The Town (2010)

the town poster 2010 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Decent crime thriller

Have issues believing some of the story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Town

Studio:  Warner Bros/Legendary Entertainment/GK Films

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Mystery/Suspense/Drama

Release Date(s):  September 8, 2010 (Venice Film Festival)/September 14, 2010 (Premiere)/September 17, 2010 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

the town skeleton mask bank robbery


Within the area of Boston known as Charlestown, thieves hide…and the area has one of the highest number of bank robberies in the United States.  Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), Gloansy MacGloan (Slaine), and Dez Elden (Owen Burke) are some of those robbers and their most recent robbery hits a snag when they take bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) as a hostage to make their escape.  Worried that Claire might be able to finger them, Doug decides to check in on her to keep the trigger happy Jem from doing the same thing…but Doug finds that he likes Claire than he expected.  As the FBI led by Agent Adam Frawley (John Hamm) move in on Doug and his crew, Doug finds himself caught in the middle of the biggest heist of his life and his new relationship…but nothing escapes the town.

Directed by Ben Affleck, The Town is a crime-thriller drama.  It is an adaptation of Chuck Hogan’s 2004 novel Prince of Thieves.  It received positive reviews upon its release and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Renner).

the town boston harbor boat ben affleck rebecca hall

Honey, remember our first “date” when you broke into that boat and we stole the people’s property? It was soooo romantic.

A lot of people were wowed by The Town, but I had a hard time getting into it.  The second viewing was a little better.  It isn’t necessarily the look, the cast, or the style of the film, but the story which I find a bit hard to take.

The story is a rather typical “criminal with a heart of gold” type movie.  Doug might be a robber, but he has a code he tries to follow.  Claire is so charmed by him that she’s willing to risk her own freedom and law-abiding nature to aid him…it is a “love conquers all” type them, but the romance between the two is built on such a fundamental lie, that I end up thinking a lot less of her than I feel is right.  I don’t think she’d fundamentally change, and she has no real loyalty to “the Town” since she isn’t from there (she does potentially know what it is like to struggle).

The cast is good.  Affleck is Affleck, but this time it is criminal Ben Affleck instead of just angst-y Ben Affleck.  Hall is a charming co-lead, but as mentioned, I have troubles more with her character rather than her acting.  Jeremy Renner is good as the cool and almost sociopathic Jem.  I think Blake Lively, Chris Cooper, Pete Postlethwaite, and Titus Welliver are a bit underused as well since they obviously have interesting stories that don’t get told.  Jon Hamm makes a good agent, but in typical fashion, he’s the bad guy for trying to capture criminals who are at points physically assaulting and killing people.

the town ending jeremy renner jon hamm

No one gets away clean

The movie does look good.  It is shot as a nice, tight thriller and some of the shoot-outs are rather intense.  It is obvious that Affleck knows his city, and like the characters, the movie feels really engrained in Boston both in story and in visuals.

The Town is a good movie, and any problems I have with it are more because I’m more of a realist than a romantic.  The characters bother me, but they are literary characters sharing a literary love…but in that literary love, I feel that a realistic reaction isn’t in place.  “Sure, he’s a bank robber wanted by the FBI…but we’ve had a few good dates.  I think I’ll keep him” just doesn’t really work for me here.  I want The Town 2:  Townies to come out as a follow-up…but I don’t think that’s happening.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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