Gone Baby Gone (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

StarStarStarStarStar
Review byMatthew Turner04/06/2008

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 114 mins

Ben Affleck makes an impressive directorial debut with this utterly gripping detective thriller that features a terrific cast and an engaging, morally complex script. One of the best films of the year.

What's it all about?
Shelved for several months due to uncomfortable similarities with the Madeleine McCann case, Ben Affleck's directorial debut is adapted from the novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) and stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan as Patrick and Angie, two private detectives who are hired to assist the police in their search for a missing 4-year-old girl (Madeleine O'Brien) after she's abducted from a Boston suburb.

The chief of police (Morgan Freeman) allows Patrick and Angie to observe two detectives (Ed Harris and John Ashton) as they question the girl's drug-addicted mother (an Oscar-nominated Amy Ryan), but she proves less than helpful, particularly when they discover that she lied about her whereabouts on the night her daughter disappeared.

The Good
Ben Affleck (who grew up in the Boston area) proves well suited to Lehane's material, brilliantly capturing the feel of the neighbourhood and displaying an impressive understanding of the mechanics of a good detective thriller. He also orchestrates some incredibly tense sequences (such as a raid on a suspect's house) and delivers some genuine shocks.

Casey Affleck is terrific as Patrick, providing a strong moral centre and delivering a performance that is often breathtaking. There's also strong support from Ed Harris, Amy Ryan and Michelle Monaghan, while Morgan Freeman ditches his usual twinkly persona for something with a harder edge for once.

The Great
In addition, the film is beautifully shot by legendary cinematographer John Toll, while the superb script (co-written by Affleck and Aaron Stockard) crackles with great dialogue and compels the audience to engage with the story in unexpectedly complex ways.

Worth seeing?
Gone Baby Gone is a thoroughly engaging detective thriller than marks Ben Affleck out as a director to watch. One of the best films of the year and highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Gone Baby Gone (15)
Gone Baby Gone has been reviewed by 2 users
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Content updated: 20/10/2017 02:34

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