May 28, 2017

Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner talk tough in exclusive “Town” clip

By Sean O’Connell The Toronto International Film Festival tends to create scheduling issues.

Do I take the time to see a movie like Ben Affleck’s “The Town,” which was selected as a Gala screening at the 35tht annual fest? Or do I wait a week and a half, see the film when it opens in wide release, and use the time at TIFF to see a film that might not get distribution or won’t see the light of day until November or December?

These are decisions that usually have to be made in the heat of a festival run, and factors like long lines and travel time between theaters often help make the hard decisions for me. But an exclusive clip for Affleck’s “The Town,” hosted on Yahoo Movies this morning, is pushing me toward seeing the film at TIFF because waiting for it might be harder that I thought.

In the film, Affleck and Jeremy Renner of “The Hurt Locker” play lifelong friends from the same tough, Boston neighborhood who happen to rob banks. In the clip, they’re worried that Rebecca Hall, the woman they took hostage during their last job, might have seen something that could identify them.

Affleck has raised my expectations because he did such a tremendous job directing “Gone Baby Gone,” a similarly gritty crime thriller set in Beantown. Affleck’s films play out like Dennis Lehane’s novels … and that’s a very good thing.

“The Town,” directed by and starring Ben Affleck, opens nationwide on Sept. 17.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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