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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites
Great film that did not get the level of recognition it deserved when it first came out. Engaging story, brilliant cast. It would be hard to pick out just one or two performances as they're all stellar, Affleck, Renner, Postlethwaite, Lively, Hamm, Hall, Cooper. It has darkness and grit and light and hope. It's fun and action packed. The quality of the script and the...
Published 8 months ago by Sally Hardisty

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do your homework Hollywood.
Oh dear, yet another cliche packed movie this time centred around the Irish theme. Why is it that Americans project their identity crisis so badly on the silver screen? The characters couldn't be any less Irish, yet they hang pictures of shamrock on every item of clothing and act "tough". Please, stop...... These American thoughts on how to be Irish is wrong.... I...
Published 5 months ago by Jimmy


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites, 3 Sept. 2014
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Great film that did not get the level of recognition it deserved when it first came out. Engaging story, brilliant cast. It would be hard to pick out just one or two performances as they're all stellar, Affleck, Renner, Postlethwaite, Lively, Hamm, Hall, Cooper. It has darkness and grit and light and hope. It's fun and action packed. The quality of the script and the acting enables it to pack a punch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Character driven heist movie, 19 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Town [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I'm not usually a big fan of Ben Affleck (Pearl Harbor put me off!), but he is very good in this. The story is set in a rough neighbourhood, following the tale of a group of bank robbers. One of them (Affleck) is starting to develop a conscience and becomes involved with a woman who could be a potential witness. Meanwhile the FBI are busy hunting the gang down.

The real strength of the film lies in the relationships between the characters. Affleck is reasonably convincing as a robber starting to change his mind, and his love interest is sweet and naive and fails to spot that there is anything shady about him. Affleck's loyal but aggressive sidekick is played particularly well by Jeremy Renner, and the long-standing history between his character and Affleck's is portrayed exceptionally well. Interestingly, I found myself feeling some sympathy for the robbers - the idea that some people get stuck in a role they are expected to play was a strong theme of the film.

This is not a straightforward action film, nor even just a cat and mouse chase with the FBI, but more an examination of the people within the situation. That said, there are some very good action sequences too, some real suspense and excitement, and some strong violence and language. Really liked it - thought provoking and absorbing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to it's hype, 6 Oct. 2014
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The Town is an interesting film it's not your usual cops and robbers, heist film.
Yes the Town features a bank robbery at the beginning but that is just the starting point of the film.
The film has an excellent cast, Jeremy Renner was oscar nominated for his role in the film, and watching it you can understand why.
Having read the book I was suprised at how closely it followed the story, so often all the book and film share is a title.
I don't want to give the plot away, but I would certainly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IS NEVER HAVING TO ROB FENWAY,, 14 Jun. 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Town [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
A group of thugs from Charlestown, Boston, Mass. rob a bank. They take the bank manager (Rebecca Hall) along with them. They take her license and leave her by the ocean, only to find out she lives 4 blocks away. Ben Affleck, the brains of the group, stalks her to find out what she knows. He starts to date her and falls in love, or at least a Charlestown version of love, he buys her dinner, they have sex and he gets her a necklace. The relationship was not well developed due to the bad writing of Affleck who was more concerned about his scene shots than giving us a believable script. Ben and his boys rob more places. The FBI knows everyone in the gang who committed the crimes and start to close in to a final climatic scene.

Not Affleck's best role. Never write, direct and star in the same movie. This movie was referenced by the GOP to describe their relationship to the Tea Party with Affleck being the GOP and the Tea Party being his psycho killer friend...and the Tea Party liked the analogy.(Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.)

