The Town
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBen Affleck
Screenplay by
Based onPrince of Thieves
by Chuck Hogan
Produced by
CinematographyRobert Elswit
Edited byDylan Tichenor
Music by
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • September 8, 2010 (2010-09-08) (Venice)
  • September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17) (United States)
Running time
124 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$37 million[2]
Box office$154 million[2]

The Town is a 2010 American crime thriller film co-written and directed by Ben Affleck, adapted from Chuck Hogan's 2004 novel Prince of Thieves.[3][4] The film stars Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, Chris Cooper and Slaine. Its plot follows a Boston bank robber who begins to develop romantic feelings for a victim of one of his previous robberies, while he and his crew set out to get one final score by robbing Fenway Park.

The Town premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 8, 2010, and was released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 17, 2010. Based on actual events, the film received positive reviews from critics for its direction, screenplay, editing, and the performances of the cast (particularly Renner) and grossed $154 million worldwide. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2010, while Renner was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor[5] and Postlethwaite was posthumously nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.[6]


Four lifelong friends from Charlestown, Boston, Douglas "Doug" MacRay, James "Jem" Coughlin, Albert "Gloansy" MacGloan, and Desmond "Dez" Elden, rob a bank wearing masks. Against Doug's wishes, Jem takes a bank manager, Claire Keesey, hostage but later releases her unharmed. After finding out that Claire lives in their neighborhood, Doug follows her to find out how much she has told the police and to ensure that Jem does not eliminate Claire as a witness. Soon, a relationship grows between them, and Doug hides it from the gang. Claire, however, does not realize Doug is one of the robbers.

Doug tells Claire of his search for his long-lost mother, who he believes went to live with his aunt in Tangerine, Florida. He also talks about how he almost became a professional ice hockey player before deciding to follow in his father's footsteps as a bank robber. Claire tells Doug that she saw a tattoo on one of the robbers' necks but did not inform the FBI; Doug realizes that she can identify Jem and send them all to prison. Doug knows that Jem will kill Claire if he knows, so to dissuade her from talking, Doug tells Claire that if she informs the police, they will put her in witness protection, thus sending Claire to live in another state. His plan works, and she remains silent.

FBI Special Agent Adam Frawley recognizes the gang's ties to local Irish mobster Fergus "Fergie" Colm, who moonlights as a florist. During a visit to his father, Stephen, in prison, Doug shares his plan to leave Boston for Florida. The gang's next job, an armored car robbery at North End in which they disguise themselves as nuns, goes awry, and they barely escape. Frawley interrogates Doug and his associates but is forced to release them due to a lack of evidence and failing to get them to confess. Doug asks Claire to go away with him to Florida, and she accepts. Claire quits her job, unaware that Frawley has tapped her phone. He then shows his file on Doug to Claire, and threatens to prosecute her as an accomplice. Shocked and distraught that he was one of her assailants, Claire cooperates with the FBI and ends her relationship with Doug.

Doug tries to back his way out of an upcoming heist at Fenway Park, angering Jem who gets into a fight with him. Fergie then threatens to kill Claire if Doug does not cooperate, and he reveals to him how he controlled his father into doing his bidding by turning Doug`s mother into an addict, which ultimately led to her committing suicide. Doug reluctantly agrees to do the job but swears that he will kill Fergie if anything happens to Claire. At Fenway Park, Doug and Jem enter disguised as Boston police officers, steal $3,500,000 in gate cash, and prepare to escape in an ambulance while disguised as paramedics.

The FBI, having been tipped off by Doug's ex-girlfriend and Jem's sister Krista, surround the perimeter alongside police and state agents. Caught in a shootout with FBI SWAT agents, Dez and Gloansy are killed. Frawley spots Jem and they exchange gunfire in which Jem is wounded and forced to take cover. Determined to not go back to prison, Jem commits suicide by cop.

Knowing that Claire is in danger and that he will never escape as long as Fergie is alive, Doug kills both him and his bodyguard Rusty. After contacting Claire and watching from across the street, Doug spots the FBI with her; she is able to verbally warn him away. Doug then flees by donning an MBTA uniform from his uncle whom he leaves some money and later escapes by train. Meanwhile, Frawley deduces that Claire tipped Doug off, but is too cryptic to provide grounds for an arrest.

Later, while Claire is gardening, she finds a buried bag containing money, a tangerine, and a note from Doug that suggests that she can make better use of it and that they might see each other again one day. Claire donates the money, in memory of Doug's mother, to refurbish the local ice hockey arena where Doug once played. From the deck of a small house, Doug looks out over the water, forlorn, but seemingly safe in Florida.

Alternate ending

In an alternate ending, Doug is confronted by two gangsters he and Jem confronted earlier in the film. He tries to negotiate but is killed.




