Ben Affleck’s feature directing debut, Gone Baby Gone (2007), achieved a tragic depth unusual for a crime film because the child at its center, though rescued from kidnappers, was ultimately deposited back into a hopeless cycle of poverty and domestic abuse. This second feature doesn’t resonate with nearly as much power, but its suspenseful story of two generations of career criminals in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood has a similarly haunting quality. Two old friends who’ve been thieving together for years (Affleck and Jeremy Renner of The Hurt Locker) mastermind a bank robbery during which they’re forced to leave with a hostage (Rebecca Hall). Though they release her unharmed and she hasn’t seen their faces, Affleck later meets and falls in love with her; Renner would rather shut her up permanently. Jon Hamm is the FBI agent gunning for them, and Chris Cooper is Affleck’s incarcerated father, a mean bastard (130 min.).
Director: Christopher Leonard