Directing wise, Ben Affleck is THAT new kid on the block!
During his travel to reach personal liberty, redemption and happiness, Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), an experienced thief tries to balance his way out of the business by trying to reason with his violent partner, James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), manage his personal feelings for Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) and leave his old and rusty life behind. The problem is he has to do all these things while Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm), an FBI agent is on his tail. The characters are very well written, the action scenes and the different situations that these thiefs are getting in are pretty realistic. The movie sets a dark tone from the beginning by bringing to the screen the differences between these two partners: James the impulsive one and Doug the reasonable. This conflict seems to take a different turn when Doug falls for a "witness" of one of their bank thefts, Claire Keesey. Despite the fights and disagreements, both find a way to remember that they're brothers till the end no matter what happens. Therefore, the subject of "brotherhood" has a really realistic approach. That's what impressed me about this movie: the realism. But that alone does not make a movie to be that good as this movie is being praised. What makes that is the perfect intersection of action and emotion. The only movie from this genre that succeeded so well to hit the audience on both the emotional level and pure action entertainment was "Heat", and that my friends was long time ago.
All the parts from this movie were chosen perfectly. Stand-outs being Jeremy Renner as James Coughlin, the violent and impulsive thief and Blake Lively as James's sister Krista, which was an actual alcoholic "prostitute" who had in the past a close relationship with Doug (Ben Affleck). These two portrayals of their characters got my attention and I'm not being naive if I say that they might have a shot at being nominated at the Academy Awards. Also, Ben Affleck did a great job but his directorial capabilities succeeds his acting skills by far. The cinematography was good, the sound was good, the effects were very realistic but what impressed me was the choice for the score, the background music which was pretty intense. Point is, this movie is easily one of the best action movies in the last couple of years and definitely one of the best in 2010. It has interesting storyline, good narrative drawing of the characters, a very good technical execution and it's both entertaining and touching at the same time.
Art Direction: 7,5/10.
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