Gone Baby Gone (15)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jun 3 2008

With their tribal loyalties and unkillable grudges, the cops, hoods, and hard-eyed women of South Boston have become the stuff of Shakespearean tragedy at the movies in recent years. The neighbourhood is a hotbed of broad-vowelled agonistes in Eastwood’s ‘Mystic River’, Scorsese’s ‘The Departed’ and now ‘Gone Baby Gone’, the flawed but impressive directorial debut by Boston native Ben Affleck.

Like ‘Mystic River’, Affleck’s film is adapted from a novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, it’s steeped in local colour and texture, and it hinges on a lost child, an anguished parent, and a grievous backstory that sort of explains all. (Due to superficial resemblances to the Madeleine McCann kidnapping case, ‘Gone Baby Gone’ was withdrawn from the London Film Festival last year and pushed back from its original December release date.)

When little Amanda McCready goes missing, hopes are dim. She’s from a neighbourhood where residents aren’t disposed to talk to the cops, and her junkie mother, Helene (Amy Ryan), has incurred the wrath of a drug kingpin. Those are reasons enough for Amanda’s devoted aunt and uncle (Titus Welliver and Amy Madigan) to hire a young boyfriend-girlfriend team of private investigators, Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck, Ben’s brother) and Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan in an inert, thankless role), who then spend the requisite amount of time earning the trust of the cynical, squinty detective on the case (Ed Harris, naturally) and the heartbroken police captain (Morgan Freeman), who knows parental sorrow all too well.

The Oscar-nominated Ryan is fantastic, creating a character who’s at once fearsome and pathetic. Casey Affleck’s wry, soft-spoken poise is the movie’s backbone, and as Kenzie’s investigation twists and deepens, the character enters uncharted and hopelessly blurred moral territory, where sacred bloodlines seem to lose their resolution and doing the right thing starts to look all wrong (and vice versa). The rub, though, is that the film’s compelling ambiguities come to a head in a final, puzzle-solving final-reel development that is so mawkishly convoluted and screamingly absurd that it threatens to upend all the fine work that went before it.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jun 6, 2008

Duration:

114 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:14
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|48
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yduric

This is my final comment: it just occured to me that in 'Mystic River', which also takes place in the same or a very similar tough Boston neighbourhood and deals with an equally disturbing subject matter, there is ABSOLUTELY NOT any obsession of the characters about knowing who's a faggot or not. This is the very difference in the art of film making: Clint Eastwood is intelligent enough to focus on the subject matter, and not to pay any attention to the obnoxious gossip of some of the characters, a thing that Mr. Affleck constantly does with great pleasure in his piece of shit of a film, So mr. Aflleck should know one essential thing about film making: it is about focusing on a given subject matter, and not displaying his own obessions on screnn: they are fundamentally uninteresting: alas, he doesn't have that intelligence, and, anyway, he was bad as an actor already, so he should definitely avoid being a director!!!

yduric

This is my final comment: it just occured to me that in 'Mystic River', which also takes place in the same or a very similar tough Boston neighbourhood and deals with an equally disturbing subject matter, there is ABSOLUTELY NOT any obsession of the characters about knowing who's a faggot or not. This is the very difference in the art of film making: Clint Eastwood is intelligent enough to focus on the subject matter, and not to pay any attention to the obnoxious gossip of some of the characters, a thing that Mr. Affleck constantly does with great pleasure in his piece of shit of a film, So mr. Aflleck should know one essential thing about film making: it is about focusing on a given subject matter, and not displaying his own obessions on screnn: they are fundamentally uninteresting: alas, he doesn't have that intelligence, and, anyway, he was bad as an actor already, so he should definitely avoid being a director!!!

claire

I loved it, granted there were times (only moments) when I couldn't understand what some characters said, but the ending was thought-provoking, It actually made me question what I would do in this situation which I think few films actually manage.

claire

I loved it, granted there were times (only moments) when I couldn't understand what some characters said, but the ending was thought-provoking, It actually made me question what I would do in this situation which I think few films actually manage.

Sicily

I was so disappointed at the end. This movie had such great potential, spoiled by an utterly ridiculous 'twist,' and a moral dilemma silly enough to literally make me laugh out loud. The movie's main issue is that it assumes neglected children are helplessly caught in their parents clutches. Uh - SOCIAL SERVICES, people.

