think the major factor in this film, was the acting. Everyone came to play ball in this one........but i can also say this with complete confidence.......Ben Affleck was the best actor in this movie. Yes, i know it's hard to swallow for some of you, but he really showed us all, what he is truly capable of doing. So Mr. Affleck, let me tip my hat to you and say job well done sir. You took a lot of crap to the face, and you wiped it off, and came back strong.

Bottom Line......Yes, i can honestly say that this is one of the best movies of the year so far. Sure the movie gets a little sappy at the end, but it's pretty necessary. But overall, your very well entertained.

I read an article a few months ago about even after "Gone Baby Gone", people still wouldn't hire Affleck as a director. And he had to fight tooth and nail to land this deal. Well, hopefully now you can find more work buddy, because you have certainly earned it.
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Ben Affleck's "The Town"-so bad that it's good:
friendoffilm29 March 2014
"The Town" is an overrated, hyped-up, cheesy piece of junk, imo. It's more like a feature- length, made-for-TV soap opera than a regular movie, and is very cartoonlike with a poor to mediocre cast. None of the characters are believable except for Jeremy Renner's role as the crazy "Jem" Coughlin, and Jon Hamm as Adam Frawley, the FBI Agt. who's been assigned to bring Doug MacRay and his men to their knees and to prison, once and for all.

The beginning of "The Town", with the opening bank heist and the aerial/on the ground shots of Charlestown and Boston, generally, was interesting, but it went from being okay to being just plain awful in a matter of minutes.

The Town conveys the message to me, personally, that people don't have to be held accountable for what they do, and, as long as they get what they want, anything goes. A strong message that predatory behavior such as stalking a person, and associating with a person who shoots, kills and beats people within inches of their life is okay is also evident in The Town.

So is the message that a woman who's very princess-like, demure and "normal" and steals the heart of the de-facto leader of a local gang of thieving thugs can be petted and praised as a good lass, regardless of what she does, and that being an accessory to someone's criminal activity and making dupes out of law enforcement people who are trying to do their assigned jobs of bringing criminals to justice is okay.

The Town also indicates the continued "dumbing down" of America and the world; the fact that such a film not only can be mad, but to have such glowing reviews from most people is a strong reflection of that.
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Ben Affleck has his comeback.
Matt_Layden18 September 2010
A bank robbery goes a little different than planned when one of the robbers takes a hostage. Doug (Affleck) has to duty to check up on the hostage after she is let go, to see if she knows anything about the crew. Surprise, they start dating. Can he continue his life of robbing banks and have a love life? Will his crew accept that he is with her? Will she ever find out? This is The Town.

Gone Baby Gone was his first directorial effort set in the city of Boston, The Town is his second. Ben obviously loves the city and if he keeps making films like these two, I'll be happy with some more Boston. I'm not going to preach about which film is better, their both different. Gone Baby Gone has more of an emotional punch with it's climax and tough decisions. The Town doesn't reach those heights, but it's a well made tense action thriller with a bit of a romance thrown in.

This time Affleck is in front of the camera as well. He seems to have left his pretty boy blockbuster image behind him. I'm thankful, I can only take so many Armageddons or Pearl Harbors. He's matured as an actor, this is evident by his roles as of late. State of Play and Hollywoodland are two examples. Of course he's had some fun films in between, but he's probably the best thing about those. Extract anyone?

For The Town he has assembled quite the cast. Jeremy Renner, who is hot off of The Hurt Locker plays his buddy with an attitude who won't think twice about pulling the trigger if you're in his way. Mad Men's Jon Hamm who is the FBI agent on their trail, his partner is Man in Black actor Titus Welliver, who was also in Gone Baby Gone. I wouldn't mind seeing more of him in films and if he's Affleck's good luck charm, all the better. Blake Lively has a small role and she does skanky a little too well. She has a thing for Affleck's character and she has a daughter, but he's obviously fallen for someone else. Rebecca Hall, who has the hard role of playing the woman who is dating her abductor. Things don't look too well for this relationship.

The Town shows Affleck's ability at directing action sequences. Gone Baby Gone wasn't full of gunfights and car chases, but The Town is. There are three separate heists in the film, the opening, the middle section and the climactic ending. All three are different from each other, one is in a bank, the other a truck and finally a baseball stadium. Each heist was exciting to watch and gave you those Heat moments. It's obviously the Heat was influential in the making of this film. It seems all movies that have robberies in them look to Heat.

