Number 18 on my list of Top 20 films is Affleck’s 2010 masterpiece, The Town, originally a novel by Chuck Hogan published under the title Prince of Thieves, and then republished with its title coinciding with the film.
Doug begins to think more and more about getting out of his criminal life and starting a new life with Claire…but money and favors are owed to people and his bosses tell him he has one last big job he’s required to do, even as a relentless FBI Agent closes in on him and his gang.
Once again, this sounds like a typical thriller, but as is the case with everything, it’s all in the execution. The film is original and unique and becomes something special. It’s cloaked in darkness. There’s honor among this gang of thieves, but among the boss who gives them their orders, not as much. This leaves Doug as the anti-hero of the film…a criminal by trade, but still the main protagonist of the story.
Unlike the previous entry in my Top 20 Films, there’s little moral ambiguity here. Doug is a bank robber and a criminal. It’s black-and-white, and it’s clear cut. And his desire alone to leave the life behind isn’t enough to redeem him, and even Doug knows this. But a sense of redemption seems to be what he is looking for. Whether or not he ever finds it is left open, especially to Doug himself.
A powerhouse film that continues to show Affleck’s talent as not just an actor, but a filmmaker.