The Town Reviews
Though the narrative is a conventional one, the well-acted, suspenseful story deals in fascinatingly murky morality and mines intriguing material from a historic and complex city.
The Town marks spotty-careered actor Ben Affleck's second time directing -- and with this deft crime drama, he more than proves that he deserves to sit behind the camera.
Affleck's direction is clipped when the plot requires, but he lingers on character-driven scenes (at a garden, a restaurant, a corner) in no apparent rush. Why hurry, after all? He's arrived.
The Town doesn't reinvent the wheel. It just does what it does with great conviction and a sky-high level of execution. It also forges ahead with one of the best Hollywood second-act stories in recent memory.
Here is a well-made crime procedural, and audiences are likely to enjoy it at that level, but perhaps the mechanics of movie crime got in the way of Affleck's higher ambitions.
This second feature doesn't resonate with nearly as much power, but its suspenseful story of two generations of career criminals in the city's northerly Charlestown neighborhood has a similarly haunting quality.