Ben Affleck had a hand in writing the film, he of course won an Oscar with Matt Damon for writing Good Will Hunting. It appears he's found his footing once again and hopefully the allure of the blockbuster won't claim him once more. The Town is a successful film made for adults. It's slick, well acted and has enough thrilling moments to keep those who seek it entertained. The film centres mostly on Affleck and his new love and the heist bits are second fodder. Renner is the only one who gets some spotlight from the crew, the other two are simply background faces. The Town does it's job as a movie and Ben Affleck has found himself a new career.
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I'll see you again...
Jerique18 September 2010
I was wrong about Ben Affleck. I never believed that Affleck was ever a star. I never saw him as a director-type. I do admit I was wrong, though. Ben Affleck was truly incredible as Doug McCray, and I've never seen him work his acting at such a high level. As far as the plot of the film goes, it's very engaging. The trailer doesn't give this film justice as it's very intense and romantic at times.

Jeremy Renner is quite intimidating and Blake Lively is sexy, Ben Affleck is gripping and the supporting cast is incredibly powerful. I think the movie was powerful and not at all predictable. I couldn't wait to see what would happen and if Doug would get away. It's such a greatly crafted movie. From writing to acting this film is wickedly astounding.

I thought that the sex scene was over too quickly, but it was made up with all the action. I thoroughly enjoyed the chase scenes. I thought the action sequences were well-drawn out. I loved the bank robbery scenes of the blue masks and the nun outfits. I especially liked Ben's scenes with the sledge hammer and the scene where he says, "if I think anything might happen to her, I'm gonna kill both of you." It's a clip from the trailer, but it's so much better when it happens in the film.

It's driven as an action film with drama and romance on the side. There's a few chuckles along the way, but pretty much sparse. I thought the romance was done just enough and I felt the drama was perfectly done and drastically added to the plot, as well as the tone of the film.

It's certainly the best heist movie I've ever seen. In comparison, if you called Inception a heist movie, this movie is a better heist movie. I really think this is the Heat of the decade. I truly believe that Affleck is in his peek of his career and this is his greatest performance, directing, writing and acting. I'm overjoyed and excited to see his next piece of work.
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The Town is a generic crime-thriller that offers nothing more than two hours of average entertainment.
Eternality29 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I react with some measure of disappointment to Ben Affleck's newest feature, The Town. Starring himself, Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, 2009), and Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2008), this crime-heist thriller is set in Charlestown, Boston, where every other day there seems to be an armed robbery happening. Produced by Graham King, who won the Best Picture Oscar for Scorsese's The Departed (2006), which is also set in Boston, The Town is a generic crime-thriller that offers nothing more than two hours of average entertainment.

The film follows Affleck's character, Doug , as he faces a turning point in his life. He leads a gang of masked armed robbers but wants to quit a life of crime and change for good. His dream of a better future is spurred on by a coincidental romance with Claire (Hall), who was an unharmed victim (and a key witness) of one of his heist schemes. To complicate things, Claire does not know that Doug was involved in that heist. Worse, his partner-in-crime, James (Renner), a volatile, Joe Pesci-like madman, discovers their relationship and threatens to kill her.

There is a scene with these three characters together, sitting around a table at an outdoor café. This is perhaps the only moment in the film that causes a significant degree of uneasiness and tension in the viewer. Sad to say, much of the entire film does not live up to its "thriller" tag. As a crime-thriller, it is a borderline passable entry. That is not good enough for Affleck, whose debut directing effort Gone Baby Gone has shown that he is capable of making a noteworthy thriller.

The Town has reasonably well-executed action sequences, but they amount to nothing if the story is one-dimensional, and the characters underdeveloped. The romance between Doug and Claire, which I feel to be the film's central narrative thread, is clearly lacking in development, thus when the film closes with their separation, and ends with the line "…see you again, this side or the other", it feels unconvincing.

The Town's standout performance is credited to Renner. He steals the screen every time he appears, but his characterization is limited to the stereotypical caricature of a bad-ass gangster. Nevertheless, Renner's performance helps to engage the viewer whenever the story fails to do so. As for Affleck's performance, there is no surprise in store for us. He is weak in acting and should stick to directing instead. But hey, I am starting to have doubts about his directing too.

SCORE: 6/10 ( All rights reserved!
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Yva27 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Did I watch the same movie as most reviewers? Is it that people are expecting too little from mediocre actor so they are ecstatic when he doesn't do complete rubbish? Since The Town is on most bank robbery movie lists I should say that it is not a bank robbery movie, and it's not a thriller. It's a weak love story with bad Ben Affleck's performance packed in story about robbery and Charlestown, the neighborhood with high number of robbers. "My dad was one, and so am I" kind of thing. It's a movie about nothing with too much things going on. The same things that couple of minutes later are completely forgotten and the story goes on like some of them never happened. It has some great masks (different one for every occasion), but it seems that masks are there to make people pay no attention to weak action sequences and lack of tension. And even if we forget all about action and tension, we are left with bad love story. The movie is also too long and it seems that Ben got lost somewhere towards the end.

