The Town

The Town
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime
Director: Ben Affleck
Rated: R

The leader of a crew of Bank/Armored Car robberies begins a relationship with the bank manager who was a hostage in one of his robberies, at the same time he tries to evade the FBI and take down one last job.

After Ben Affleck burst onto the scene with Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting their careers could not have gone in more opposite of directions. While Damon was busy building an impressive resume and gaining notoriety as a talented actor, Affleck was doing a quick Hollywood money grab looking for higher profile fare that focused less on acting skill and more on special effects. Combine that with his PR debacle of a relationship with Jennifer Lopez and while Damon cemented his A list status, Affleck crashed and burned.

There are a few things America likes that Affleck has been able to deliver on, the out of know where success story, the crashing saw it coming a mile away failure and now the comeback. I will be the first to say that I was sick of Affleck, he was enormously overexposed and it seemed like every starring vehicle he was in got worse and worse. Then something happened in 2007 that was completely unexpected, Affleck got behind the camera and successfully directed Gone Baby Gone. Trying to prove that Gone Baby Gone was not a fluke Affleck is back with The Town, This time Directing and Starring in the gritty Boston Thriller.

As Doug Macray, Affleck is the leader of his crew, when his hot headed best friend James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner proving that he is long overdue for higher profile parts) decides to take bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) hostage, It is up to Doug to make sure she isn’t going to say anything to FBI agent Frawley (Jon Hamm) that would implicate him or his crew. Upon introducing himself to Keesey, Macray quickly falls in love with her and finds the reason he has been looking for to start a new life away from Charlestown.

Affleck does an excellent job getting the best possible performance out of his cast, while delivering a solid performance himself. Renner is phenomenal tearing into the role of Coughlin like a rabid pit bull. Coughlin personifies street loyalty and isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to protect his friends and family, regardless the consequence. He exudes menace every time he is on screen and adds a complete unpredictably to the character.

Hamm provides an excellent counterbalance to both Macray and Coughlin as the FBI agent who isn’t afraid to do what needs to be done or manipulate whoever he needs to, to catch Macray in the act and send him to prison.

In a year filled with disappointment after disappointment “The Town” succeeds in delivering on every aspect it attempts. It’s a tale of Honor, of a Moral Code, a Heist film, a Gangster Film.

I never thought I would say it but Affleck has turned out to be the Clint Eastwood of our generation. Not only does he prove he belongs in front of the camera but that he rises to excellence behind the camera. The Town is easily the best crime film since Heat, and one of the best films of the year. Although I refuse to forgive Affleck for starting the name merge game with the creation of Bennifer, If he can deliver more movies as good as The Town, he can finally get a pardon for Gili as well as his role in the Jenny from the Block video.


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