A star-stuffed Boston noir

The Town | 8. The Town The most indelible genre movie of the year. As a director, Ben Affleck demonstrates a sizzling camera eye that's always wired to…
Credit: Claire Folger
  • Movie

STARRING: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm
WRITTEN BY: Peter Craig and Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard
DIRECTED BY: Ben Affleck


A charming Boston-area troublemaker has to choose between a dead-end life with guys from his hood and a brighter future with his polished new girlfriend. It’s just like Good Will Hunting — except that Ben Affleck’s troublemaker, Doug, isn’t a math whiz but a masked bank robber, and his love interest isn’t a Harvard coed but the victimized bank manager (Rebecca Hall) who might be able to identify him and his crew to a federal agent (Jon Hamm).

Mostly set and filmed in Boston’s blue-collar Charlestown, Affleck’s second directorial effort aims for the realism of his ’07 debut, Gone Baby Gone. ”Half the people on our movie were ex-cons,” says Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), who plays Doug’s short-fused partner in crime. ”If I had questions about the authenticity of something, from my accent to behavior, I’d look to my left, look to my right. There were resources everywhere.” Affleck also understood what the studio wanted: an action movie with plenty of gunplay. ”If I could deliver those sequences,” he says, ”I was free to make a drama with themes I was interested in, like class in America and how children pay for the sins of their parents.”

The Town
  • Movie
  • R
  • 125 minutes
  • Ben Affleck