It is just bad and boring.

And let's be clear... the guy is robber, he's pointing guns at people… he should be in jail and not in some idyllic house on a lake.

I gave it a 2/10 just because I've seen worst.
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Sadly, a wasted opportunity
Matt Jones14 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I rented this because the idea sounded like a rare good one. Unfortunately, what few good ideas Hollywood has any more, they somehow manage to screw up. The Town is 125 minutes of my life I'd like back.

The movie starts with a bank heist, that kind of seems semi-professional but they take a hostage as a precaution. After they let the hostage go, one of the robbers follows her to make sure she's no threat. They meet, and they accidentally end up falling in love. Romance dramas aren't my preferred genre, but that's a pretty good story line to start with. It's definitely problem for the protagonist to try to get out of without hurting her. Etc.

What they did with it, though, was boring, slow and full of pointless twists and turns in the plot. Was the writer trying desperately to confuse the viewer so as not to guess the ending? I almost shut this one off a couple times, and the only reason I didn't was, to find out if I guessed the ending right. And the actual ending was far stupider than I had guessed, which means this writer has a lot to learn about suspense and climax. It's too bad, because the premise was really box-office hit material. No wonder I never heard of this when it was out!
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Glorified gangsters rule
dierregi4 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie follows a well-traveled road: weary criminal wants to change life and meet a girl who might push him in the right direction. Obviously, only a "last job" stands in the way to living happily ever after.

So far, nothing unusual. However, despite the fact that the plot did not seem overwhelming innovative, I was quite please with part I and II, but my appreciation dropped during part III. There are a few minor twists in part I and II. For instance, the girl is linked to a crime scene and not so innocent. The criminal is an ex-hero of some sort, but his father is a convict. Again, nothing wildly original here, but enough action and suspense to keep the public interested.

That is, if you did not see "Heat" and do not mind the rip-off scenes and general feeling of the plot.

Unfortunately, part III turns a likely story into the realm of science fiction. How is it possible that four men can survive the attack of an army of Special Forces? Aren't those Special Forces trained to aim and shoot, rather than just shoot randomly and hit everything around the villains, except the villains themselves?

Ben Affleck is not Michael Mann and he could not pull off a decent ending for his movie. While "Heat" manages to retain a certain atmosphere, "The Town" crumbles miserably at the end. Besides not being in the Michael Mann league of directors, Affleck is not even such a great actor, remaining expressionless and dull in all his scenes. Luckily, Jeremy Renner has better acting skills and creates some tension with his crazy, out-of-control, character. Jon Hamm is also good, as a straight FBI man.
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One of the best movies of the year
littlengine16 September 2010
Last night I saw the sneak peek of the Town. Driving for 30 minutes and waiting in the huge line to get into the theatre I thought to myself, this film better be worth it. I can tell you now, I was not disappointed. This film delivered in so many ways. Ben Affleck surprised me again with his screenplay, directing and acting, showing me that he is a force in this world. The rest of the casting was brilliant as well. Jeremy Renner was breathtaking as Gem, playing the troubled and hardened career criminal. Blake Lively stunned me as Krista. I did not think she had the skill to pull off such a character and she delivered in all of her scenes. Pete Postlewaite has some amazing dialogue and is frighteningly amazing in his role. Overall this movie absolutely delivers because of the emotional content that allows the audience to become attached to the characters, and the amazing action sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat. All in all, I must say that this is one of the best films of the year.
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Feel the "Heat"
heinigrunbaum-786-2042430 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Ehhh… help me out here… was this a remake of Michael Mann's "Heat" from 1995?

The plot, the characters, everything. You've got the secret love that the law will destroy! The super cool bank robbers that we love to love. Within the bank robbers team there is the crazy ass f##### messing it up for his teammates! You've got the music that clearly the film-director told Harry Gregson-Williams to make a rip-off from the soundtrack of "Heat" (or maybe the director had no part of this???).

Not that Harry Gregson-Williamsto doesn't make good music. Only that he is famed for making rip-offs like Beverly hills cop II where all the music was stolen from John Carpenter and Alan Howards great soundtrack of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK …… and I could easily continue… You feel "Heat" all over "Town"!!!
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Well done!!
sravanth gajula17 September 2010
I had a trip to 'the town' last night and well, it is surprisingly entertaining. I still can't believe Ben Affleck can pull off everything (story, screenplay, direction, starring in a lead role) with such an ease. Three years after his debut directional venture 'Gone Baby Gone', Ben comes up with an ever better one this time.