PARENTAL GUIDE: Sex, F-bombs, no nudity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... 5 timesi it is safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Was initially apprehensive as it starred Ben ..., 29 Sept. 2014
After watching 4 or 5 timesi it is safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Was initially apprehensive as it starred Ben Affleck, definitely not just a pretty face any more he was superb as were all the cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do your homework Hollywood., 21 Dec. 2014
Oh dear, yet another cliche packed movie this time centred around the Irish theme. Why is it that Americans project their identity crisis so badly on the silver screen? The characters couldn't be any less Irish, yet they hang pictures of shamrock on every item of clothing and act "tough". Please, stop...... These American thoughts on how to be Irish is wrong.... I was so disappointed with yet another parody of stereotypes that I nearly forgot just how wooden the acting is from the main guy. If your just after some background noise and a few flickering images while you are cutting your toenails or cleaning the house, then this movie is for you. Sadly, it's not for me. My advice to the Americans, use Irish actors or at least take their advice before you look stupid and conjure up the insult of Hollywood's plastic paddies. The best thing about this movie is Pete Posthlwaite. He got the 2 stars just for showing up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated hokum, 22 Dec. 2014
I initially wasn't interested in this but I watched 'Gone, Baby, Gone' (which is fantastic) and then Argo (which is flawed but very good) and so I decided to give this a try. It started out decently but it's too bloated and unoriginal to be a outright good film. Yes, others have pointed out the similarity and superiority of 'Heat' but it's much more than that.

Not enough people have pointed out how bad Affleck's accent is. And Hall's and Postletwaite's (who turns in an otherwise good performance) and Cooper's. Jeremy Renner is very good in this, even if he (and almost everyone else for that matter) has little characterisation to help him.

And the complex morality of 'Gone, Baby, Gone' is nowhere to be found here with Affleck playing a hackneyed protagonist who's trying for redemption but does absolutely nothing to deserve it, regardless of what the Shawshank-style ending tries to say.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You know people get up everyday, tell themselves something's gonna change their lives., 27 Mar. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Town [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
The Town is Charlestown, Boston, a place where crime is a way of life. Following a bank robbery, professional thief Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) has to keep a watch on bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) because after using her as hostage leverage during escape from the heist, she is the only witness who could possibly identify his gang. But once the two meet they start to fall for each other, forcing MacRay to re-evaluate his life in Charlestown. It's a re-evaluation that will upset a lot of people close to him and the gangster boss who hires him, and all this at a time when FBI agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) is closing in on the gang.

One of the most startling things about Ben Affleck's second film as director is that even with it's conventional plot, and formulaic characters, it's still an exhilarating and fresh picture. With Affleck comfortable in his Boston surroundings, it's evident that he and the team went for authenticity, something which in the main they achieve. Sure there's the odd implausible moments, they are-like it or not-cops and robbers staples, but The Town is not your standard run of the mill actioner. It's is, for want of pigeon holing, a modern day noir, resplendent with bleak mood and well oiled characters. Based on Chuck Hogan's novel Prince of Thieves, The Town follows the formula of a rotten town with rotten people doing their best or worst to live and get by. Into the pot comes the bad guy who meets a good woman who wants to leave his crappy life and crappy home behind. So far so well trodden path, then, but this is not a giant gangland operation, like, say, The Departed or The Godfather et al, this is a small neighbourhood setting, with a small group of everyday dressed young men. It's one of the reasons why Affleck's film feels authentic.

Helping to exude the naturalistic and human feel of the drama is that Affleck doesn't overdo his action sections, yet they are terrific sections for sure. This is not Tony Scott/Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer action for popcorn excess. From the electric kick-start of the first heist, to the mid-section car chase-and to the knock out coup de grâce set in motion at Red Sox Stadium, Affleck shows great skill as a crafter of action: aided superbly by Dylan Tichenor's energised editing. Other violence is swift and to the point, the director knowing not to dwell too long on vicious passages in the narrative, thus keeping his characters free of caricatures. Mind, he is thankful to the great cast assembled for his picture, for this is very much an actors piece. Well written without flabby periods of talk for talk sake, The Town provides proper drama for proper actors; and that includes the director himself.

