Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
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  1. A rich, dark, pulpy mess of entanglements that fulfills all the requirements of the genre, and is told with an ease and gusto that make the pulp tasty.
  2. If "Heat" and "The Departed" had a baby, the result might come close to The Town, a riveting and explosive crime thriller and one of the year's best pictures.
  3. As a thriller, The Town has what it takes and then some.
  4. An exceedingly well-assembled genre picture, a spell-binding, edge-of-your-seat thriller.
  5. 88
    An exciting and extremely well acted film. Even a nearly unrecognizable Blake Lively impresses in the key role of Jem's sister and Doug's sometime girlfriend.
  6. 88
    Affleck and Hall make this unlikely love story palpably moving. And Renner (The Hurt Locker) is dynamite - he radiates ferocity and feeling.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Salisbury
    It's the kind of smart, stylish, entertaining and grown-up movie that the studios are making less and less of these days.
  8. 88
    It's the best heist picture since "Heat."
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Though the narrative is a conventional one, the well-acted, suspenseful story deals in fascinatingly murky morality and mines intriguing material from a historic and complex city.
  10. 80
    This second feature doesn't resonate with nearly as much power, but its suspenseful story of two generations of career criminals in the city's northerly Charlestown neighborhood has a similarly haunting quality.
  11. Reviewed by:  Caryn James
    Affleck directed, stars in, and co-wrote The Town, a suspenseful, fiercely paced movie about bank robbers that is also about love, brotherhood, and the desperate need to escape a crooked life. It proves that "Gone Baby Gone," his accomplished directing debut, was no fluke.
  12. In The Town, he (Renner) doesn't signal that Jem is a sociopath... It's a deeply unnerving performance, beyond good or evil.
  13. Affleck is the center of the film. His Doug is, in some respects, rather like Affleck - the director of the elaborate heists, as well as a performer in them.
  14. 80
    The trick to enjoying The Town, Ben Affleck's follow-up to his impressive 2007 directing debut, "Gone, Baby, Gone," is to expect nothing but pulpy entertainment.
  15. 80
    The Town lacks Gone's operatic ambitions. And the irony is that that lack of a grand or even grandiose plan keeps this very good film from being a truly great one.
  16. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    The behind-the-camera talent Ben Affleck displayed so bracingly in "Gone Baby Gone" is confirmed, if not significantly advanced, in The Town. Again proving a fine director of actors (this time with himself in a starring role), Affleck delivers another potent, serious-minded slice of pulp set on Boston's meanest streets, where loyalty among thieves runs thicker than blood.
  17. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    The Town is that rare beast, a grown-up genre flick, chock-full of compelling character dynamics and a clutch of pitch-perfect performances.
  18. Affleck keeps the film as fluid as the "Mystic River," and never forgets that Renner is his ace in the hole. The "Hurt Locker" star charges up every scene he's in with feral power, and is rewarded with one of the most exciting sequences seen in any action movie this decade.
  19. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    It's rare to see an ensemble movie like this, so loaded with talented actors, in which virtually all of them get an opportunity to make an impression. Affleck is the boss and the star, but he knows how to share.
  20. A fast-paced, character-driven heist movie that combines robberies with romance and solidifies Affleck's reputation as an actor with a genuine gift for directing.
  21. There are good guys we don't care much about and bad guys that we do and even badder guys we're supposed to hate. But on the sliding scale of culpability, everybody's just a few clicks away from the next guy.
  22. A first-class genre entry stacked with dandy performances and some crackerjack action to boot.
  23. Like Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" or James Gray's "We Own the Night," The Town is a deliberately old-fashioned melodrama that echoes the pulpy mix of violence and romanticism of gangster films of the Thirties and Forties.
  24. Because of some sentimental backspin, Affleck doesn't quite hit it out of the park, but he may provoke the green monster of envy in lesser directors.
  25. 75
    The reclamation project that Ben Affleck calls a career continues with The Town, his second directing effort that would impress more if the first try weren't so terrific and visually similar.
  26. 75
    The pieces and parts assembled herein are familiar, but the manner in which Affleck puts them together results in an engrossing two hours of cinema.
  27. 75
    Everything is here. It's an effective thriller, he (Affleck) works closely with actors, he has a feel for pacing. Yet I persist in finding chases and gun battles curiously boring.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    A pretty decent crime drama - not a patch on the best parts of his directorial debut, 2007's "Gone Baby Gone,'' but it's moody and grim and engrossing if you approach it with the right expectations.