A perfect combo of sold story, captivating screenplay, amazing writing, brilliant character development, good emotional content and brilliant cinematography (watch out for the shaky camera, this is the best camera work I've seen after 'Bourne' series) all together delivers an entertaining action thriller...worth a watch.
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Hey wasn't this called Heat before?
franksherman25 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
OK I was personally a big fan of Gone Baby Gone. This movie was exactly like the movie Heat but instead of Al Pacino we have Jack Hamm and instead of Deniro we have the Affleck. This obviously is a huge step down. I mean it wasn't terrible but it surely wasn't great. In this movie(and come to think of it all Affleck starring roles) Ben has as much depth as a kiddie pool. He has the exact same facial expression during the entire film. The action scenes were good but that really didn't save it. And also not as many good actors. We are substituting Tom Sizemore for some fat Irish guy. Come on Think what you like but I know if you wanna see how this movie should have been see Heat.
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Wait, didn't I already see this?
pottz111 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Typically movies do not make enough of an impact on me that I feel I need to comment. "The Town" however is certainly one of those movies. How a movie like this can be made without a ton of money being exchanged between the writers of the original work and the plagiarists who reconstituted a couple of old script's is beyond me? This movie simply combined the plots of two previous made Hollywood movies entitled "Heat" and "Point Break", packaged it in a different city, Boston instead of Los Angeles, and added the dreadful acting and directing of Ben Affleck. I just wish I could get my money back for having paid for this awful movie. After all, I've already see "Heat" and "Point Break" dozens of times and like them both. I'm not going to rehash the storyline but I do want to point out a few things that particularly annoyed me about this movie. The first is the part is the rip from "Shawshank Redemption" where she dug up the bag of money. This scene worked so magnificently in Shawshank because you desperately wanted the characters to end up in Zihuatanejo as free men. When the female character in "The Town" dug up the bag, I was hoping she would give it to the authorities so they could expedite the process of tracking down the thug murderer who buried it there and throw him in the electric chair. In other words, I didn't find any of characters sympathetic, compelling or likable. Second, are we really supposed to believe a successful, single, very good looking woman would fall for an uneducated, ruthless killer thug from Southie? Really? Finally, in this day and age of "CSI" and "BONES", are we supposed to believe Affleck's character is just going to lay low in Florida for the rest of his life? That final scene was almost as ridiculous as the part where he was working out. What was that? Was that some sort of dare between he and his Hollywood buddies to have a comparatively and equally lame scene like the one in "Top Gun" when they are playing volleyball? If you have not seen this movie yet, save yourself the time and money.
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Very forgettable. Not realistic. OK acting.
arantxa21 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Come on! 8.4 out of 10??? And it is being compared to Snatch or Lock Stock??? Who are you people??? First of all, there are so many flaws that I even felt uncomfortable watching. You go to a laundry room just to check out the chick you had kidnapped and miraculously, she starts crying and then talks to you, and then accepts to go out with you (a stranger) and then falls for you ('cause you are so irresistible). Right. Just like that. It's so simple, isn't it? Piece of cake, Ben. After FBI knowing that the chick is dating the suspect, there is no surveillance on her, nor her house.... nothing! Instead of waiting for them to get together and catch him at the end, they go to her place and play that typical stupid scene, with her giving him the hint not to show up. And the FBI dude is SO smart that he gets it and takes all his men away. Also, the second robbery, what a coincidence that the fourth guy shows up at the last second on that street and saves them... And all that time spreading the gas and moving bags of money, no police officers shooting at them, no other cops show up from the other streets, no helicopters..... Right. And what a great gesture that right after he tries to find out the truth about his mom with his dad, the flower guy starts giving him all that gratuitous information and tells him the whole story. Of course, because that info is not going to make him mad and make him want to kill him, it's just going to make him scare.... In the third one, they get out of the building alive dressed up as police cops, and Ben watches how they surround and kill his friend until the last second, instead of just disappearing himself. Right. Oh! And he gets out of there in a police car, nicely and smooth. Nobody thinks it's weird that the police car is leaving right after a crazy shooting. And not only that, but he is such a very good person, that he leaves all that money to that chick that he just met what, a month ago?? Right. Just like in real life. And how did the police know it was them in first place, if they left nothing behind from the beginning?? Ahhhh. So much absurdity. What's up with Ben showing us his abs while doing pull ups?? Everyone is doing so in all movies now... Wow, how cool, eh? Even George Clooney has that scene himself. I think it's an OK movie to entertain yourself for a bit, with some decent action but nothing memorable or great about it. I feel sorry for all those who think it's the best movie of the year. Hahaha. They have obviously never known any better. I am being nice giving it a 5.
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A Well Polished Turd
CrazyDonk8 January 2011
Many people seem to love Ben Affleck's The Town. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by that. I mean we do live in a society in which almost all our popular culture is fake. Fake "reality" shows flood our current television channels, the music business is full of fake posturing and overly manufactured acts, and Hollywood keeps filming the same old stories with bad writing, big star names, and lots of glitzy glamour. All flash and very little substance seems to be the trend of the day, or should I say decade? Well The Town is not much different, it too is a well polished turd. A turd that lacks pretty much any originality at all. The dialogue and overall quality of writing in this film should easily be surpassed by the average tenth grade student if challenged. Seriously, is there a single stretch of 10 minutes in this film that actually seemed like it could, or might be able to happen in reality? I've been around. From the big house to the white picket fence to the bad side of town and I'm telling you that no, there is nothing real. Nor is there anything meaningful here. This basically seemed like a badly written cartoon made into an even worse film. None of the characters who are given time to develop are anything more than cartoon like. Has the majority of people these days lost all perspective on what is realistic, and what is a total sham? It certainly seems so.
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Sort of poor man's HEAT
GUENOT PHILIPPE18 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I am disappointed by this film. I'll be straight, I expected better than that. I don't speak of the film it self, the story, characters, actor's directing, but by the fact that this screenplay is not faithful to the original novel. I read it a couple of years ago, and the movie should have been better than that. Especially concerning the very ending. The book's one is far better. I won't spoil it any further, especially for the IMDb readers who already know some of my comments and who also know what I love and what I hate in a movie. What kind of ending I prefer, for instance.

