THRILLER; 2hr 5min
STARRING: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall
Pay day: from left, Affleck and Renner
Affleck goes for the triple threat with this burnished juggernaut — he co-wrote the screenplay based on Chuck Hogan’s 2004 novel, he directs and he stars — and right off the bat, he’s supremely in control. The Town is set in the seamy streets of Boston’s Charlestown where recovering alcoholic and bank robber Doug MacRay (Affleck) has always done it hard. Doug has a fractured family history and a frustrated desire to go straight. His closest cohort, loose cannon Jem (Renner), has no such issues — although he’s not the one falling for the innocent manager (Hall as Claire) of a bank the gang has just hit. Jem is pushing for one last job. But with the FBI (headed by Jon Hamm) closing in, Happily Ever After isn’t looking like an option for Doug and Claire
With Gone Baby Gone, Affleck proved he could steer a great story. The Town is the type of take-no-prisoners experience that for a director combines emotional micromanagement with big-ticket bravura. Affleck not only pulls those off, he fills the screen with a movie-star cool that no film school could teach.