Jeremy Renner is quickly turning into the go to guy for edginess, here as MacRay's best pal, Jem, he deals out a frightening loose cannon turn. Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite have small roles, but both impact hard on proceedings, both memorable and both adding a touch of classy know how. Hamm arguably has the hardest role, for as FBI Agent Frawley he has to carry on his own the other plot thread that is the investigation. Not just that, but the film lends itself to one which dares you to root for the bad guys, it`s a tough ask of the Mad Men actor but he nails it, with one two-fold scene in a bar, as he grills MacRay's ex , Krista (Blake Lively heartfelt and believable), particularly offering a glimpse of what a good actor he can be. Ultimately the main load has to be carried by Affleck and Hall as the central doomed lovers. There is death and misery every where in Charlestown; and for the protagonists of the story, including Doug & Claire. Their relationship offers hope, a beacon of hope in a murky world, but it's a relationship founded on black secrets and built around falsehoods. That Affleck & Hall draw us in with charm and acting gravitas further serves notice as to why The Town is top draw stuff.

Hardships, hard decisions and hard characters come alive in The Town, a great modern day drama that's showing Gone Baby Gone was no fluke, this lad Affleck really is some director. 9/10
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars utterly authentic, 11 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Town [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is a tremendous film. The storyline may sound a bit cliched, but the film just works. The casting is fantastic - the characters are completely believable and although there are some well known actors there they just melt into the characters they play. The film looks and feels so authentic (in the way that the sopranos worked because the characters and locations and script were so 'real'). I won't reprise the storyline, but if you like intelligent and authentic action films with fully rounded characters then this is for you. It looks gritty and real, there is a very strong sense of real lives lived in real places and of how brutal some of those lives are. There are threads and layers which run through the film and don't have to be explained, but which add to the authenticity of the finished product. This really has to be one of the best films made in the last 10 years. Go on treat yourself, you're worth it and so is The Town!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Toonies v Townies, 4 Dec. 2011
This review is from: The Town [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Loosely adapted from Chuck Hogan's excellent 2004 novel Prince of Thieves, The Town is a slick, fast-paced and enjoyable heist thriller that rarely flags in its 2hr running time.

After an impressive directorial debut with Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck returns here as both director and star, proving that his debut was no fluke by crafting an understated gem of a movie set in and around the blue-collar Boston neighborhood of Charlestown, an area that was, before the yuppies moved in, bank-robber central.

Affleck plays Doug MacRay, a troubled and conflicted man who leads a crew of armed robbers (all Charlestown boys) that has begun to make a name for itself and has attracted the attention of the Feds, specifically in the form of Special Agent Adam Frawley (John 'Mad Men' Hamm), a no-nonsense thief-taker who will stop at nothing to bring Doug and the boys to book. As the game of cat and mouse proceeds, it all gets very personal between Doug and Frawley, not least because there is a woman involved.

Though none of the characters are deeply drawn and the fundamental premise of the novel (the violent rage of lost young working-class males against yuppie modernity) is missing from the script, there is more than enough here to satisfy those looking for something that engages beyond a series of random shoot-outs, though the latter are present and are excitingly realised.

Affleck himself gives a creditable performance as the lead character, but for me the standout performance is from Oscar-nominated Jeremy Renner playing MacRay's mildly psychotic right-hand man and lifelong friend Jem Coughlin, a young ex-con with a death wish. Blake Lively's performance as Jem's screwed-up lovelorn sister Krista also deserves a mention, if only because her appearances, though brief, are nevertheless quite moving.

The old-world claustrophobic Boston locations are a pleasing change from the usual L.A. highway sprawl, especially for a loud gun battle or two, and despite the main protagonists being mostly bad guys, it's not so difficult to empathise without feeling guilty, especially as dramatic beginnings and dramatic ends are what life in the bad lane is all about.

All in all, The Town, while not a 5-star movie (the characters are just a little too sketchy and their motives too vague), is still a taut and neatly written all-action thriller that rises above most of its peers and moves and excites to a very satisfying degree. For the full telling of this Boston tale, you must read the book, but for those just seeking two hours of solid movie entertainment, The Town certainly won't disappoint. Recommended.

***

The DVD is a simple package that apart from the usual scene-selection and language options contains a couple of short 10-minute featurettes; one about the real-life Charlestown hoods that have small parts in the film and the other about Ben Affleck, director and actor. Neither is particularly riveting.
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The Town [DVD] [2010]
The Town [DVD] [2010] by Ben Affleck (DVD - 2011)
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