Sound Off: Ben Affleck's The Town - So What Did You Think?
by Alex Billington
September 17, 2010
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Back in 2007, Ben Affleck made his directorial debut with a phenomenal crime thriller called Gone Baby Gone starring his brother Casey Affleck, now he's back with his sophomore effort, The Town. This Boston-based crime drama features a hell of an ensemble cast, with Affleck, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Chris Cooper, Blake Lively and Pete Postlethwaite, but is it any good? How does it compare to Gone Baby Gone? Is it one of the best films, about crime or not, this year? If you've seen it, leave a comment and let us know what you thought of Ben Affleck's The Town.
To fuel the fire, as I said in my initial review of The Town from the Toronto Film Fest, I didn't really love the movie, I thought it was just okay. I haven't had the chance to see it for a second time yet, so I'm going purely off of my thoughts from that initial screening. I thought the script was messy and the ending was extremely cheap. To me this was a huge step down from Gone Baby Gone, which is one of my all-time favorites, and I think Affleck forgot to put as much care into directing and decided to just make a Hollywood popcorn flick without all the intricacies of his first feature. All the performances were good, especially Renner and Hamm, but I hated Blake Lively in it. This definitely won't be one of my favorite movies of the year, unfortunately.
What did you think of The Town? This year's best crime drama or a mediocre action thriller?
Reader Feedback - 33 Comments
Er...didn't it just open today? That said, I am looking forward to it...
norm on Sep 17, 2010
I saw it last night, it was great. It's definitely an 8/10 movie. The action sequences were great. This movie's only downfall was ben afflecks acting, but I couldn't think of anyone BUT colin farrell that could replace him. Jeremy Renner was great.
Daniel on Sep 17, 2010
I think movie was pretty damn good. Worth the money.
Shaggy on Sep 17, 2010
It's a very good movie, but its flaws are more obvious than those of "Gone Baby Gone" (which simply had fewer flaws to begin with). Affleck continues to be a strong director, but he seems uncomfortable as an actor under his own direction. The screenplay gives its actors nothing more than types, and while some manage to make a little something of it (Hall, Renner, and surprisingly, Lively), others, namely Jon Hamm, feel trapped (though Hamm's performance reeeeally picks up in the last act and he shares the film's best-acted scene with Lively). Kudos to the effective score, generally good editing, and good staging of the firefights and car chases (all the more impressive considering that it was shot in the horribly confined North End streets). 7.5 or 8/10
jbaker475 on Sep 17, 2010
This was a great movie! Good job Ben I hope it gets the Nom. for best Picture!
SilentJay on Sep 17, 2010
I liked it but Gone Baby Gone was a lot better. I think this movie could have been more thought out towards the end.
Ken on Sep 17, 2010
Good movie. The only bad part was Ben Affleck. He's kinda the downfall in all the movies he's in, though. A Matt Damon / Colin Farrell would've been a better pick, forsure. I mean, you can't go wrong with Jason Bourne and Stu Shepard.
Connor on Sep 17, 2010
Just a good solid crime drama, I would definitely recommend it!
zzz on Sep 17, 2010
I enjoyed it a lot but it felt like the sum of it's parts were better than the film as a whole. It felt like the film was trying to be Heat but since it was rushing to get to the action scenes, all of the characters come off as fairly one note. That's not to say the characters are bad because they're not, they're great, they just feel a little black and white when what they needed were shades of gray. Speaking of Heat, this film probably has the best shootout scenes since that film, so in that regard the film is quite good. And that pretty much sums up my thoughts on The Town, it's a very solid crime film but it doesn't quite reach that level of storytelling that Heat, The Departed, or any of the other truly great crime films do. It's definitely one of the best films of 2010 by far though and would recommend checking out.
Dom on Sep 17, 2010
The last half hour featured some of the most ridiculous and implausible police depictions ever put to film. If the FBI were that stupid, we'd all have been killed long ago.
Kevin on Sep 17, 2010
I believe I saw the movie in the trailer, so based on that nothing seemed original.
L on Sep 17, 2010
I will agree with Alex, the movie was great, but the end was not good. The ending of the book is much more bleak and realistic, and I would have preferred it(it's nothing like the film at all)... Overall though, I did like the film, I had the benefit of seeing it at the AMC Burbank 16 specialized Digital Projector theater with a killer sound system that took the audio of the gunfights and the atmosphere to insane levels. I really liked Jeremy Renner in the film, I thought it's definitely a performance that will get recognized with a Best Supporting Actor come Awards season, honestly everyone was on top of their game here, it just kind of fell apart plot-wise near the end. And the FBI seemed completely inept letting Affleck escape so easily.
