2010, Movies

The Town (2010, Ben Affleck)

This is a sort of one-last-job heist film that focuses almost as much on relationships as it does on the heists. Though I appreciate the (mostly successful) attempt to situate the film in a place that feels real, I also feel like the film is tugged in two different directions and that doesn’t completely work. And I have a few nitpicks, as you might imagine.


It’s weird to have a heist movie that only focuses on the execution. Traditionally, heist movies spend a lot of time on the planning but, in this one, Affleck’s character is just really good at planning heists and the process stuff that is normally part of these films is pretty much ignored. There are three heists in this film, all three of which are the work of professionals and the audience is let in on the prep of none of them. Maybe that’s a bold departure from the form but most people watch heist movies to watch the plan and then the execution, not just the execution.

So really, though there are three heists, it’s more of a “one last job” type of film, with the first heist setting up the process through which Affleck’s character decides to pull his one last job. The illicit relationship thing rings a bell but I can’t quite place if I’ve seen this particular spin on it before. But while it’s developing, and in between heists, the film feels more like one of those “new love pulling me away from my friends” movies at times. I’m not sure a successful balance is struck. That being said, it’s a relatively novel spin (I think).

My bigger quibble is with the final heist and how it goes down. I don’t believe for a second they would have time to change uniforms. It’s crazy how easy it is for them to initially escape and for Affleck’s character to escape. And Affleck’s character’s escape is so fucking meticulous, like the first heist, it’s hard to understand how he was able to do it. I don’t buy it.

However, I will say I like how they don’t end up together. She seems a little too willing to help him out given how the story started, but maybe somebody in real life would be like that too.

7/10 because it feels like a reasonably fresh spin, the cast is good (if those accents are) and it moves reasonably well for how long it is.

PS I looked up the Charlestown Bridge and there are two other bridges right next to it.

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