Sicily

I was so disappointed at the end. This movie had such great potential, spoiled by an utterly ridiculous 'twist,' and a moral dilemma silly enough to literally make me laugh out loud. The movie's main issue is that it assumes neglected children are helplessly caught in their parents clutches. Uh - SOCIAL SERVICES, people.

yduric

Second viewing, second comment: I'm totally disowning the my first comment. I had actually completely forgotten that this piece of shit is overwhelmed by filthy homophobic dialog with the word 'faggot' occuring in about one out of two sentences uttered: this pretentious crap is supposed to deal with the abduction of a little girl, and not with the fact of knowing who is a 'faggot' in this movie. Im am definitely fed up with that 'fagotry' with which those bloody americans seem so obsessed. This obnoxious behaviour in their recent 'movie-making' makes me lose all interest in about one half of all their 'films'. So next time, couldn't they just give us a fucking break and deal with the supposed subject matter of the movie seriously for once instead of going off-focus in such an obnoxious manner? So I have a suggestion for Mr Afflleck: instead of naming his movie 'Gone Baby Gone' he should rename it 'Gone Faggie Gone'!!!

yduric

Second viewing, second comment: I'm totally disowning the my first comment. I had actually completely forgotten that this piece of shit is overwhelmed by filthy homophobic dialog with the word 'faggot' occuring in about one out of two sentences uttered: this pretentious crap is supposed to deal with the abduction of a little girl, and not with the fact of knowing who is a 'faggot' in this movie. Im am definitely fed up with that 'fagotry' with which those bloody americans seem so obsessed. This obnoxious behaviour in their recent 'movie-making' makes me lose all interest in about one half of all their 'films'. So next time, couldn't they just give us a fucking break and deal with the supposed subject matter of the movie seriously for once instead of going off-focus in such an obnoxious manner? So I have a suggestion for Mr Afflleck: instead of naming his movie 'Gone Baby Gone' he should rename it 'Gone Faggie Gone'!!!

Bill

This is an incredible film, fresh and real. Characters are rich and alive, the story is compelling, surprising, not at all predictable. I didn't want it to end. Hard for me to understand the low ratings here... with all the crap Hollywood turns out this movie is a clear stand-out. Critics love this movie and it's obvious why. A near-masterpiece.

Bill

This is an incredible film, fresh and real. Characters are rich and alive, the story is compelling, surprising, not at all predictable. I didn't want it to end. Hard for me to understand the low ratings here... with all the crap Hollywood turns out this movie is a clear stand-out. Critics love this movie and it's obvious why. A near-masterpiece.

John Cooper

As usual, the Time Out Review is misleading , and potential viewers of the film should ignore the comments about the ending, which is one of most powerful I have seen in modern cinema. Giving this film only three stars is unfair, but this is often the case with Time Out reviewers who don't like the American film industry achieving aesthetic excellence and try to pretend that it is happening. What the film achieves is the delineation of a complex moral dilemma which raises challenging questions as to what constitutes a caring society, and how that society is to be policed. A brave, cutting-edge film which is a must-see.

John Cooper

As usual, the Time Out Review is misleading , and potential viewers of the film should ignore the comments about the ending, which is one of most powerful I have seen in modern cinema. Giving this film only three stars is unfair, but this is often the case with Time Out reviewers who don't like the American film industry achieving aesthetic excellence and try to pretend that it is happening. What the film achieves is the delineation of a complex moral dilemma which raises challenging questions as to what constitutes a caring society, and how that society is to be policed. A brave, cutting-edge film which is a must-see.

andy

Almost gave up on the film halfway through to be honest. The 'hood' characters were far too obvious, actors often mumbled (had put the subtitles on!), and plot was confusing. The twists in the film gave it a bit of edge and the dilemma Affleck was in at the end but a pretty weak film that potentially could have been interesting (had the story not been so far fetched).

andy

Almost gave up on the film halfway through to be honest. The 'hood' characters were far too obvious, actors often mumbled (had put the subtitles on!), and plot was confusing. The twists in the film gave it a bit of edge and the dilemma Affleck was in at the end but a pretty weak film that potentially could have been interesting (had the story not been so far fetched).

carrie curtis-phillips

An underdeveloped far fetched story. Disappointingly bland in it's cinematography and dialogue. Could have and should have been a far more detailed and moving film. Somewhat saved by Cassey Affleck's performance but a pretty unmemorable 'Hollywood movie' on the whole.

