The Town

Film

Gangster films

TOWN-01806.jpg

Time Out rating:

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

User ratings:

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

Tue Sep 21 2010

This is a slick but inert cops ’n’ robbers yarn from Ben Affleck (with his director-writer-star hat on) that feels all but indistinguishable from the thousands of similar films that have blazed a trail before it. Sporting a neat crew cut, a sweat-glazed six-pack and a nice line in ‘Boston’-emblazoned tracksuit tops, Affleck is Doug, the conflicted leader of a rubber-masked wrecking crew who take down banks on behalf of kingpin (and florist!) Pete Postlethwaite. Doug wants to take his loot and make a break for Florida, a desire fuelled by his relationship with Rebecca Hall’s kindly soup-kitchen mama. But Pete’s got dirt on him, and even though the Feds are closing in (led by ‘Mad Men’ heartthrob John Hamm), the team keep breaking banks, leading to a minutely orchestrated take-down of the Boston Red Sox’s home ground.

You’d hazard from this and his previous directorial effort, ‘Gone Baby Gone’, that Affleck counts Michael Mann and Sidney Lumet among his muses. You’d also guess from the film’s slickly calculated pacing and surfeit of soulful heart-to-hearts that break up the carnage that he has a fondness for the TV work of David Simon, notably ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ and ‘The Wire’. Yet despite the grubby locations in the Bostonian crime-hub of Charlestown, the film’s credibility feels severely hamstrung by the fact that even though the robbers (especially Jeremy Renner as a gung-ho ex-con) are armed and dangerous, too much effort is made to ensure us that it’s never nice-guy Affleck who’s pulling the trigger.
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Release details

UK release:

Fri Sep 24, 2010

Duration:

120 mins

Users say

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

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|24
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mplo

"The Town" fell way short of its potential for being a really good, or perhaps even a great film that was right up there with "West Side Story", due to a poor to mediocre cast, an immature script, and a pretentious story overall that is too unbelievable to suspend momentary disbelief.

Joseph

For all the talk about believability, this is an edge of your seat action packed adventure with a drop of depth. Definitely worth the 2 hour watch.

Joseph

For all the talk about believability, this is an edge of your seat action packed adventure with a drop of depth. Definitely worth the 2 hour watch.

mplo

I do not like the message that "The Town" conveys to me personally, at all; that people don't have to be held accountable for what they do, or the consequences of their actions and behaviors, and that as long as people can get what they want, it doesn't matter if other people are harmed in some way or other, during the process. The stereotypes in this film are also quite prevalent; the mumbling, slobbering, shouting Red Sox-loving Bostonians, that everybody in C-Town is either a bank robber, or at least involved in the family business, the law enforcement people assigned to the job of bringing guys like Doug MacRay and his men to justice are incompetent, stupid jerks, the slatternly, drugged-out, drunken ex-girlfriend of the gangleader (Krista), and the angel in human form framed by flowers who steals the heart of the same gangleader and has a complete breakdown when it backfires on her. (Claire Keesey, the bank manager)

mplo

I really wanted Doug and his men to be caught, tried, charged and jailed for their crimes, so I rooted for the FBI and SWAT the whole time in "The Town.' I also wanted Claire to either be criminally prosecuted herself, or at least by put on probation for being an accessory to Doug MacRay's crimes and for receiving stolen goods.

mplo

What most people (especially those who really fell head over heels for The Town) don't get about this particular movie is that Doug was a dangerous armed felon with an extensive criminal record, who finally ended up going to Florida in the hopes of avoiding another prison term, and couldn't take Claire with him to Florida as a bargaining chip in order to avoid prison as he'd hoped to do, which is why he left her behind. Furthermore, Doug's phrase "I'll see you again, this side or the other", at the end of his "I'll always love you" letter to Claire that he left her, along with all the stolen money that she spent on the C-Town ice hockey rink, was a euphemistic way of saying that they'd never meet again. How can so many people be stupid enough to believe that Claire would really go to Florida with him, after all the crap that Doug pulled with her and the fact that he abused and took advantage of her. A smarter, more street-wise woman than Claire would've had him pegged and figured out who Doug really was and what he was up to pretty much from the get-go, or, at least been much firmer about breaking it off with Doug for good, no matter what anyone says or things.

mplo

An overrated, overly proclaimed film that conveys the message that anything goes, as long as people can get away with it, that it's okay to become an accessory to criminal behavior and make utter dupes of law enforcement officials and obstruct justice when law enforcement people are trying to do their job of bringing dangerous criminals to justice, revenge beatings and killings are legitimate, and that it's okay to spend stolen money on the renovation of a hockey rink, instead of turning the stolen money over to the proper authorities under proper arrangement and finding more honest ways to procure the fundings for the hockey rink restoration. Claire was beyond stupid to set that alarm in the bank, cause her co-worker to be beaten almost to death, and to end up being taken as a hostage herself, not to mention allowing herself to be totally taken advantage of by Doug MacRay, a dangerous criminal who deserved to be put behind bars.