  29. The Town might have amounted to something more than an occasionally good movie about crooks in trouble. There's a knife-edge here, but it's been blunted.
  30. Because the tale is straightforward and conventional, it needed and got terrific acting.
  31. 75
    Affleck's smooth, elegant directorial style is strong reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's: He takes his time establishing characters who are far more complex than they initially appear, then thrusts them into moral dilemmas with no easy outs.
  32. Affleck is more interested in the people in the midst of the action than he is in the action itself, and that gives this accomplished genre piece considerable and compelling depth.
  33. 75
    It's a smart, bold genre exercise that's enormous fun to watch, harking back to gritty urban thrillers of the 1970s with an assured sense of tone and style.
  34. 70
    Affleck the movie director makes you truly, badly want his bunch of ne'er-do-wells to pull off their heists without a scratch, and you can't ask for much more than that. [20 Sept. 2010, p. 120]
  35. 70
    It's good enough at least that you wish it was better.
  36. 70
    A solid, minor entry in the annals of Boston crime drama. Not as florid as "The Departed" or as sadly soulful as "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" - or even as sticky and gamy as "Gone Baby Gone," Mr. Affleck's previous film.
  37. 67
    The movie's exterior is solid, but it's hollow inside, like a safe filled with air.
  38. I love Pete Postlethwaite as a rule, but here - as a murderous florist who pulls all the strings - he overacts his key scene so badly it's as if he did it on a dare. Also, Jon Hamm may rule on "Mad Men," but here he's stuck as a rather dimwitted FBI agent who's two beats behind the action, always.
  39. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Affleck gets the tribalism of Boston's traditionally Irish-American enclaves; it's a defining force in his character's lives. But for all their well-played grit, those characters resolutely remain types, and for all the well-choreographed action, the outcome doesn't matter nearly as much as it should.
  40. 40
    Given the debased standards of action cinema these days this might be enough to make The Town a hit. But almost everything else about the movie is badly off balance, starting with Affleck's decision to cast himself as the implacably sexy and good-hearted Doug.
  41. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    An autopsy for The Town would list multiple causes of death.
  42. There's more than a few things off in this tale of a disillusioned professional thief (Affleck, dull), his unlikely inamorata (Hall, wasted) and the determined FBI agent (Hamm, solid) out to apprehend him.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 451 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 119
  1. Sep 17, 2010
    I often find myself rating a movie against my own expectations. My expectations were relatively modest for this film, but it greatlyI often find myself rating a movie against my own expectations. My expectations were relatively modest for this film, but it greatly surpassed them. I expected great things from Jeremy Renner, and he delivers in a big way. He might be one of the best 2 or 3 actors out there. Ham is serviceable, but his part isn't written to be an equal partner in an adversarial relationship like McNulty and Stringer Bell are in "The Wire". His part is too simplistic, but he plays it well. The only true weakness in the cast (and she's not even that bad) is Blake Lively. Rebecca Hall is one of my all-time faves, and she delivers here, too. One of our critics calls this a cross between "Heat" and "The Departed". But I felt it was more like a cross between "Heat" and "Good Will Hunting". Affleck's character pondering leaving this small corner of Boston is so similar to having to "go see about a girl", it's almost like we were back 10 years. But it's not a real problem with the film. You write what you know. The pace of the film is terrific, and you should be riveted for much of it. (Oh yes, the two fathers are tremendous in small roles.) I won't say more other than it's a very solid film. Great way to kick off the fall season. Full Review »
  2. Oct 4, 2010
    Wow, this movie is an absolute 12!!! By far the best movie I've seen in 10 years. It's simply riveting. Run, don't walk, to see it. IWow, this movie is an absolute 12!!! By far the best movie I've seen in 10 years. It's simply riveting. Run, don't walk, to see it. I smell an Oscar! We are going to see it again. Full Review »
  3. Sep 27, 2011
    "The Town" is daring and tense; its a rare gangster movie that is abundant with strong action and appealing force to the audience. Bravo Mr."The Town" is daring and tense; its a rare gangster movie that is abundant with strong action and appealing force to the audience. Bravo Mr. Affleck, Bravo!! Full Review »