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The Town Movie

Updated on March 14, 2012

"There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. Most of these professionals live in a one-square-mile neighbourhood called Charlestown."

This embellished quote from The Town trailer sets the scene for a fun, well crafted Boston crime movie. It may not have the gravitas of Ben Affleck’s 2007’s Gone Baby Gone, but its heist and action scenes are drawing comparisons with classic crime movie Heat. Despite the overstating of Boston’s robbery statistics, the reality being closer to 30 than 300, Affleck has created a Boston that even Boston-natives will appreciate.

The Town was released in 2010, directed by Ben Affleck and based on the book Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. It stars Affleck himself, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper.

The Town Plot

As set out in the trailer, the premise of The Town is that Affleck and Renner are part of a four man team of bank robbers. The Charlestown natives take a hostage, played by Rebecca Hall, during the course of one of their robberies. Following the robbery Affleck’s character befriends the former hostage, keeping his role in the robbery a secret. The rest of the movie features his character’s inner conflict over his career path, particularly the fight between his past, represented by Renner’s character, and what he wants his future to be. As FBI agent Adam Frawley, played by Jon Hamm, pursues the robbers as they plan and execute what Affleck hopes to be his last big job.

The Town Review

The Town is a high quality heist movie, with all the clichéd trimmings. While criticisms could be directed at some of the implausible plot and character developments, it should be reviewed as a bubblegum movie and enjoyed accordingly. One car chase in particular could be judged the best of the year, and one of the robberies would challenge for heist scene of the decade.
The adrenaline-filled action scenes should give you the strength you need to get through the tacked-on ending, particularly the cringe-inducing final scene, straight off of a romance novel cover. There is also a superfluous scene of Ben Affleck working out, which raises the question of whether actors should be allowed to direct themselves.

The plot is very much a heist-movie-by-numbers, complete with ‘one last job’ and ‘attack of conscious’ motifs. However, for top class acting by a star cast make it an enjoyable watch, particularly for genre fans.  Blake Lively, in particular, is almost unrecognisable as the trailer park woman scorned. There are many near authentic Boston accents on display, but not to the point of being overdone.

The Town is no Gone Baby Gone, but it’s another solid directorial effort by Ben Affleck. It should be enjoyed as a slick action heist bubble gum movie.

The Town Cast

Ben Affleck

Doug MacRay

Rebecca Hall

Claire Keesey

Jon Hamm

Adam Frawley

Jeremy Renner

James Coughlin

Blake Lively

Krista Coughlin


Albert 'Gloansy' Magloan

Owen Burke

Desmond Elden

Titus Welliver

Dino Ciampa

Pete Postlethwaite

Fergus 'Fergie' Colm

Chris Cooper

Stephen MacRay

Dennis McLaughlin


Corena Chase

Agent Quinlan

Brian Scannell


Kerri Dunbar

Henry's Girl

The Town Extended Cut on DVD and Blu Ray

The Town was released on DVD and Blu-ray disc on 17 December, 2010.

The Town DVD and The Town (Extended Cut) [Blu-ray] Special Features:

  • Theatrical version of The Town plus extended cut not seen in theaters
  • Commentary on both versions by Ben Affleck
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 on both versions; French Dolby 5.1 and Spanish Dolby 5.1 on theatrical version only
  • Ben's Boston: Actor-director Ben Affleck takes you through the moviemaking process in his hometown. Segments include: The Cathedral of Boston; Nuns with Guns: Filming in the North End; Pulling Off the Perfect Heist; The Town: and more

The Town Review by Jeremy Jahns

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Directed by Ben Affleck

Produced by Graham King and Basil Iwanyk

Screenplay by Ben Affleck, Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard

Music by Harry Gregson-Williams and David Buckley

Cinematography by Robert Elswit

Editing by Dylan Tichenor

The Town Downloads

The Town (2010)
The Town (2010)

Download The Town

A bank robber falls in love with a former robbery hostage and decides he wants out of the life. With the Feds closing in he must choose: betray his friends or lose the woman he loves.


The Town Soundtrack

1. Charlestown

2. Bank Attack

3. Doug Reflects

4. FBI Show & Tell

5. OxyContin

6. Healing And Stealing

7. Nuns With Guns

8. The Necklace

9. The Wreath

10. Cathedral Of Boston

11. Fenway

12. Who Called 911?

13. Making The Switch

14. Sunny Days

15. Leaving

16. The Letter

The Town Poll

Rate The Town out of Five

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    • M A Williams profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks Steve! Yep, it is definitely still good on the re-watch.

