Tag Archive: Crime

Movie Review: The Town

R (for violence, language and sexual content), Warner Bros, 123 minutes.

Written and Directed by Ben Affleck. Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Jon Hamm, Chris Cooper, Pete Postlethwaite.

The Town is Ben Affleck’s 2nd directional effort (after 2007s Gone Baby Gone) and is an impressive piece of work. This film could have easily been just another run of the mill crime thriller but it is given a boost by a smarter script than usual and exciting action sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat. My only real complaint is that I felt it a bit too long and thus moved at a slower pace than I would have preferred.

The film is about four men — Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck in good form here), his best friend; Jem Coughlin (a brilliant Jeremy Renner), Gloansy, (Slaine) and Dez Elden (Owen Burke) from the tough streets of Charlestown Massachusetts who rob banks for a living.

The film opens with a bank heist where after a silent alarm is triggered, they take the bank manager Claire Heesey, (Rebecca Hall) hostage, Once they have escaped they let her go only to find that she lives in their same neighborhood. Fearing the cops may get to them through her Jem wants to take her out so Doug says he will handle it himself. Instead of doing this he befriends Claire and they soon begin a relationship.

In the meantime, FBI Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) is in charge of the case and soon finds out that they all work for a crook called Fergie (Pete Postlethwaite).  Agent Frawley is then in hot pursuit of the gang as they continue to rob banks.

Chris Cooper is grossly underused in this film, playing Doug’s father who is locked away in jail. His scene is literally a few minutes long.

Blake Lively was surprisingly good in her role as Krista Coughlin, the sister of Jem and ex girlfriend of Doug.

There is some very witty dialogue in the film and good performances from all, especially Jeremy Renner and Blake Lively as stated above.

The action sequence are very realistic and executed very well, which is again kudos to Ben Affleck’s directing. There is a particular scene where the gang are escaping a bank robbery dressed as Nun’s that is very thrilling and even has a hilarious finale to it.

This is a solid film, with good writing, good direction and good acting. An entertaining night out at the movies and a film that has me looking out for what Ben Affleck is going to do next. 3/5 stars.


PG-13, Columbia Pictures, 107 Minutes.

Directed by Adam Mckay, Narrated by Ice T, Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L Jackson, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan.

The Other Guys is a ridiculous and over the top buddy-cop crime comedy that succeeds for that very reason. I won’t say it is particularly memorable, but it is definitely an entertaining night out at the movies.

The film starts off with Detective Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and Detective Highsmith (Samuel L Jackson) who are two hero cops that are highly respected and admired by all. In the opening sequence they are chasing a drug cartel and manage to leave a path of destruction behind them, before the criminals are caught.  They do things “their way”, but they get the job done.

Then there are the other guys. Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) is a forensics accountant who prefers to stay behind his desk instead of getting any action on the street. His reluctant partner is Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), a detective who has been stuck with a desk job ever since he accidentally shot Derek Jeter during the 2003 World Series. Hoitz also has a tendency to shout out “i’m a peacock, you’ve got to let me fly” every now and then.

Gamble and Hoitz start to investigate a shady businessman by the name of Dave Ershon (Steve Coogan) and the deeper they get into the case,  the more they find themselves being kidnapped and shot at.

Gamble is married to his beautiful wife Sheila (Eva Mendes) who he only considers to be “plain” to the amazement of his partner. Mark Wahlberg overplays his character too much to the point where I got bored of it. I don’t find him that funny as a comic actor, but when he finally gets some action in this film is when he seems the most formidable as an actor.

Will Ferrell however, is definitely at his comedic best in this movie. Most of the films biggest laughs involve him. There is a good cop-bad cop scenario which is completely over the top but hysterical.  A backstory about his pimping days in college is also hilarious.  There is also random dialogue between Gamble and Hoitz throughout the film, most of which is completely non-sequiter which makes it even more comical.

Michael Keaton is also a lot of fun, playing their Captain Gene Mauch, who also has another job as the store manager at Bed Bath and Beyond. There’s a running joke with their Captain throughout the movie that involves the music group TLC, which I thought was very funny.

The Other Guys isn’t a movie that warrants repeat viewing, but it’s definitely a movie that will grab some laughs and is worth the watch. It’s also Will Ferrell back in shape at his comedic best.  2 /5 stars