“The Town” Review

Patrick St. Pierre

The Town” (four stars)

“The Town” is a remarkably gritty and emotional escape through the streets of Boston with the cops on your tail, the cash in your front seat and the bullets whizzing past your ear.

Directed by Ben Affleck (Academy Award Winner for “Good Will Hunting”) and based on the town of Charlestown, Mass., and the string of bank robberies that has given the town the record of having the most bank robberies in the history of the United States.

“The Town,” like Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” and Affleck’s own “Gone Baby Gone,” shows a side of Boston that reeks of murder, malevolence and mayhem.

Jeremy Renner, the breakout star of last year’s Academy Award winning film “The Hurt Locker,” which also earned him an Oscar nomination, comes up big again in “The Town” as he joins Affleck, delivering a performance that can be characterized as a thin façade over a barely controllable violent rage.

Blake Lively (TV’s “Gossip Girl”) also delivers a performance that makes the actress almost unrecognizable as a single mother and ex-love interest of Affleck.

The most haunting performance of the film was Chris Cooper (“Remember Me”) playing Affleck’s father.

From his visually stirring entrance through the classic speech about crime being the inevitability of his son’s life, Cooper brings a sense of reality to what becomes of the criminal.

The film is a violent mix of love, brotherhood and betrayal, fitting well into the crime classics of the decade. The film is a real testament to Affleck’s skills as a director, and it becomes clear that his great directing work in “Gone Baby Gone” was not an accident.

Gone are the days of “Gigli” and “Jersey Girl,” when we really questioned why we liked him in “Good Will Hunting”.

Affleck delivers “The Town” to screens tomorrow, and if you are in any way a fan of crime drama, your $8.50 will be well spent.

Contact Patrick St. Pierre at [email protected].