But, except for that, it's a pretty effective action packed thriller, with powerful performances from the actors. We, of course, think of HEAT and sometimes of POINT BREAK. An old fashioned topic about gangsters and code of honour.

A good movie for most of the audiences, but I expected more than that, only because of my taste.

One more thing: When an armored truck - weighing more than three or four tons - is hitting a car or a wall, I don't think it rises from the ground before jumping in the air; especially if it has not reached a high speed.

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Get off your high horses, guys...
Carson Trent17 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I've been reading a couple of reviews here, and was surprised, granted out of only 10 comments written to this moment, to see raving blabber on "most complex heist movie since...", or "Ben has proved that x movie was not a fluke", and even references to "Good Will ..", and one even mentioned Oscar nominations. Obviously some of these people have been born only 10 years ago, or else they would recognize the botched rip-off of such heist movies as Point Break 1991, or more recently Heat 1995(which is a remake of a lesser version of itself LA Takedown 1989), to name but the most shamelessly plagiarized ones. So Ben didn't really dig too deep for inspiration. I will call it inspiration although a plagiarism law suit wouldn't come as a surprise to me in relation to The Town. I guess Ben saw himself as kind of a Mc Cauley-de Niro in Heat, Hamm would be Hanna-Pacino, Jeremy Renner a kind of Tom Sizemore-Cheritto, and Rebecca Hall-Amy Brenneman-Eady. I especially liked the phone conversation between Ben and her where she stands at the window with all police waiting and she gives him the sign, wink!,that she's under surveillance and he should split...(to use a bit of heist flick lingo, myself)Does it remind anyone of the scene where Ashley Judd gives Val Kilmer the sign that he should disappear, after the heist gone wrong? I guess not, for the time being.

I won't even start with the gratuitous work-out scene where Ben shows us his about gratuitous. Also, there are some f-word written to a small piece of paper jokes, the guys in the last row will laugh at for sure. Real brain puzzlers. Acting, on Ben's part is no surprise. He walks around frown-mouthed and thinks he is in character. Pityfull. Hamm does not have another persona outside Mad Men, and should stick to TV, in my opinion. Direction-I especially enjoyed the shaky close-up camera work during the action sequences, to create dynamism, no doubt Ben must have thought to himself.

Altogether a plot-holes filled rip-off, and not a good one at that, either.

