March 5, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Boston Bad Boys Tear Up “The Town”: At The Movies

Banks get robbed and armored trucks get knocked over to gripping effect in “The Town,” but the best thing about the film is actor/director Ben Affleck’s expertise on all things Boston, its accents, its knuckle-headed buddy boys, its narrow North End alleys, and its landmarks that make for great sweeping, birds-eye view establishing shots.

Based on the novel “Prince of Thieves,” by Chuck Hogan, the crime-ridden caper takes place in Charlestown, a neighborhood of Boston that has produced more bank and armored car robbers than anywhere in the United States. Doug MacRay (Affleck) is one such crook, a former hockey star who blew his chance to break away from the criminal lifestyle passed down to him by his father (Chris Cooper). Instead of playing for the pros, Doug becomes a pro at armed robbery, leading a gang of four thuggish, money grabbers all over the city on multiple heists. Though Doug is smart, talented, sober, and searching, he’s having trouble busting loose from his lowlife partners in crime. The strongest tie he has in the group is with Jem (Jeremy Renner), a borderline psychotic and lifelong friend of our anti-hero. Jem has done more than a few favors for Doug over the years and he expects blind loyalty in return. But Doug begins to doubt his future in crime when he meets Claire (Rebecca Hall), a bank manager the boys briefly kidnap during a hold-up. When Jem wants to check up on Claire after the fact, Doug decides to take on the job himself. But love gets in the way and Doug can’t seem to get it straight that Claire is a threat to his survival, not wife material.

The emotional dilemmas here feel a little thin, and watching Doug wrestle with his choices isn’t exactly compelling. Should he stay loyal to the friends who’ve sacrificed their lives for him, or should he abandon them for a happy romance? It’s a little hard to care and even harder to believe this career criminal would let love-sickness distract him so fully. That said, the acting is so good here, plot plays second fiddle to rich character exploration. Renner and Cooper are the clear standouts, both playing men determined to stay on crooked paths despite growing evidence that their commitment to crime will be their demise. Jon Hamm brings convincing doses of good-guy determination to the scene as the FBI agent who relentlessly pursues MacRay and company.

Affleck sits confidently in the director’s chair on this one, as he did in his other Boston-based directorial feat, “Gone, Baby, Gone.” Creating shoot-outs that look like savage ballets and driving his cast toward exceedingly rich performances, the “Good Will Hunting” collaborator shows us, once again, how much he loves to spin tales about “r” dropping, marginalized deadbeats from his home town.

Related Posts

Video: Indoor Dining Close to Returning in LA County?

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Indoor dining could return to LA County very soon. Learn more and hear what diners have to say in this...

The Importance of Upgrades

February 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

Whether you’re talking about upgrading your home, business, or computer systems, the results are the same: upgrades are essential maintenance...

Film Review: Bliss

February 14, 2021

February 14, 2021

FILM REVIEWBLISSRated R103 MinutesReleased February 5th on Amazon Prime Do you find that when return home from travels to another...

Art of Recovery Projects Connect the Community and Brighten Santa Monica Streets

February 9, 2021

February 9, 2021

The City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division’s next round of Art of Recovery projects will be implemented throughout Santa Monica in the...

The International Gem & Jewelry Show Is Coming

February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021

The last time the International Gem & Jewelry Show was highlighted in Santa Monica, offers ranged from $5 to $5000...

We-Drive Ins Opening New Location In Santa Monica

February 2, 2021

February 2, 2021

WE Drive-Ins has announced the opening of an exclusive premiere drive-in experience featuring all new release films, with their newest...

Film Review: One Night in Miami

January 28, 2021

January 28, 2021

One Night in Miami is an extraordinary film crafted by a superb team of filmmakers and cast. Four men who...

“The Marksman” – Liam Neeson Delivers Another Knock-Out Performance

January 28, 2021

January 28, 2021

There is a reason why award-winning actor Liam Neeson is one of the highest box office grossing actors in the...

Brian Dennehy Stars In The Tender DRIVEWAYS – His Final Film

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

What makes DRIVEWAYS particularly poignant is that it was Brian Dennehy’s last film before he died and his cinematic presence...

What To Pack When Traveling

January 4, 2021

January 4, 2021

When you are traveling, whether it is for vacation or business, you need to consider many things. Obviously, to begin,...

7 Activities for Day Tripping with Your Family to Laguna Beach

December 3, 2020

December 3, 2020

When you take a trip to Laguna Beach, you want it to be epic, but epicness doesn’t just happen like...

Mid-Century Jazz: Bringing the Jazz Club to Homes

November 7, 2020

November 7, 2020

Local quartet bring classic jazz from the 1950s and 1960s to a live setting By Sam Catanzaro Concerts in Los...

Forma Expanding to Main Street: Westside Food Scene

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Westside Food Scene October 22, 2020 By Kerry Slater Forma Expanding to Main Street Popular Santa Monica Italian restaurant Forma...