mplo

"The Town", imho, is a highly overrated movie that's more like a feature-length, made-for-TV soap opera than a regular movie. Sure, the beginning of "The Town", with the aerial/on the ground shots of Charlestown and Boston, generally, as well as the opening bank heist, was interesting, but, except for the beginning, the parts where the FBI are involved, and the slatternly, drugged-out Krista, "The Town", on the whole, was a rather junky rip-off of other heist films, such as "Heat", "Friends of Eddie Coyle", and afew others. The Doug-Claire romance was rather paltry and immature, at best, and there should've been a lot less of it. The only sympathetic characters in the film, imho, are FBI Agt. Adam Frawley, SWAT, and the other law enforcement people who were assigned to bring Doug MacRay and his men to their knees and back to prison for their crimes. Claire Keesey, imho, lost my sympathy when she decided to stay in contact with Doug despite finally learning the truth about him through FBI Agt. Frawley, accepted expensive gifts (a diamond necklace!) from Doug, tipped Doug off to the presence of the Feds in her house right when they were on the verge of nabbing him and sending him to prison for his crimes where he belonged, thus helping to evade the law, and spent blood-soaked, stolen money that didn't belong to her on the renovation of the C-Town ice hockey rink, instead of arranging to turn it over to the proper authorities. While it wasn't Claire Keesey's fault that her bank was robbed at gunpoint, her choices and actions following the robbery put her in an extremely bad light.

mplo

Frankly, I think that all the rave reviews that The Town got were bought and paid for. They're BS.

andy

Not perfect by any means but still highly enjoyable and compelling.You do have to suspend your sense of disbelieve to some extent but a good script and quite compelling characters make up for that.And mplo,are you a policeman?

mplo

The Town is a very cheesy and overrated. It's more like a feature-length, made-for-TV soap opera than a regular movie. The cast is poor to mediocre at best, and the immature, teen-like Doug/Claire romance, which takes up much too much of the film, has no real believability or chemistry to it. The beginning of the film, with the aerial shots of Charlestown, and the opening bank heist, was okay, but, within a matter of minutes, this film went from being okay to just plain bad! It's toitally unrealistic...come on..no woman in her right mind would meet a guy in a laundromat who'd been following her for weeks, accept a date with him and then stick with him after learning that he was the ringleader of the gang who'd knocked over her bank and gunpoint and then kidnapped her. That's so stupid, it almost defies belief! There are several things that most of the critics and average moviegoers alike, seem to miss, either out of naivete, or willful ignorance: A) Doug put the romance moves on Claire to make doubly sure that she didn't blow their cover by talking to the Feds. The movie convinces most people that Doug loved her, but did he really? Nope. He was just out to exploit her as a bargaining chip, because Doug is an armed felon and wanted fugitive. B) Doug had been following Claire for several weeks prior to him and his men knocking over her bank at gunpoint and kidnapping her. C) Doug ultimately skipped town for Florida, first because he was on the lam from the law...not on vacation, and secondly, he'd gotten what he really wanted out of Claire; a promise from her not to squeal to the Feds. Thirdly, Doug knew, at some level, that his days of hiding out in Florida were numbered; he'd eventually be hunted down, caught (perhaps violently) and either sent to prison or gunned down by the Feds. I think that The Town would've been a better film, with a better cast, a tougher Claire instead of such a weepy angelic chick, and an ending where Doug is sent to a federal penitentiary to serve long, hard time for his crimes (i. e. armed robbery, kidnapping and murder), and Claire had been criminally prosecuted herself, or at least put on some sort of probation for abetting and protecting Doug by tipping him off to the Feds and generally protecting him with lies to the Feds, and for receiving stolen goods (i. e. the money that Doug stole from the Fenway Park heist and left for Claire in her little community garden.)

