The Town Review

Ben Affleck returns home to Boston for his sophomore directing effort The Town, a new heist flick that returns him to a similarly gritty Beantown milieu as that of his acclaimed feature directing debut, 2007's Gone Baby Gone. Affleck also co-wrote the script, which is based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. Affleck stars as Doug MacRay, a veteran thief and resident of the one-square-mile neighborhood of Charlestown, a blue collar enclave that the film tells us produces more bank and car robbers than anywhere else in America. (Boston alone sees over 300 bank heists a year, the film claims.)

Doug runs a crew of ruthlessly professional thieves, which includes his best friend, the fiery Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), among its ranks. The Town employs that most overused of heist movie tropes -- the one last job -- but focuses on the emotional havoc its aftermath wreaks on all involved. During the heist, Jem takes bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) hostage. Knowing that Jem is dangerous, Doug becomes concerned after they discover that Claire also lives in Charlestown. Pretending to meet her by chance, Doug charms himself into her life while she's unaware that he's actually the leader of the masked robbers who terrorized her. But once he falls in love with Claire, Doug wants out of the life. Alas, the Feds -- led by Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm) -- and Jem don't plan on letting Doug (or Claire) get away that easily.

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