    • STEVEW13 profile image

      Steve Wright 

      6 years ago from Norwich, England

      This is a great movie, one in my collection that I can happily watch time and time again. Brilliant hub

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You're welcome, M A Williams. Thank you for your input, and your support.

      The description of "The Town" as sort of a bubble gum heist flick is also quite accurate.

    • M A Williams profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks for your insightful critique mplo. I don't think you're necessarily a lonely voice in the wilderness. You're just thinking about the movie a bit deeper than most. I think all of your points are valid. Personally, I chose to just enjoy the movie as a bit of a bubble gum heist flick.

      Good for you for thinking a bit more about the messages it sends though.

      ps. totally with you on the end scene by the way.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I’m pretty much a lonely voice in the wilderness here, as I feel differently about The Town than many, if not most people do. For starters, I read Chuck Hogan’s novel, Prince of Thieves, on which The Town was based, and I liked the book far better than the movie, which seemed like an extended made-for-TV and very cartoon-like film.

      The Town had the potential for being one of the all-time greats regarding movies, but fell woefully short of that potential for the following reasons:

      A) The scenes in the North End and Fenway Park were grossly overblown, with too much exploding on the screen, and the most unrealistic-looking car chases and car crashes and shoot-outs. Nobody could realistically survive those car crashes and shoot-outs.

      B) The fact that Ben Affleck and his assistant producer(s) wanted to cut the film down from four hours is totally understandable, but too much slip-shod, slap-happy editing was done, cutting too much out of the film and leaving too many unconnected dots, which, had they been connected, might’ve made this film more credible.

      C) The Boston accents, particularly on the part of Ben Affleck, were extremely overdone.

      D) The characters, overall, were paper-thin, and the chemistry between Affleck and Hall, was paltry, at best, and rather forced.

      E) The scene where Doug and Jem break into a housing project apartment where a couple of punks who’d thrown bottles at Claire as she was walking through the housing project to work resided, beat up and permanently crippled both of them, was not in the book, and it was an unnecessary scene, to boot. Roughing the two punks up a little bit would’ve been understandable, maybe, but Doug and Jem went too far when they permanently crippled them both, and then ordered them to “get out of Charlestown.”

      F) The ending of the movie, was rather saccharine..and phony, to boot. It would’ve been better if the ending had been different; Doug being caught and sent to prison, where he belonged, and Claire being criminally prosecuted, or put on some sort of probation herself for having abetted Doug and helped him get away.

      I also might add that I’m somewhat bothered by the message that The Town seems to send; that it’s OK to rob banks and armored cars, terrorize and endanger the lives and safety of innocent bank employees and customers at gunpoint, to abet these kinds of actions and behaviors, and to make total dupes of law enforcement officials who are trying their best to do what they’ve been assigned to do; bring guys like Doug MacRay and his men to justice.

      I also might add that the movie could’ve done with far less of the Doug/Claire romance, and further developed the characters and the bank heists. Too much emphasis was put on the Doug/Claire romance, and not enough on the heists. I liked the beginning of the film and the first heist, but after that, it began to rapidly go downhill for me.

      One is supposed to sympathize with and root for Doug because he managed to get away, and for Claire for having abetted Doug and helped him escape justice in this film, but I feel that I really cannot do so. Imo, Claire should’ve been more on her guard and not readily accepted a date from a perfect stranger, especially after being traumatized enough by the robbery and abduction to quit her job as a bank manager.

      Claire was also wrong to continue to have contact with Doug and to abet him in his crimes even after learning the truth about him, and after the Feds learned of the Doug/Claire relationship through a recorded phone conversation between them, and for keeping the duffel bag full of stolen money that Doug left for her, instead of turning it into the police, at least anonymously. My opinion of this film was formed after watching it several times–a couple of times in the theatres, and then afew more times, on DVD.

      The idea of a professional armed robber who’s also a wanted fugitive falling in love with, and defending a poor, scared, vulnerable female bank manager that he and his men robbed at gunpoint and then took as a hostage, from thugs who threw bottles at her is highly, highly implausible to me. That would never, ever happen in real life. I know the film is fiction, but come on…there’s got to be some reality in there, which seemed to be totally lacking in this film.

    • M A Williams profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from New Hampshire

      It's definitely worth a look Sarah. Thanks for the comment.

    • Sarah Masson profile image


      7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Haven't seen this one yet but want to check it out


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