Oh, and one more thing, why again did Bendoug have to go poking around Claire? To find out how much she knows? After the FBI had already questioned her? So he can attract more attention to himself? Well I guess by asking these questions the whole plot kind of unravels like a poorly woven 5 bucks sweater when you pull a loose thread...
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"The Town" proves that Ben Affleck is not only a gifted actor, but also has a great eye for directing.
MovieManMenzel25 January 2011
In "The Town," Ben Affleck plays Doug, the brains behind an Irish mob that robs banks and plans heists all around the Boston area. After their last huge bank job, Doug learns from his colleague, James (James Coughlin), that the female bank manager, Claire (Rebecca Hall) from the bank lives a few blocks away from where the mob meets. This is when Doug decides to investigate Claire and see what she knows about him and the other members of his crew. Along the way, Doug falls in love with Claire as the FBI is slowly investigating him and his fellow mob members to see where they are going to strike next. It's only a matter of time before the FBI comes after Doug and it's now up to Doug to decide whether it's the mob life or love....

I have to admit when I first saw the trailers for "The Town" I wasn't really that impressed with it. Sure it looked like a solid action movie about bank-robbers but the trailers just seemed to give away too much. When "The Town" was actually released in theaters I didn't have a chance to see it because it was released during a time where for some reason, which I am not sure of, I didn't see any films. I did however, read the reviews for the film and they were nothing but extreme positives. I tried to see the film in theaters but like most things nowadays it didn't last more than a few weeks at the local theaters. I decided to buy the flick on Blu Ray and finally sat down last night to watch it...

There is so much good to say about "The Town" but it's hard to pick where to start. The easiest place to start is with Ben Affleck so I am going to start there. As many may know already, Affleck directed, co-wrote, and starred in this film. Unlike most people, I never really disliked Affleck even though earlier in his career, he had a few stinkers ("Gigli," "Daredevil," and "Jersey Girl" all come to mind) but I figured he just hasn't found the right fit yet. In "The Town" Ben Affleck shows off just how solid of an actor he can be with the right material. He plays the tough Irish mob leader to perfection. I am talking everything from the accent to the mannerisms; Affleck just nails it.

Along with the acting, his eye as a director is also rather solid. This is Affleck's second directorial endeavor and its surprisingly better than his first, which is saying a lot. "Gone Baby Gone" was well reviewed by critics and audience members alike and many were shocked to learn that Affleck directed that flick. "The Town" is rated even higher by both categories of people. Affleck knows his way behind the scenes capturing raw emotion, realistic and gritty violence, and truly showing his audience he knows how to make his cast act out their roles to near perfection. Affleck's dark and corrupt vision of Boston reminded me of something Martin Scorsese would have created. If Affleck keeps this up, you never know but he might just become the next Scorsese.

Besides Affleck providing a solid performance, there are several other names that deserve some recognition here. Rebecca Hall is absolutely terrific as the bank manager and Doug's love interest. It's was interesting to see a smaller name in such a big role but it worked to the films advantage. She seemed perfect to play an out of town girl, who gets involved with someone has sleazy and shady as Doug. Jon Hamm did a perfect job as the lead FBI agent. I haven't seen him in many other projects but his mannerisms fit my ideal image of a FBI agent. Jeremy Renner, who played James was just nuts! He played this whacked out character perfectly. The guy seemed to not care about anything and anyone but did it in such a believable fashion. He truly was a demented and troubled soul in the film and really acted his heart out to show that. The one person I do have to say didn't really wow me was Blake Lively. I will admit it was nice seeing her play a really dark and gritty role, which is out of her normal character but she wasn't convincing to me. I just had a hard time believing her as a trashy person. As a whore, I can see but the white trash thing didn't work for me. I am sure many would disagree but trashy I couldn't picture.

All in all, I really don't have anything bad to say about "The Town." It was a solid film all around. The pacing was perfect, the acting was solid, and the direction was superb. This movie may soon be placed in the same category where such movies like "Goodfellas," "Casino," and "Reservoir Dogs" now sit. It will not shock me if this film holds up over the years and becomes known as a cult classic. The film may be too violent or gritty for some but for those who like raw and gritty dramas will probably be adding "The Town" to their favorites list.

MovieManMenzel's final rating for "The Town" is a solid 8 out of 10. A ton of kudos points are in order for Affleck and the entire cast of this film.
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Get Outta Town
thesar-212 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Get Outta Town Let me start with…I wasn't a big fan of The Departed, and I liked American Gangster a whole lot less. Both seemed to try and grab the Oscar, and hard, e.g. trying too desperately. Granted, Departed won it (thanks Jack) but I generally don't favor movie's only motive is for awards. (Or actors, such as Denzel Washington.)

That all said, I'm not sure The Town was set out to grab any awards, though I'm sure with 100 best picture nominations (okay, 10, but still) it's sure to get a nod. That's not saying too much since 2010 basically sucked and I would be racking my brain to come up with 10, let alone 100.

And yet, The Town SHOULDN'T win anything. In fact, the only nominations I would approve (but not win, mind you) would be: Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor for the always impressive Jeremy Renner. The rest of the cast, or talent, barely would pass an audition, let alone get any consideration.

