The Town (2010)

Four bank robbers. One has a double life. So-so casting. There I summed it up for you.

Oh, you want a little more detail? Oh, alright…

The second feature film directorial effort for the renowned Ben Affleck, “The Town” follows four bank robbers as they attempt a heist. These robbers hail from Charlestown, a notorious section of Boston known for its fair share of criminals, mainly, bank robbers. During this robbery, they encounter one of the managers, played by Rebecca Hall. She’s nervous as she tries to dial the combination to the safe. Affleck calms her down and tells here no to be nervous (isn’t the plot exposition so obvious even within the first ten minutes here?)

She later trips an alarm and sees a fighting Irish tattoo on the back of the neck of one of the robbers, but doesn’t give this detail to the FBI. Whoops.

So they take her hostage for a brief time, then let her go. Later, Affleck appears to Hall, her not knowing he was at the robbery at first, and courts her into a relationship. At first, it’s just to make sure she hasn’t squealed and what she knows, but then it blossoms.

That’s as far as I’ll take the plot description.

This week, the National Board of Review announced their awards for 2010. They are the first organization to do so for this year’s films. A surprise on that list was that this film won for Best Ensemble Cast. I see where they’re coming from. However, I can’t help but feel that there was something missing from this cast. I’m not 100% sure what it is, nor can I put my finger on exactly what it is.

Affleck’s directing is very fresh, moving, motivated and straightforward. I couldn’t ask for better from a new director and he shouldn’t change. The story is solid, motivating and isn’t watered down with too many action scenes. The characters are very believable and true to their roots, Irish roots (which explains that tattoo, but you would have gotten that anyway.)

It’s another one of those films that was better than I thought it was going to be. 2½ stars for this film. It’s a good rent or catch it in a second-run theatre if you can.

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