carrie curtis-phillips

An underdeveloped far fetched story. Disappointingly bland in it's cinematography and dialogue. Could have and should have been a far more detailed and moving film. Somewhat saved by Cassey Affleck's performance but a pretty unmemorable 'Hollywood movie' on the whole.

yduric

A really excellent film: great direction (Ben Affleck seems to be better at directing than at acting), great acting (brother Casey shows here that he has talent, which was definitely uncertain in the anterior 'Gerry'), emotionally charged, but at the same time intellligent film. By the way, it is strange that there was here on this website an entirely different review of the film a few months ago, that has been replaced by the present one: this clearly shows that even at Time Out, everything is , to a certain degree, a matter of personal taste.

yduric

A really excellent film: great direction (Ben Affleck seems to be better at directing than at acting), great acting (brother Casey shows here that he has talent, which was definitely uncertain in the anterior 'Gerry'), emotionally charged, but at the same time intellligent film. By the way, it is strange that there was here on this website an entirely different review of the film a few months ago, that has been replaced by the present one: this clearly shows that even at Time Out, everything is , to a certain degree, a matter of personal taste.

critique

I enjoyed the power and tension of certain individual scenes more than the film as a whole. Found the guy who played the Uncle totally unconvincing and would have preferred lesser known or unknown actors in the Freeman & Harris roles. While I can appreciate that some find C Affleck irritating, I personally love his understated yet rather intense way of playing a part.

critique

I enjoyed the power and tension of certain individual scenes more than the film as a whole. Found the guy who played the Uncle totally unconvincing and would have preferred lesser known or unknown actors in the Freeman & Harris roles. While I can appreciate that some find C Affleck irritating, I personally love his understated yet rather intense way of playing a part.

T

Awesome mvie, there was lots of twists and strong sceens in this film. Alot to tense moments and the actors brought that out really well. Definatley a must see movie

T

Awesome mvie, there was lots of twists and strong sceens in this film. Alot to tense moments and the actors brought that out really well. Definatley a must see movie

Matt

I wasn't expecting much from this film, but there was nothing else on. Suffice it to say I really enjoyed it. Affleck manages to do as good a job as is probably humanly possible of disguising the twists, at least enough to make you doubt your intuition about what must be coming. Casey Affleck was, IMHO, really good. Only niggle, and not here fault, but Michelle Monoghan's character never really got to develop....

Matt

I wasn't expecting much from this film, but there was nothing else on. Suffice it to say I really enjoyed it. Affleck manages to do as good a job as is probably humanly possible of disguising the twists, at least enough to make you doubt your intuition about what must be coming. Casey Affleck was, IMHO, really good. Only niggle, and not here fault, but Michelle Monoghan's character never really got to develop....

Bina

No. No.No. Give this a miss. It's an interesting story badly told. Acting is fair, dialogue often incoherent. Affleck barely moves his mouth when he speaks- it's a definiite affliction. Lots of continuity slips ups. All in all a slipshod attempt at mimicking Eastwood's Mystic River.

Bina

No. No.No. Give this a miss. It's an interesting story badly told. Acting is fair, dialogue often incoherent. Affleck barely moves his mouth when he speaks- it's a definiite affliction. Lots of continuity slips ups. All in all a slipshod attempt at mimicking Eastwood's Mystic River.

Ziggy

Take a mastermind with you to explain the plot line changes, which fiinally exhaust all the permutations by the end of the film. Thankfully no aliens turned up during the credits. All got a bit tedious half way through, better spend your money getting out The Wire to see Baltimore rather than this simple view of Boston.

Ziggy

Take a mastermind with you to explain the plot line changes, which fiinally exhaust all the permutations by the end of the film. Thankfully no aliens turned up during the credits. All got a bit tedious half way through, better spend your money getting out The Wire to see Baltimore rather than this simple view of Boston.