The worst part of the movie was the over-used and well-done tired plot, including the infamous LIE subplot involving the laughable Ben Affleck and his honey, Rebecca Hall. The story, co-written by the lesser Affleck (Casey is just so much better) isn't anything new and brought little to the table.

OK, so we have ho-hum and very little depth bank robbers who wear disguises and/or forget to shave – shocking trickery! – who pull off their latest but must take (and eventually release) the manager, Claire (Hall) and in their suspicion, lead robber, Doug (Affleck) follows her once the "heat" is over. Naturally and completely unsurprisingly, he falls for her.

I'll pause a moment…here's where I prove how bad Affleck was in both acting and (co-)writing: he asks her a dozen or more questions on what she remembers or who's been talking to her. Maybe I'm being cynical, but she's pretty dumb, naïve, scared or just a plain idiot not to see why he's asking so many questions.

Fine, not everyone can put two'n'two together, but you'll have to get ahead of that plot hole to move on to the others.

The FBI knows whodunit, but they need to prove it or get a witness to…nail them! Sorry, needed to put emphasis on that, because the movie asks, er, begs, you to have some urgency even though we know everyone's on the same page. Oh, and when Doug's being interrogated, let me say this: He ain't Keyser Söze. Hell, he ain't even the Joker. It would be more interesting to see the interrogation scene from Marathon Man, and if only I could play the dentist hovering over Affleck asking "Do you think you're safe?"

Let's move on to the other obvious and clichéd plot of DougieBoy wanting to do his "last robbery" and start fresh in…in Florida? Anyways, if they brought anything to the table that hasn't been done before in the countless "I'm getting too old for this sh|t" retirement bits (SEE: Lethal Weapon One, Two, Three…), I might have given a sh|t myself.

I'm not going to spoil anything else, but to say: they try to unsuccessfully sneak some character depth to the story (The FBI agent that won't give up!, The Mother & Child who also want out!, The Mob won't let him go!) The positives about the film was, again, Renner, who wasn't on top of his game – nowhere near, but still good to watch and the striking, though formulaic views of Boston. Honestly, I don't mind scenic aerial shots of cities, or on the ground and in unfamiliar neighborhoods of cities. So, I did like how the film was shot.

Unfortunately, it was always ended with a close up of the Dudley-Do-Wrong mug of Affleck. Buzz kill.

You have no one to root for. No depth of the characters other than what's spoken and not shown. You have nothing new under the Boston sun. And you have no reason to subject yourself with dozens of other already made, already better film versions of The Town. SKIP!
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This is one Town you don't want to go to.
primo-st17 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Throw in a high budget, a charming badass, an attractive girlfriend, and what do you have? A Generic Hollywood blockbuster.

Before I even get started on the script I would like to comment on the acting. Ben Affleck is completely unbelievable as a badguy. He is too middle class to act tough, incredible charming and thoughtful, to the point that you think the movie is a romance. He falls in love at first sight and sacrifices everything for this girl who he has 'traumatized' meanwhile he is more than happy to spray his submachine gun all over the town. Oh and did I mention he had childhood problems? Did I have to? The movie is so incredibly cliché that you just want to laugh out loud. Rebecca Hall played her part well, is it really that hard to stand around looking pretty and feeling vulnerable. Blake Lively was a disgrace. Despite having absolutely no character depth (admittedly not her fault) her accent was abysmal to the point of being unaudible for most of the movie. She needs to stick to Gossip Girl, where the role is incredibly easy and her looks get her through the episodes due the abundance of gawking twelve-year-olds.Jon Hamm star of Madmen is yet another completely miscast character. While I am usually impressed by his acting, he did not pull off even slightly the badass detective role.

Basically this movie was based on the premise that if enough good looking people were thrown in it would make a lot of money. The performances however were not all bad, Jeremy Renner was powerful, and once again I was impressed by his ability, which was of course proved in 'The Hurt Locker'

The script was weak and predictable, most characters had no depth (for example the other two crew members of the supposedly four man team) and frankly just boring save one or two good lines.

I wont go deep into the plot holes because im sure someone will have covered that elsewhere, but I will note briefly that there are many of them. I don't usually take such negative stances on movies but I felt that this movie is completely undeserving of its rating.
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/taut, well acted and edited -- see it!
bobm550819 September 2010
The Ben Affleck saga is well chronicled in these reviews. Pretty boy hunk, to blockbuster star, to paparazzi darling, to yearly "razzie" nominee. I'm not sure the "razzies" were warranted, by his movie choices got decidedly weaker as his star was falling. Eventually he took some strong supporting roles to get back on track and now has grabbed the director reins with both hands.

