In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.
Robert Downey Jr.,
On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
When 4 year old Amanda McCready disappears from her home and the police make little headway in solving the case, the girl's aunt Beatrice McCready hires two private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. The detectives freely admit that they have little experience with this type of case, but the family wants them for two reasons - they're not cops and they know the tough Boston neighborhood in which they all live. As the case progresses, Kenzie and Gennaro face drug dealers, gangs and pedophiles. When they are about to solve their case, they are faced with a moral dilemma that could tear them apart.Written by
In 2010, Dennis Lehane wrote a followup to his novel Gone Baby Gone, Moonlight Mile, which once again concerns detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro as well as several of the main characters involved in the case covered in Gone Baby Gone. Lehane put an oblique reference to this movie into the text of Moonlight Mile: he describes one character as being like Robert Ford, the reallife killer of outlaw Jesse James. Ford's story was told in the 2007 movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, in which Ford was played by Casey Affleck (the same actor who played Patrick Kenzie in this film). See more »
When Patrick, Angie and Helene McCready are driving in a car, they don't have their seat belts fastened. Then for a moment Patrick has it, and then again he doesn't. See more »
I always believed it was the things you don't choose that makes you who you are. Your city, your neighborhood, your family. People here take pride in these things, like it was something they'd accomplished. The bodies around their souls, the cities wrapped around those. I lived on this block my whole life; most of these people have. When your job is to find people who are missing, it helps to know where they started. I find the people who started in the cracks and then fell through...
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Every once in a while, amid the dross that reviewers have to sit through, comes a movie that hits like a sucker punch to the gut and haunts you long after you've left the theater. Such is the case with Gone Baby Gone.
Based on the book by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), Gone Baby Gone marks the directorial debut of Ben Affleck, who also penned the screenplay in tandem with Aaron Stockard, and easily puts him at the front of the line for Oscar contention.
Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan star as a pair of private investigators based in the rough working class Dorchester district of Boston. The two are hired by the family of a missing four-year-old girl to assist the police investigation because of their street connections and ability to get people to talk who otherwise would never open up to a cop. As they navigate through the neighborhood's seamy underbelly of pimps, drug dealers and crack whores they uncover an ever-expanding mystery that takes on the added dimension of provoking the question of just what is right and what is wrong, firmly pitting both story and viewer in a struggle between situational ethics and moral absolutes.
Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris round out an impressive cast, but it's the younger Affleck who takes this movie on his back and runs with it, easily surpassing his director brother in terms of acting breadth and range. This is no slight to Ben, however. It's been a long time since I was this impressed with a directorial debut, and even longer since I was given cause to reflect upon the values that we hold dear as individuals and a society, and the moral foundations upon which they are based. Gone Baby Gone manages both, and wraps it up in a hard-hitting detective story that serves as much to satisfy the baser urges of bar fights and gun play, as it does tackling bigger issues.
It's also one of those rare movies in which it can easily be said that the less you know about the story going in, the richer the experience. There's no clear twist ending to give away, but rather a layered story that unfolds like a Russian stacking doll with a moral dilemma at its core.
One thing I do feel comfortable revealing, however, is that this movie comes about as close as any can to being a bonafide lock come Academy Award time. Congrats Ben, you may well have redeemed yourself from your J-Lo/Gigli reputation at last.
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