Movie Review – The Town

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What It’s About

Doug McRay (Ben Affleck) has had a tough life.  His mother left when he was six years old.  His father, “doesn’t get out much” because he’s in prison.  Smart and cunning, he’s using his skills in the family career – robbing banks.  His best friend, Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), is not only a thief but also a murderer.  They live in the toughest are of Boston – Charlestown or “The Town”.

In one job, the pair take a hostage, the bank manager, Claire (Rebecca Hall).  They release her alive but despite the fact that Doug and Jem’s crew are wearing masks, Jem worries that Claire may know something that can lead the FBI to their doorstep.  Doug agrees to follow her and finds himself falling in love.

My Take

This is the best movie I’ve seen all year.  I predict an Oscar nomination for Ben Affleck.  He is amazing in this movie.  As actor and director. Affleck portrays with subtle effectiveness the emotions of this tough, smart, sometimes tender character, Doug MacRay.  Although the story is almost familiar, and somewhat predictable, you still find yourself caught up in the suspense.  I was almost holding my breath waiting to see if the criminals were going to be caught and if Claire was going to discover the truth about Doug.  The action scenes are filmed with skill.  The robberies and chases scenes are exciting and fast-paced.

The supporting cast is also excellent.  Besides Renner and Hall, Jon Hamm plays the obsessed FBI agent tracking the bank robbers.   Affleck’s father, Stephen MacRay (Chris Cooper) and Fergie (Pete Postlethwaite) are despised by the audience, in part because of Affleck’s reactions to their villainy.

This was an excellent movie and has my enthusiastic recommendation.

Grade:  A+

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