run time: 125 mins
considered: Crime, Drama, Thriller
director: Ben Affleck
starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Slaine, Owen Burker, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, Chris Cooper, Dennis McLaughlin, Corena Chase, Brian Scannell, Kerri Dunbar, Tony V.
movie summary: Every major city has a suburb that outsiders would never want to live in or really understand how or why things happen within those town lines. Charlestown is a that suburb for Boston, where Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) and his best friends James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), Albert Magloan (Slaine), and Desmond Elden (Owen Burke) rob banks and perform heist jobs to make ends meet and pay the piper to stay in business. When a bank job gives the FBI clues on who they are, Special Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) is hot on their trail as their window to get out-of-town closes with every minute.
One morning at a local bank Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) is about to start her shift when MacRay, Coughlin, Magloan, and Elden all don skulls masks, rob the bank, and take Claire hostage. They drop her off by the bay before driving away to go count their money. Claire has little to no clue who the robbers were but Agent Frawley probes as much as he can. James grabs her license so he can check in on her to find out if she told the FBI anything, Doug offers to handle the situation and begins to follow her. Within a few days the pair meet at the laundry mat where Doug introduces himself as a construction worker at Boston Sand & Gravel while Claire is hesitant to bond with him because of her recent work experience. After some persuasion the pair decide to go for coffee and slowly build towards a relationship.
James lays out a plan to rob an armoured truck which could lead to a huge payday. The crew begins to plan the heist when James inquires about Claire which Doug tries his best to shrug it off saying she is not going to be an issue. The duo head to the flower shop to meet with Fergie Colm (Peter Postlethwaite) who has an even bigger job that he wants to offer to their crew. Doug and James are very interested in the job because each member of the crew could have a million dollar share, but first the armoured truck is their priority.
On the day of the truck heist the guys are able to get away clean with the money until they reach their second exchange vehicle. The streets are empty and quiet, the guys are curious on what is going on but before anyone can ask anything, swat teams and cop cars close in on them forcing them to speed across the streets and across the bridge back into safety. Agent Frawley is so close and frustrated that he can’t catch these guys red-handed. He revisits with Claire who has entered into a relationship with Doug, he tries his best to be sly to get information about the crew but she has no clue that Doug was the one who was at her bank. Frawley is also using James’ sister Krista (Blake Lively) who may or may not have Doug’s daughter as bait.
The tension builds between the guys as their final heist is about to go down. Claire figures out that Doug isn’t who he says he is but has fallen so in love with him that she is willing to stay with him. The crew get the props for their costumes and head to one of Boston’s most famous landmarks where an estimated $3 million waits for them. When Doug and James make their way into the count room they walk out with a few black equipment bags full of money only to find themselves alone in an empty hallway. When the crew meet at the exit point they soon realize that the place is surrounded by Boston’s finest and the government’s best. The four of them have to fight for their lives in an epic gun battle if they have any chance of escaping with their new treasures.
my thoughts: Most of you will not know I am originally from New Hampshire and have relatives in Boston. I have been to the city many times growing up and watching this movie always reminds me of home.
Ben Affleck shines as both the star and director of the Town. He plays a lovable master criminal who can win over a girl he once held at gun point then pull over one of the biggest heist ever. He surrounds himself with an amazing cast led by Jeremy Renner, Affleck is the nice guy of the pair while Renner is as ruthless as they come. The pair make smart decisions on their crew mates and when the heat is on during a heist they are quick on their feet and trigger. In probably the best scene of the movie, Affleck shows up to Renner’s apartment and asks him for help in taking care of a problem. Renner’s response was priceless because he doesn’t care what it is or who it involves, just wants to get it done.
Two female leads also shine in this story. Rebecca Hall goes from being a victim to the missing piece to Doug’s love life, while falling helplessly into the middle of a federal investigation. Blake Lively won her role by giving an amazing audition that included a heavy Bostonian accent that won over Affleck and the others. The female pair bring their drama to the story that affects both Doug and James personal and professional decisions.
The Town is rated R for many reasons that include lots of swearing, destructive car chases, and violent gun battles. Affleck didn’t hold anything back in this epic portrayal of the lifestyle some people choose to live in Charlestown. If you haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch the Town, I would highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed with the action, drama, and story.
my star rating: 9 out 10
imdb.com: 7.6 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 94% out 100%