Every now and then a film comes along that leaves me quite literally without much to say about it. That isn’t to say I disliked it. Especially in the case of Ben Affleck’s The Town. I liked the film. A lot. But I don’t know if I have anything to add to the endless write ups that have already hit the internet. In times like these, I find it’s best for me to rely on the opinions of my fellow bloggers and movie critics I respect.
I will say that Affleck is very talented as a director. While Gone Baby Gone could have been a fluke, two stellar films in a row indicate we can expect great things from him. I think Rebecca Hall is incredibly underappreciated and she was outstanding here. And I love the Jeremy Renner is getting the recognition he deserves. Great movie, but I was a little underwhelmed. I’ll leave it at that.
Here’s what some people I respect think:
Norma at The Flick Chick (Full Review):
The acting in the film is very strong, as it should be with such a great cast. Doug is the strong silent type and Affleck plays him well, especially against Renner, whose Jem is a bundle of energy looking for a means to violently expend itself; Doug is the calm, Jem is the storm. Though he makes a lot of noise about the trouble Claire could bring them, Jem is the real wild card, the character whose actions threaten to bring hell down on everyone, and Renner pretty much steals the show. Hall, Hamm and Lively all turn in solid performances, though their characters never get to become much more than “types” and Postlethwaite and Cooper make the most of little screentime (Cooper is only in one scene but it’s an effective and memorable one).
A. O. Scott at The New York Times (Full Review):
As it is, the performances in “The Town” are strong enough to make it watchable, and the sense of place — of topography and architecture, if not of actual social life — is vivid and enjoyable. A climactic caper at Fenway Park blows holes in the film’s narrative and emotional credibility, but it is fast and exciting all the same, perhaps especially for Yankees fans. Otherwise, the main attraction is the blaring music of those accents. It’s a lark, a spark, a walk in the park.
Branden at Foolish Blatherings (Full Review):
After a month and half of not watching a movie, I was feening for it like crack. Even though, I’ve never tried it. Don’t try it, kiddies out there. I had the choice to see this, Easy A or try to see Scott Pilgrim vs The World. I think I might have picked the wrong film. I’m not saying that this movie is bad. It was fine. The first third of movie was boring as all get out. I was checking my watch a couple of times. Having a movie about the bad guys doesn’t work when you have Ben Affleck robbing banks for their boss, Fergie the Florist (Pete Postlethwaite) and he is trying to get into Rebecca Hall’s pants. It didn’t gel with me.
Bartelby at Movie Mobsters (Full Review):
Although The Town is strong as a drama, it’s also a story that’s been told many times before. We can follow these characters, even if Affleck follows a page out of classic noir and makes most of them rotten apples. These thieves might act like kings, but unlike Mann’s Public Enemies, there’s surgicial dissection that subtly shows the self-absorption and selfishness that permeates nearly everything Doug and Jim do. Small quirks are built into the corners of the frame, whether it be the grotesque, oddly expressive nun masks that the gang wear in the second half or a final, sad gesture where a doomed thief glances at his gun and his soft drink and then goes for the cola.
Fitz at Nevermind Popular Film (Full Review):
Ben Affleck has reached a stage in his career where I think he very well may be the next Clint Eastwood. Eastwood never really made his name as an actor until he was in his mid thirties; Affleck may have been a known name before his thirties, but it is now that he is truly coming into his own in his portrayals (Hollywoodland, State of Play). Also like Eastwood as a director he has themes that he revisits each time to a more devastating effect. With The Town and Gone Baby Gone under Affleck’s belt I think it’s safe to say we may have one of the next great American directors coming up.
These folks said it better than I could. Feel free to leave a link to your own review of The Town in the comments.