The Town: Welcome to the Bank Robbery Capital of America (2010)

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Crime, Drama, Thriller

In the heart of Boston is the neighborhood of  Charlestown, which happens to have the highest number of bank heists in the country. Doug MacRay, James Coughlin and their crew are professional robbers and pull off a strong heist which involves kidnapping bank teller Claire Kessey and leaving her on beach. The FBI picks up Kessey and pulls her into the investigation, while MacRay has growing concerns about Coughlin’s act first think second attitude. On a chance encounter, MacRay becomes involved with Kessey while keeping the secret that he was involved in the robbery and kidnapping. As the FBI closes in and MacRay gets more serious with Kessey, can the robbers stay out of hot water before they are caught?

Starring: Ben Affleck (Doug MacRay), Rebecca Hall (Claire Keesey), Jon Hamm (FBI SA Adam Frawley), Jeremy Renner (James Coughlin), Blake Lively (Krista Coughlin), Slaine (Albert Magloan), Owen Burke (Desmond Elden), Titus Weliver (Dino Ciampa), Chris Cooper (Stephen MacRay)

Leading this cast is Ben Affleck, who plays the leader of the pack and the brains of the operation. He clearly is the right casting for this role as he has the strong Boston accent and maintains a calm, confident demeanor while balancing multiple two different lives. Jeremy Renner, on the other hand, is the loose cannon who tends to make the situation difficult for MacRay and the rest of the team. He channels some strong, violent tendencies and appears to be ready to snap at any moment. Rebecca Hall serves as the love interest and seems to represent a rather strong woman considering the trauma she experiences with the heist.

As a whole, the movie is solid and has a complicated combination of good acting and dramatic moments. The movie takes the view of the thief and strives to get the viewer to feel for MacRay as the criminal and Kessey as the victim at the same time. With MacRay, he clearly is breaking the law but seems to have somewhat of a sense of morals (both in the way he cares for Kessey and with his involvement in other activities like the Boys and Girls Club). Kessey experiences the trauma of a kidnapping and seems to be trying to move on with her life. Their relationship is odd because you know that they are going to eventually have problems when the robbery catches up with him, but you also want to see them survive. The other interesting element of this movie is that it was both directed and written by Affleck. Not since Gone Baby Gone has Affleck had as strong of a film, but he certainly has proven that he can develop and direct strong crime dramas.

While this may appear to be your basic crime movie, it tangles together action, drama and romance as the characters stumble through a series of intertwining moments that lead to an ultimately exciting ending.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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