The Town 2010

Critics score:
93 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: The Town digs a little deeper under its genre conventions and character commonplaces to work its way to being a very satisfying and unexpectedly moving experience. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Essential viewing for connoisseurs of dropped r's, close-cropped hair and aerial views of the city that used to call itself the hub of the universe. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: There's more than a few things off in this tale of a disillusioned professional thief (Affleck, dull), his unlikely inamorata (Hall, wasted) and the determined FBI agent (Hamm, solid) out to apprehend him. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Everyone in The Town shines, even Blake Lively, but it's Chris Cooper as MacRay's imprisoned dad who astounds. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Ben Affleck works both sides of the camera to impressive effect in The Town, a dramatic thriller that fulfills its considerable ambitions. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Behind the jangly car chases and the procedural action in The Town lurks a doomed, beautifully acted romance -- and a still-young filmmaker, already at the top of his game. Read more

Sam Adams, AV Club: Affleck uses his cast, which also includes a tarted-up Blake Lively as Renner's sister and Affleck's former flame, exceedingly well, especially given that the actors often aren't given much to work with. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: It's a measured, strong performance, certainly one of Affleck's best. Perhaps he can credit his director. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: If Affleck's doing a riff on the sexy, doom-laden antiheroes of '40s film noir, Renner's doing straight-up Cagney, and he's the most watchable thing in the movie. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: This second feature doesn't resonate with nearly as much power, but its suspenseful story of two generations of career criminals in the city's northerly Charlestown neighborhood has a similarly haunting quality. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: There's a decent movie in The Town, though this adaptation of the Chuck Hogan novel Prince of Thieves stretches out to a misjudged 130 minutes. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Affleck's direction is clipped when the plot requires, but he lingers on character-driven scenes (at a garden, a restaurant, a corner) in no apparent rush. Why hurry, after all? He's arrived. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Affleck, often underrated as an actor, fits effortlessly into this milieu. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: The Town doesn't reinvent the wheel. It just does what it does with great conviction and a sky-high level of execution. It also forges ahead with one of the best Hollywood second-act stories in recent memory. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Ben Affleck's follow-up to his gritty directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, proves the actor/director/co-writer is here, baby, here to stay. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: A gritty, well-made heist flick weighed down by obvious story progression. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: A rich, dark, pulpy mess of entanglements that fulfills all the requirements of the genre, and is told with an ease and gusto that make the pulp tasty. Read more

Laremy Legel, A solid two-hour ride that proves Ben Affleck has a bright directorial career ahead of him. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Affleck also has a way with his actors -- unsurprising, having been one himself for so long and not always getting the credit he deserves -- and he's once again attracted some tremendous talent Read more

Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter: Steeped in an authentic sense of place, this crime drama is less convincing on the storytelling front. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: A fast-paced, character-driven heist movie that combines robberies with romance and solidifies Affleck's reputation as an actor with a genuine gift for directing. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Affleck's smooth, elegant directorial style is strong reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's: He takes his time establishing characters who are far more complex than they initially appear, then thrusts them into moral dilemmas with no easy outs. Read more

Caryn James, Newsweek: The Town is part of a career turnaround so amazing that he looks like the new Clint Eastwood. Seriously. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Affleck the movie director makes you truly, badly want his bunch of ne'er-do-wells to pull off their heists without a scratch, and you can't ask for much more than that. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: The Town marks spotty-careered actor Ben Affleck's second time directing -- and with this deft crime drama, he more than proves that he deserves to sit behind the camera. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: The Town is an exciting and extremely well acted film. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Affleck works the familiar turf of a cops-and-robbers thriller but populates it with characters who come convincingly, and often creepily, to life. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: With a crisp, clear style and a focus on character, director Ben Affleck is able to imbue staple action scenes with a sense of urgency and tension. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard As a director, Affleck now has two home runs in two at-bats. This is one of the best movies of the year. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Here is a well-made crime procedural, and audiences are likely to enjoy it at that level, but perhaps the mechanics of movie crime got in the way of Affleck's higher ambitions. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Ben Affleck, 38, kicks it up a notch with The Town, a gripping human drama disguised as a blazing heist film that comes on like gangbusters. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: An autopsy for The Town would list multiple causes of death. Read more

Tom Horgen, Minneapolis Star Tribune: As an action movie, The Town is good. But as a moody character study, it can be mesmerizing. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Because of some sentimental backspin, Affleck doesn't quite hit it out of the park, but he may provoke the green monster of envy in lesser directors. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: A deliberately old-fashioned melodrama that echoes the pulpy mix of violence and romanticism of gangster films of the Thirties and Forties. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: Ben Affleck has managed to sidestep the curse that can dog a sophomore directing effort with The Town, which is in many ways a superior movie to 2007's Gone Baby Gone. Read more

Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine: Ben Affleck has a good brain for filmmaking -- he's clearly a smart and avid student of the medium -- but the elements that make his second outing as a director, The Town, such an enjoyable and exciting movie have more to do with what's in his heart. Read more

David Jenkins, Time Out: Feels all but indistinguishable from the thousands of similar films that have blazed a trail before it. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Though the narrative is a conventional one, the well-acted, suspenseful story deals in fascinatingly murky morality and mines intriguing material from a historic and complex city. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Affleck delivers another potent, serious-minded slice of pulp set on Boston's meanest streets, where loyalty among thieves runs thicker than blood. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: It misses on the big emotional gut-punch -- but it's good enough at least that you wish it was better. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Affleck made a quietly astonishing directorial debut a few years ago with the taut, atmospheric mystery Gone Baby Gone. With The Town, he proves he's no one-hit wonder. Read more