Affleck gets the tribalism of Boston's traditionally Irish-American enclaves; it's a defining force in his character's lives. But for all their well-played grit, those characters resolutely remain types, and for all the well-choreographed action, the outcome doesn't matter nearly as much as it should.
Stream The Town
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Affleck the movie director makes you truly, badly want his bunch of ne'er-do-wells to pull off their heists without a scratch, and you can't ask for much more than that. [20 Sept. 2010, p. 120]
In The Town, he (Renner) doesn't signal that Jem is a sociopath... It's a deeply unnerving performance, beyond good or evil.
The behind-the-camera talent Ben Affleck displayed so bracingly in "Gone Baby Gone" is confirmed, if not significantly advanced, in The Town. Again proving a fine director of actors (this time with himself in a starring role), Affleck delivers another potent, serious-minded slice of pulp set on Boston's meanest streets, where loyalty among thieves runs thicker than blood.
There's more than a few things off in this tale of a disillusioned professional thief (Affleck, dull), his unlikely inamorata (Hall, wasted) and the determined FBI agent (Hamm, solid) out to apprehend him.
A rich, dark, pulpy mess of entanglements that fulfills all the requirements of the genre, and is told with an ease and gusto that make the pulp tasty.
It's good enough at least that you wish it was better.
If "Heat" and "The Departed" had a baby, the result might come close to The Town, a riveting and explosive crime thriller and one of the year's best pictures.
A pretty decent crime drama - not a patch on the best parts of his directorial debut, 2007's "Gone Baby Gone,'' but it's moody and grim and engrossing if you approach it with the right expectations.