Director: Ben Affleck
Cast: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Pete Postlethwaite, Blake Lively, Rebecca Hall, John Hamm
Affleck continues to impress as one of Hollywood’s chief players, here in a gritty crime drama packed with atmosphere and authenticity he directs, stars in and co-writes one of the year’s most memorable films.
The fact that he’s a native Bostonian lends to the authenticity.
Charlestown is a blue-collar district of Boston where crime comes with mother’s milk and is a part of everyone’s life: you name a crime and the hoods of Charlestown have done it over and over and passed on the skills to the next generation.
One of the best of a bad lot is Doug MacRay (Affleck) whose gang of robbers always manage to get away with the loot. But now, in conventional style, Doug wants out, wants to pull one last job to fund his escape from the ‘hood … only his gang won’t let this happen.
On a previous bank raid they forced manager Claire (Hall) to open the safe and kidnapped her to facilitate their escape, eventually allowing her to go … to haunt Doug, who befriends and falls in love with her.
What sort of a future could they possibly hope for, hunted as Doug is by his past and by the FBI?
While the plot is conventional and many of the supporting characters merely sketches, Affleck still brings us a powerful – Oscar potential – street-smart crime story.
Star Rating: 5/5