The Town

Rated 4.0

Ben Affleck’s second directorial effort, in which he co-wrote and stars, is both a taut bank heist thriller and unconventional romance that works on all levels. He plays Doug MacRay, a former hockey player who returns to his hometown of Charlestown, Mass., a suburb of Boston where bank robbing is a family business. The film starts with a great masked bank robbery, which sets up the film’s romance as Doug is forced to follow the bank manager (Rebecca Hall) and make sure she doesn’t know enough to implicate him. They wind up falling in love, and it’s a lot better than it sounds. Jeremy Renner is electricity incarnate as the bank robbing posse’s resident hothead. Give this boy a Jimmy Cagney biopic now! Affleck can direct, and I’m curious to see if he can go three for three.