Henry Zakumumpa

On the whole 'The Town' is a worthy, albeit forgettable 120 minutes at the Cineplex. Ben Affleck is on the other side of the lens, directing but also playing a leading role in this heist movie. This is his second outing as a director after ‘Gone Baby Gone’. But this is a better product than his first outing. He is certainly getting better as a director and in some ways an actor, as his directing is also a vehicle for his acting career. Unlike many movies I have seen in the past couple of months, ‘The Town’ didn’t get me dozing for a moment which says good things about the movie. ‘The Town’ is a movie set in Charlestown in Boston about a group of hard-knock childhood friends who get in the habit of robbing banks in their home town with flawless, meticulous planning. This, of course, works most of the time but they have their waterloo on the horizon. Ben Affleck plays the brains of the bunch moderating his more overzealous group members. But he wants out to move to Florida with his new girlfriend (the manager of a bank he robs!) and since this is no public service job where you can quit at liberty all with whom he is in cahoots with, have something to say about that. If you want to breathtaking car chases, daring bank robberies, tension and suspense and even a laugh, The Town’ is your cup of tea. You have to occasionally suspend your disbelief as there a couple of scenes that will stretch your imagination or the scale of believability.

Justin Berkovi

Once again I find myself at odds with Time Out's critics and I think this will be the last time I use the site as a reference point for accurate 'critique' of cinema. 'The Town' is a solid and enjoyable film and I disagree totally with it being labelled 'flat'. The entire film kept me on edge wondering how it was going to pan out and hats off to Affleck directing and acting in this. Heat being one of my favourite films of the genre is a (flawed) masterpiece that would be very difficult to match in terms of atmosphere but that's the entire point. The people here are not the well heeled elite of the underworld but merely 'townies' trying to get by, doing something their way. Go watch or rent it!

Iain

"too much effort is made to ensure us that it’s never nice-guy Affleck who’s pulling the trigger." Does Jenkins even watch in their entirety the movies he's supposed to be reviewing?

Thomas Noctor

Seen better, seen worse. Average action thriller, that's all I can really say. Started out well, but would the gang really let a member date a suspect? Ok film worth a watch, but I wouldn't be watching it again or it wouldn't be sticking in My memory!

Robert Thornton

Why can't there be a thriller with some grains of credibility. This is yet again from the bish bosh bash school with stupid chase scenes which are about a million miles from reality. Affleck was his usual wooden self and ends up being a free man after armed robbery and murder. A waste of time and money.

Paul

(delete as applicable) Hollywood, banks, robbery, vengeance, cash, guns, testosterone, expletives, prison, chase, shooting, male bonding, monosyllables, revenge, cops, whiskers, baseball caps and yawning

scrumpyjack

Good, solid crime flick. nothing to love about it, nothing to hate about it. Just 2 hours entertainment. Think "Brooklyn's Finest" 7/10

Mike

A so-so cops-n-robbers film. Nothing that you haven't seen before. Some of the action's good, and a chase after one of the heists is particularly good. But in a film of 2 hours that's not much to boast about. Some of the photography was good. The script was a bit flat. Jeremy Renner's talents were wasted in this film.

Nick Ryan

The Town is the best film i've seen this year - seen it twice and intend to see it again! Ignore the negative comments characterisation is compelling & not a duff performance in the film. Jeremy Renner stands out as Affleck's unbalanced friend. People with short attention spans will find it 'boring' those who have better things to do than " watch paint dry" see a film that delivers a 1st class heist movie with great action scenes well directed by Affleck. See it on the big screen then see it again! This film does not try to be 'Heat' so criticising a film for not matching up seems redundant.

Nick Ryan

The Town is the best film i've seen this year - seen it twice and intend to see it again! Ignore the negative comments characterisation is compelling & not a duff performance in the film. Jeremy Renner stands out as Affleck's unbalanced friend. People with short attention spans will find it 'boring' those who have better things to do than " watch paint dry" see a film that delivers a 1st class heist movie with great action scenes well directed by Affleck. See it on the big screen then see it again! This film does not try to be 'Heat' so criticising a film for not matching up seems redundant.

critique

Competent cops n robbers fare, scoring highly on action but falling down on characterisation and sometimes taking its self a little too seriously. Unlike Dave O`Brien, I was rooting for Affleck`s violent criminal to lose the girl and his liberty!

Matt Riley

These posts are terrible reviews (including the main one). The previous post to mine said it very correctly: Affleck IS DEFINITELY the one who pulls the trigger several times. And to suggest the FBI agent's next logical role is in a S&TC sequal doesn't even make sense. The movie did what it set out to do, and for that, I loved it.

DaveO&#039;Brien

Highbrows, stay away. This ain't no profound "nouvelle vague experience". This is a gritty cops and robbers story where you know the lead character is actually a pretty bad guy, but still likeable enough that you really kinda' hope he gets the girl, and away with it. That's not an easy balance, but Affleck pulls it off. Whether he was trying to do this or not, he also put me in mind of Boston in the bad old "Whitey Bulger" gangster days, when people knew who was who, but everybody kept their mouths shut. Great "buddy night" entertainment.