Film: The Town
Directed By: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, and Chris Cooper
Key Details: Released in 2010, The Town was Ben Affleck’s first venture as a leading man and director at the same time. Roughly based around a high crime rate from the Boston area using a combo of mainstream Hollywood actors and local actors including some who might have direct links to actual bank robberies that took place.
Ratings: IMDB: 7.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes: 93% Metacritic: 74% Google: 91%
Summary in a Tweet: Childhood friends from Charlestown turned bank robbers seek to make fast cash working with a florist, clever disguises, smart driving while dating a key witness, and running from the FBI.
Simple Overview: A film designed to make actual bank robbers say “Yeah, that is possible” Ben Affleck’s The Town. This film was shot in Bostom near the Charlestown neighborhood where many bank robberies and crimes have happened. The script at the start of the film shares a few facts that set up the film for us: “One blue-collar Boston neighborhood has produced more bank robbers and armored car thieves than anywhere in the world”.
After this, we are shown a view of the city and the skilled trade of bank robbery begins. We meet Doug and his crew of skilled thieves as they skillfully burgle their way into hot water with a few minor mistakes. With beautiful set design and locations, you’ll feel as if you are in the moment with the various characters in this film. Watch out for strong acting from each cast member as they show us how a criminal might work in opposition of skilled police and FBI officers. The Town should be on your watchlist.
Be aware of the R rating in this film before you sit down and watch(Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, some sexuality, and drug use).
Have I watched this before?: Yes, I’m a fan of Affleck and Hamm. This film was a fun look into the world of organized crime in recent history while showing off great directing and acting by Affleck accompanied by the skill of Hamm and Renner as strong counterparts with their performances.
What Could Have Been Better: I think Blake Lively needed more screen time. We could have also used a bit deeper of a look into the planning of the crimes with their boss the florist.
What I loved: This is one of my favorite films to watch on repeat. The costumes worn at each heist were amazing starting with the deadlocked skull masks, the latex nun faces, then finally the variation between the Ambulance and Police costumes. These allowed us to see that these heists were well thought out and planned rather than just theft on a whim. I enjoyed seeing the internal conflict between the team right from the start. Despite them being thieves and con men they each held various values and rules they followed in their heists the conflict between Mcray and Coughlin was a welcome aspect to this film.
The Florist, when you know you know. A Quiet boss working in a flower shop was a unique aspect to this film that outlined the integration in society the mob has in Charlestown where “Everybody knows but doesn’t say anything feel to it. Finally, we get to the last heist, where Murphy’s Law steps in and the gang vs the law peaks. A well-captured series of events leading up to this and you’ll have yourself looking at Fenway Park very differently after this.
Final Thoughts: The Town is a great film to watch if you are into the all American crime of bank robbery. It feels real and looks the part too. Ben Affleck is able to share a story that will have your heart racing and your mind thinking. If you haven’t watched The Town yet, what are you waiting for? If you have watched it what are your thoughts on the film?
Rating:4.8 out of 5 thumbs up.
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