Reel Freak

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Reel Review – Gone Baby Gone (2007)

gone-baby-gone_53159Director: Ben Affleck
Rated: R
Release Date: October 19th, 2007
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Amy Ryan, Ed Harris

When it comes to modern crime dramas, Gone Baby Gone is one of the best you’ll find.  This is Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, and he showcases his creative talent in the form of suspense and realism.  It was filmed and takes place in Boston, and having grown up in Massachusetts, I found the movie to be outstanding and really hit home.

Gone Baby Gone is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis LeHane, and stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan as a private investigator duo working in Dorcester, MA.  When a 4-year-old girl goes missing, they are hired by the family to help investigate the case.  Through a series of drug dealers, pimps, addicts and bad cops, the mystery of the missing girl becomes more and more complicated as the question of what is right and what is wrong becomes dissected.

Like I said, Ben Affleck really impresses with his first go as a director.  The casting is phenomenal, and Affleck’s younger brother Casey gives a stellar performance in his lead role.  Casey was a great choice; he can really play a dark, disturbed character in more dramatic films.  Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris and Michelle Monaghan also lend memorable performances, along with Amy Ryan, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role as the drug-addicted mother of the missing girl.

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The farther into Gone Baby Gone you get, the more thrilling things get.  The darker tone of the film goes hand in hand with the seriousness of the story.  The film makes you wonder just how important child abuse is to society, and feels like a very accurate representation of this kind of situation.  The whole of the movie just feels very believable and keeps you waiting for what happens next.

The thing I enjoyed most about Gone Baby Gone was its consistent sliding scale of right and wrong, and how the truth may not always be based on factual information.  The movie is very complex, but easy to follow, and makes you question certain characters’ opinions.

Overall, Gone Baby Gone is a terrific film.  Ben Affleck shows off his ability behind the camera, and has since then turned out successes like Argo and The Town.  Gone Baby Gone delivers the perfect balance of suspense and drama, and I absolutely recommend you watch it.

My Reel Rating – 8.1/10

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