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Movie Review: The Town

Alternate Title: To Catch a Thief

Story: Fasten your seat belts while watching this gripping, action packed, yet character driven, cops and robbers tour de force. Deftly directed by Ben Affleck and written by Peter Craig, Mr. Affleck and Aaron Stockard the film is based on the novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan.

Charlestown, Massachusetts lays claim to a dubious distinction. It is the robbery capital of the US. In Charlestown, bank robbery is a family tradition handed down from father to son. The Town, finds four old friends living that tradition large and loud. Their latest bank heist gets violent and a hostage is taken. She is let go - but turns out she lives very close to the robbers. Yes, there is a developing love story thrown in the mix but it does not take a thing away from the suspense, the action, the nail biting car chases or the story line.

The performances across the board are excellent and you will care for the characters regardless of their flaws. The production values, the details in each scene and the general look of the film all work well. Kudos to Ben Affleck. He has found his calling.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXY_JvOK63c

Acting: The entire cast works perfectly. Ben Affleck as leader of the pack, Doug MacRay does a fine job. Rebecca Hall as Claire Keesey, gives her usual terrific performance.Jon Hamm as Adam Frawley is fine to look at and gives a terrific performance as the FBI agent.Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner as James Coughlin is a terrific loose cannon. Blake Lively as Krista Coughlin was perfect. Slaine as Gloansy Magloan, Owen Burke as Desmond Elden, Titus Welliver as Dino Ciampa, Pete Postlethwaite as Fergie Colm and Chris Cooper as Stephen MacRay all gave great performances.

Trivia: Rebecca Hall is the daughter of the English theater director Peter Hall (who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company) and the American opera singer Maria Ewing. Maria Ewing's mother was Dutch, while her father was Sioux and black. Jon Hamm is Mad Men's Don Draper. Blake Lively was born in a showbiz family in California and quickly followed her parents and siblings steps. Her first role was Trixie the Tooth Fairy in 1998 movie "Sandman" directed by her dad, Ernie Lively. Her big break came along a few years later though. Blake was up to finish high school when she got the co-starring role of Bridget in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."

Predilection: None

Critters: None

Sex Spectrum: There were two sex scenes but little was shown.

Blatant Product Placement: Bud Light

Soundtrack: Exciting

Opening Titles: A robbery takes place and then just the title. All other credits are at the end.

Visual Art: Charlestown looks terrific despite the thugs.

Theater Audience: My Wednesday movie buddy, Sunjit and I had a reunion. We have not seen a movie together since last June. We, along with about 30 other patrons enjoyed the early Wednesday matinee.

Weather: Good

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The scenes are nail biters - but not squirmy.

Drift Factor: I did not look at my watch once.

Predictability Level: Highish

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Possibly

Big Screen or Rental: Go for the big screen on this one. You could also rent Gone baby Gone, Affleck's directorial debut.

Length: Two hours