UK Release date: 24th September 2010
Watched on DVD Sunday 18th March 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is one of those movies that have been kicking around in my collection for some time now. It was looking a bit neglected and so I thought I’d give it a viewing today. I had heard some good things about it when it was released and so I was hopeful of a good experience. I wasn’t disappointed, the film delivered on several fronts and I think Mr. Affleck is developing into a pretty good director. I will tell you more after this brief summary.
After a daring bank robbery in which the manager, Claire Keesey, is terrorised; the gang, lead by Doug MacRay discover she lives near another gang member, James Coughlin. They had all been wearing disguises and left no DNA at the scene, but they couldn’t be sure she wouldn’t recognise them. MacRay decides to see if he can discover just what (if anything) she knows. In doing this he becomes involved with her and they begin a relationship. Meanwhile the FBI are on the trail of the robbers and also they are commissioned for another job by a character known as ‘The Florist’, Fergus ‘Fergie’ Colm. As things progress with Claire, MacRay feels the urge to get out of Charlestown and make a fresh start with her. The FBI, however, and ‘The Florist’ may have other ideas about that. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Heist Movies Division) will be locking me up on trumped-up charges (again).
Made in a very realistic style which, as with his directorial debut, ‘Gone Baby Gone’ (2007), matches the mood of the piece really well. All the performances were excellent, but I particularly liked Rebecca Hall as Claire Keesey, Jeremy Renner as James Coughlin and Blake Lively as his sister, Krista Coughlin; all three put in sterling performances. Of course, Ben Affleck proved once again what a fine actor he is as Doug MacRay. Also worthy of note were; Jon Hamm as FBI S.A. Adam Frawley, Slaine as Albert ‘Gloansy’ Magloan, Owen Burke as Desmond Elden, Titus Welliver as Dino Ciampa and finally a mention for Pete Postlethwaite as ‘The Florist’, Fergus ‘Fergie’ Colm in one of his last roles.
A complicated plot that’s quite heavy on dialogue in places, but there are some very nicely put together action scenes in there too. There are several threads to the story that all tie up in the end, although the poignant ending does leave the audience guessing to some extent. I must say I did enjoy this film with its multi-layered plot and, at times, edgy style. It’s certainly one I would give another viewing to at some point in the future… Recommended.
My score: 8.3/10.
IMDb Score: 7.6/10 (based on 118,712 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 94/100 (based on 210 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 83/100 (based on 110,251 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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WARNING: SOME STRONG LANGUAGE
Doug MacRay: [narrating] Driver's name is Arthur Shea. Former Metro Police officer, fifty-seven years old. Soon as his partner leaves with the coal bag, Artie cracks a Herald, and he don't look up 'til the guy gets back. Marty Maguire. Cummins Armored courier. Five-ten, two-twenty, fifty-two years old. Picks up every Wednesday and Friday at exactly 8:12, makes a hundred and ten dollars a day, carries a Sig nine. And he's about to get robbed.
[cuts to Doug and Jem briefing their comrades, Gloansy and Dez, in a dark room]
Doug MacRay: We're fucked if we see a helicopter; we're fucked if we see SWAT. We see a cruiser, stop, take out the engine blocks, keep movin'. No one needs to get hurt.
James Coughlin: Yeah, these guards like to test you, though. They wanna get hurt for ten dollars an hour, don't get in the way.
Claire Keesey: So what do you do for work?
Doug MacRay: Boston Sanding Gravel, I break rocks. Punch the ticket at the end of the day, slide down the back of a brontosaurus like Fred Flintstone, call it a night.
FBI S.A. Adam Frawley: Now, we're a long way away from a grand jury here... and we'll never get 24 hour surveillance unless one of these idiots converts to Islam. So, we build the case. Alright, let's get to work.
Doug MacRay: No matter how much you change, you still have to pay the price for the things you've done. So I got a long road. But I know I'll see you again - this side or the other.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://thetownmovie.warnerbros.com/dvd/