The Town

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Following the success of "Gone Baby Gone" in 2007, director-turned-actor Ben Affleck outdoes himself again in "The Town", a suspenseful crime-romance based on Chunk Hogan's 2004 novel, "Prince of Thieves".

"The Town" is largely based in Charleston, Boston, where this one square mile is famous for producing more bank and armoured-car robbers than anywhere else in the United States, and also where robbing banks seemingly runs in the family.

Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is one born into such a family. Doug is the tough leader of a swift, ruthless and efficient four-man heist team with a thing for on-the-job masks and that specialises in armoured bank robberies. On their latest job, they took bank manager, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) hostage. The heist went well but best buddy and dangerously impulsive James "Jem" Coughlin (Jeremy Renner from "The Hurt Locker") worries that the babe has seen too much.

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Here begins the sweet part of the otherwise film for a tough man. If you haven't already noticed his soft spot for her from Doug's "No one's going to hurt you" during the heist, you would've gotten it when he volunteers to check her out. But like all criminals, love is the reason for the man to abandon his criminal past. And as all crime flicks go, his gang would never let this happen that easily.

Besides the intriguing plot and satisfying dialogues, the impressive performance of the supporting characters added on to the film's sense of deep realism too. Jon Hamm plays a convincingly watchful FBI S.A. Adam Frawley, who closes in on the criminals but is desperate for evidence that would make the conviction stick. Gossip Girl's Blake Lively plays visually pleasing single mother Krista, who has the hots for Doug. Finally, the best for the last: Doug's imprisoned father is played Chris Cooper, who such gave a solid act that he almost steals the show.

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In all, "The Town" has something for both gender – with elements of grand robbery, unexpected romance, as well as deceit and betrayal all in one. There's the fast and furious action for the men: shootouts and car chases against the backdrop of Boston's glistening dark alleys. And romance for the ladies: Affleck and Hall could've had more chemistry but the excitement of dating the "bad guy" would've been enough to enthrall most. A film worth the weekend watch, and one perfect for the couple.



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