Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2010. Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, GK Films, Thunder Road Pictures. Screenplay by Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard, based on the novel Prince Of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. Cinematography by Robert Elswit. Produced by Basil Iwanyk, Graham King. Music by David Buckley, Harry Gregson-Williams. Production Design by Sharon Seymour. Costume Design by Susan Matheson. Film Editing by Dylan Tichenor. Academy Awards 2010. American Film Institute 2010. Golden Globe Awards 2010. National Board of Review Awards 2010. National Society of Film Critics Awards 2010. Toronto International Film Festival 2010. Washington Film Critics Awards 2010.
Ben Affleck follows up his excellent directorial debut Gone Baby Gone with another look at the tougher side of Boston, and this time gives himself a leading role. He, Jeremy Renner and their crew make up a group of criminals who are part of the reason that the majority of the country’s bank robbers come from the suburb of Charlestown, Massachusetts. After a heist sees them take a young woman (Rebecca Hall) hostage, Affleck becomes enamored of her and starts seeing her socially (without her knowing who he is), at the same time preparing for another robbery that sees him starting to doubt his desire to keep up his life of crime. It’s a small concept spread out over a big movie and without good reason; Affleck displays the grand themes of a character looking to break out of his destructive lifestyle but it’s not deeply felt or moving. Despite great acting, sharp editing and cinematography, only Renner’s character is memorable (and even then mainly by comparison) and the plot does very little to keep the viewer enraptured. It’s a familiar bank robber movie with the added details of its setting only partly succeeding in setting apart from others.