LINKFX on Sep 17, 2010
And Blake Lively was great in it, I'll give her that. Was not looking forward to her performance because of what Alex said, but she was actually terrific, a true trashy whore.
LINKFX on Sep 17, 2010
8 out of 10 estrellas.
migz on Sep 17, 2010
Chazzy on Sep 17, 2010
Rashad on Sep 17, 2010
Besides Blake Lively the other actors were great It did have a "Heat" feel to it. Affleck as an director Is becoming one of the best of the new generation can't wait for what he has next
Mancha59 on Sep 18, 2010
Besides Blake Lively the other actors were great It did have a "Heat" feel to it .Affleck as an director Is becoming one of the best of the new generation can't wait for what he has next
Manncha59 on Sep 18, 2010
Maybe 6/10 - the love story and the crime story find no real balance, the actors do their job very well - but the script feels overly constructed: The beginning sets up an intriguing problem but much of what follows feels like a stretch. And the action scenes do very little for the storytelling besides looking great.
LastManOnTheLeft on Sep 18, 2010
I thought it was great! was it the best movie this year? no, but it was such a cool idea/story that i haven't seen in a long time that it can keep u on the edge of ur seat. is it Oscar worthy? Eh, i don't know, maybe, but i doubt it. if its nominated, hey i'm down. overall though you have to see it 🙂
cheezy c on Sep 18, 2010
not as good as matrix revolutions
town town on Sep 18, 2010
Great movie. It shouldn't be compared to Gone Baby Gone because it was a completely different story. Very well done.
OhPlease on Sep 18, 2010
incredible movie...really flawless. Pacing is perfect, every moment is intriguing. The Cast was impeccable. I cant wait to see more of Affleck's work, and Im even excited to see him in Malick's next movie. I liked this better than The Departed, and I think its probably just as good as Inception.
talli on Sep 19, 2010
oh, i forgot to mention. the dialogue was really witty and i like how they played the scenes. A lot of fresh never before seen moments. Great film! must see!
talli on Sep 19, 2010
I thought it was a solid flick overall... Pretty much what I expected it to be.
DJ SID on Sep 20, 2010
Fantastic. I have not seen a Heist Drama that good in a long time.
Ripper on Sep 21, 2010
Very good. 8/10
filmfan111 on Sep 21, 2010
It was an okay movie, good but not great. I think that another Boston set film done a couple of years ago starring Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo called "What doesn't Kill You" is a much superior film. More realistic and a very moving picture. I had alot of problems in the beginning of The Town with the dialogue between Ben and the chick that was held hostage. I felt that had no chemistry at all..and why would a woman that was just held in a robbery feel the need to share that with anyone that soon?And don't get me started on the cops! And for all the money they made from previous heist, where did it go?these guys still looked dead broke to me! And Renner's character was good, but wasn't great...I couldn't understand why he was so worried about Ben's girlfriend ratting them out when instead he should have been looking at his crackhead sister! I'm telling you guys, rent "What doesn't Kill You", a far better film than this!
jah p on Sep 21, 2010
I saw the film yesterday and I liked it very much except for the shooting method--I don't need to see faces that close! Also, I have a question that I probably missed the answer to--why the money behind the cop's picture and who was the cop in the picture?
Jan Hurd on Sep 22, 2010
This movie was good .. and congratulation for Ben Affleck who prove that he is good in making movies ... ( Not like his idiot brother Casey ) and I agree with those who are saying it looks like Heat and The Departed ... It really gave that feeling and that is something good because it is not an easy task for some one like Ben Affleck to make a movie in the level of Directors like Michael Mann and Martin Scorsese ... It is really one of my favorite movies of the year .. 😉
shero on Sep 27, 2010
Very enjoyable film. I am with Jan Hurd (comment#30). Who was the cop(?) in the picture when Affleck was leaving town at the end? I think the name plate said Timothy McRay & 20 yrs. of service or something. Was that the cop that looked away when they were ditching the minivan after the armored car heist? Was it Affleck's uncle?
Notyep35 on Jan 1, 2011
Ben Afflick is great... Love the Irish city themes that run through a few of his best movies.... I hope he keeps this Irish Boston theme coming.
Iammmanofg on Aug 3, 2011
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