"The Town" is placed in and about my loved Boston. "Ahh, ahh, Boston you're my home". By choosing Charlestown (now a yuppier "Chuckville") as its base, the North End for a car chase and the bowels of old (1912) Fenway for the climactic "last job", he is at home in his surrounding. Anyone who has walked thru the North End, stopped for a "slice" and checked out the streets knows that's the last place you'd ever expect a high speed car chase. Ben's camera work and editing makes it a thrilling, crash filled event. Pity the poor stunt drivers who has to careen around those corners!

So, lots of reviews tell the plot points. I'm just writing to voice my opinion on the entertainment value and that is very high. Though its over two hours, it never drags. Ben gives each of his excellent cast a very strong scene or two. Chris Cooper gets 5 minutes of screen time and is excellent. Rebecca Hall, the prettiest average looking person you'll see, is terrific. Jeremy Renner is calm and explosive, at the same time. Jon Hamm gets to look cool, be cool and stay cool. He is a different FBI than we are used to. Smart, but with a meaner edge. And, for me, last but not least, Blake Lively. I hear she's a glamor girl on TV and red carpets, but here she absorbs the role of broken, damaged and desperate, with a glob of mascara in each eye. One review I read said "she's no Amy Ryan" (see:"Gone Baby Gone"). Maybe not, but that's pretty unfair and she is well up to the task here.

So, action, anti-heroes to "root" for and Fenway Park (a diamond on the outside, pretty scruffy underneath)!! What's not to like? But I've got to nit-pick one thing. Does everyone in the world have a 3 day beard??? FBI guys go to the office unshaven for days? Ben even has some uneven moments where he goes from 2 to 1 to 3 day beards in the same caper! Hey, what can you do, its not one big long shoot, but it was a lot of stubble!
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Crime & Romance In Charlestown
seymourblack-11 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"The Town" is a real crowd-pleaser in which some exciting action sequences are complemented by quieter passages during which a romance develops in very unusual circumstances. There's so much intensity about everything that happens on screen that there's never a point at which the audience's interest is allowed to flag, even for the briefest moment and the characters are so well developed that they add real interest and substance to everything that happens.

The story is based on Chuck Hogan's novel "Prince Of Thieves" and is set in Charlestown, a neighbourhood of Boston which is reputed to be the bank robbery capital of America. This is a tough area in which the skills associated with bank robbery are frequently passed down from father to son and where broken homes are common. One of the real strengths of "The Town" is the powerful and authentic way in which this neighbourhood and its people are depicted. This is done so successfully that the atmosphere of the place and the values of its residents make an indelible impression on everyone who sees the movie.

Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is a typical product of Charlestown. He leads a gang of four friends that rob banks and armoured cars and like his father before him, works for local crime boss Fergie Colm (Pete Postlethwaite). Doug's crew have remained successful because of their professionalism. All their jobs are well planned and great care is always taken to ensure that no evidence is left which could link them to their robberies.

Things start to become complicated for Doug after a robbery during which his gang takes bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) hostage. She's subsequently released unharmed but they start to become concerned about whether she can identify them. Their concern is heightened when they discover that she lives just a few blocks away and gang member Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner) wants to keep tabs on her. Jem's a particularly violent character with a short fuse and so Doug volunteers to do the job himself.

Doug meets Claire in a Laundromat and the couple are immediately attracted to each other. It soon becomes clear that Claire would be able to identify Jem because she caught sight of a very distinctive tattoo on his neck. Doug convinces her that it would be dangerous for her to pass this information on to the FBI and their relationship continues to grow steadily. Doug becomes increasingly disillusioned with his way of life and wants to leave it and Charlestown behind. He soon learns, however, that escape is almost impossible and to make matters worse, an FBI team led by Special Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) is closing in.

Ben Affleck, in only his second film as a director, does a great job in making the action sequences exciting and fascinating to watch and also takes great care in the way that he enables the characters to develop. There's a great deal of tension in "The Town". For example, during Doug and Claire's conversations, when she knows nothing about his involvement in her abduction and then on later occasions with Jem, Fergie and ex-girlfriend Krista (Blake Lively) when Doug decides he wants to leave Charlestown.

In a movie full of good performances, Jeremy Renner excels as the volatile Jem who seems to become increasingly unpredictable as the story progresses and Rebecca Hall stands out in her role as the only totally sympathetic character in the cast. Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite are exceptional in their relatively small parts and Jon Hamm is very determined as the FBI agent who's ready to resort to any measure in order to hunt the gang down.
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