"The Town" proves that Ben Affleck's directing debut in "Gone, Baby Gone" was no fluke. He's delivered a solid crime caper with intriguing characters and strong performances, including his own.
"The Town" is a 1-square mile area of Boston's Charlestown, infamous for producing more armed bank robbers than anywhere else. Affleck plays Doug, a second-generation criminal and mastermind of a powerhouse little gang of four. Thus far they have eluded the police and FBI, but this is a town where everybody knows everybody.
During a robbery, Doug's best friend Jem (Jeremy Renner from "The Hurt Locker") impulsively kidnaps bank manager Claire (Rebecca Hall) to ensure a clean getaway. As it turns out, she lives right in their neighborhood, a fact that makes trigger-happy Jem nervous — and Doug, but for different reasons.
Doug tells him he will check her out and yes, he and Claire do fall in love, which sets up the nerve-wracking entanglements that follow.