usman khawaja

THE DOOM AND DAMNATION OF A DOMESTICATION-The degenerate cops and profligate gangsters are a garb to show the centemporary moral fabrication of the western culture ,the violent killings ,cocaine snorting and missing kids are the plot with an angelic baby kidnapped in the irish catholic hell of Boston ,but instead of stereotypes we get an origonal,squalid yet profound look at our lives,it is nominally boston but the young swearing kids and the drug junkies could be from Mexico city,Brixton or Berlin . This is an indictment of the system that has failed to deliver justice overtly and is thus obsolete and the people here are obliged to fulfill its obligations without any belief in its values ,that it needs a rethink was obvious decades ago ,now it is a charade where people have to decide the wrong or right in alliance with their conscience and this is the idea that makes this a classic greater then NO Country for old men ,a poorly realised treatise on violence with hardly anything to say except some silly gimmicks,this on the other hand is a reflection of the working class and professionals diatribe in the current milieu and Afflecks deliver it with enough honesty ,style and finesse to make it a memorable event. The Departed is mediocre when compared to these hard talking ,grey characters who are trying to do the right within their dominions with limited choices ,but what is right is a mystery and the conclusion is inconclusive appropriately as it is only our perception of right that we regard as one,the truth is obscure and will be revealed only at odd moments in human destiny . The movie suceeds in trying to explore and divulge part of the truth ,dressed as a kidnapping it dares to tread a fine path and expose the underbelly of the irish catholicism ,but the same holds true world wide and boston here becomes a social mirror to the global condition of humanity. Casey is a great new talent ,even better than he was in THE KILLING OF COWARD ROBERT REDFORD,and Ben affleck makes the Coens look like the kids in this movie; pawns in the chess game between a corrupt system and degenerate social values . The script is as sophisticated as Valley of elah and the political strife is just culminating as a means to an end to whitewash the reality ,with no one bothered to know the truth or adminster justice ,which has indeed become a rarity and very precious commodity today .a great movie by afflecks . USMAN KHAWAJA

usman khawaja

THE DOOM AND DAMNATION OF A DOMESTICATION-The degenerate cops and profligate gangsters are a garb to show the centemporary moral fabrication of the western culture ,the violent killings ,cocaine snorting and missing kids are the plot with an angelic baby kidnapped in the irish catholic hell of Boston ,but instead of stereotypes we get an origonal,squalid yet profound look at our lives,it is nominally boston but the young swearing kids and the drug junkies could be from Mexico city,Brixton or Berlin . This is an indictment of the system that has failed to deliver justice overtly and is thus obsolete and the people here are obliged to fulfill its obligations without any belief in its values ,that it needs a rethink was obvious decades ago ,now it is a charade where people have to decide the wrong or right in alliance with their conscience and this is the idea that makes this a classic greater then NO Country for old men ,a poorly realised treatise on violence with hardly anything to say except some silly gimmicks,this on the other hand is a reflection of the working class and professionals diatribe in the current milieu and Afflecks deliver it with enough honesty ,style and finesse to make it a memorable event. The Departed is mediocre when compared to these hard talking ,grey characters who are trying to do the right within their dominions with limited choices ,but what is right is a mystery and the conclusion is inconclusive appropriately as it is only our perception of right that we regard as one,the truth is obscure and will be revealed only at odd moments in human destiny . The movie suceeds in trying to explore and divulge part of the truth ,dressed as a kidnapping it dares to tread a fine path and expose the underbelly of the irish catholicism ,but the same holds true world wide and boston here becomes a social mirror to the global condition of humanity. Casey is a great new talent ,even better than he was in THE KILLING OF COWARD ROBERT REDFORD,and Ben affleck makes the Coens look like the kids in this movie; pawns in the chess game between a corrupt system and degenerate social values . The script is as sophisticated as Valley of elah and the political strife is just culminating as a means to an end to whitewash the reality ,with no one bothered to know the truth or adminster justice ,which has indeed become a rarity and very precious commodity today .a great movie by afflecks . USMAN KHAWAJA

CarolJ

Saw this film yesterday and Ben Afflek did a brilliant job. Go see this movie and when you come out you'll be asking yourself 'would I have done that?'

CarolJ

Saw this film yesterday and Ben Afflek did a brilliant job. Go see this movie and when you come out you'll be asking yourself 'would I have done that?'

bluesdoctor

Complex, multilayerd. Asks difficult moral questions and offers no easy answers. Mostly superb performances. Excellent plot, firm direction. Leaves you thinking, haunted and troubled. Best serious drama of the year.

bluesdoctor

Complex, multilayerd. Asks difficult moral questions and offers no easy answers. Mostly superb performances. Excellent plot, firm direction. Leaves you thinking, haunted and troubled. Best serious drama of the year.

bluesdoctor

Very few missteps in this sombre meditation on morality. Easily the best movie in mainstream circulation right now.

bluesdoctor

Very few missteps in this sombre meditation on morality. Easily the best movie in mainstream circulation right now.