In 2003, Paramount Pictures had optioned the rights to Chuck Hogan's novel Prince of Thieves before it was even published, and Dick Wolf signed on to produce before the project fell through.[7][8] In 2006, director Adrian Lyne brought the novel to producer Graham King. King in turn showed it to Warner Bros. studio, who agreed to make an adaptation directed by Lyne and written by Sheldon Turner.[9] Lyne's vision for the project was a 3-3.5 hour Martin Scorsese-styled film with a budget of 90 million dollars, which led to creative differences with the studio and the eventual departure of Lyne from the project.[8][10] By 2008, The Town was decided as the title and Ben Affleck, fresh off his directorial debut in Gone Baby Gone, was brought in by Warner Bros. to serve as the film's star, director and co-writer.[8][11] Affleck wanted to direct a movie "I personally researched and understood", and invited high school classmate Aaron Stockard to work with him on the script. While Affleck had grown up in nearby Cambridge, Massachusetts, he barely knew the harsh inner-city environment of Charlestown. Affleck and Stockard conducted many interviews with the Charlestown community, as well as the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force in Boston.[10] Later the film's actors also researched within the community to make for more believable characters and performances. Charlestown locals also joined the cast, mostly as extras.[12]


The exterior of a former MassBank branch in Melrose, Massachusetts, was used for the main robbery of the film.
Jon Hamm and Ben Affleck chat on the set in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Filming began in late August 2009 in Boston.[13] The former MASSBank branch located in Melrose, Massachusetts, was used as the location for the first robbery of the film, taking on the name Cambridge Merchants Bank[14] (the exterior shots, however, are of Cambridge Savings Bank in Harvard Square). Filming also took place at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, for casino scenes,[15] Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Cedar Junction in Walpole, Massachusetts, for use of their visiting room, and at Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn, Massachusetts, for the ending Amtrak scenes.[16]


The Town debuted at the Venice Film Festival[17] and had its American premiere at Boston's Fenway Park.[18] The film was released in the United States on September 17, 2010.[2]

Home media

The film was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on December 17, 2010. Both versions include special features and an audio commentary including a look at Affleck as a director and actor. The extended/unrated version is a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy bundle which includes 28 minutes of additional footage, taking the runtime to over 153 minutes.[19]

On March 6, 2011, the three-disc The Town: Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD/Blu-ray set was released. This set includes the previously released theatrical and extended cut Blu-ray disc as well as a second Blu-ray disc and a DVD which feature a new extended cut with an alternate, darker ending.[20]

On December 6, 2016 was released on 4K Blu-ray of The Town with both theatrical and extended cuts.[21]

2012 re-release

On February 5, 2012, to promote the upcoming The Town: Ultimate Collector's Edition set, the AMC Loews Boston Common theater hosted an "exclusive engagement" of The Town (Take 2), wherein three showings of the film were shown with the alternate ending featured in the new home media release. Immediately preceding each screening, a vice president from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment thanked all those in attendance, including Titus Welliver (Dino Ciampa), Dennis McLaughlin (Rusty), and Affleck's mother, for coming out and supporting director Affleck's "preferred" version of the film, leading to a short, prerecorded introduction by Affleck himself. Earlier that day, the intersection of Tremont and Avery streets was temporarily renamed "The Town Take 2 Place" in a small ceremony, attended by Welliver and Boston city officials.[22][additional citation(s) needed]


Box office

The film took #1 at the box office during its opening weekend, taking in $23.8 million.[23] The Town grossed $92.1 million in the United States and Canada with an additional $61.8 million in other territories for a total of $154 million worldwide on a production budget of $37 million.[24][2]

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, The Town has an approval rating of 92% based on 238 reviews, with an average rating of 7.70/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Tense, smartly written, and wonderfully cast, The Town proves that Ben Affleck has rediscovered his muse—and that he's a director to be reckoned with."[25] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 74 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[26] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[27]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, praising Renner's performance and Affleck's direction.[28] In his review for The New York Times, A. O. Scott commented on the opening heist, "That sequence, like most of the other action set pieces in the film, is lean, brutal, and efficient, and evidence of Mr. Affleck's skill and self-confidence as a director."[29] Xan Brooks, in The Guardian, wrote that the action sequences were "sharply orchestrated" but added "it's a bogus, bull-headed enterprise all the same; a film that leaves no cliche untrampled."[30] Justin Chang wrote in Variety that the action scenes strike "an ideal balance between kineticism and clarity" aided by cinematographer Robert Elswit and film editor Dylan Tichenor.[31] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film an A+,[32] noting that he found the film incredibly similar to Michael Mann's Heat, which he described as "one of [his] favorite movies of all time."[33] The reviewers at also praised one of the shootout scenes, saying "It is surely the best shootout scene we have seen in decades."[34] Writing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Laremy Lengel titled his review "The Town Works Best if You Avoid the Heat," also referencing Mann's film.[35]

As a Boston-based crime drama, the film forms part of a "crime-movie subgenre" typically marked by "flavorsome accents, pungent atmosphere and fatalistic undertow", according to Chang.[31][36] Within that subgenre, which includes The Boondock Saints, The Departed, Mystic River and Affleck's Gone Baby Gone, The Town is more of a straightforward crime-procedural and has a more optimistic outlook.[31] The film also takes influence from Boston bank robbery film The Friends of Eddie Coyle; several scenes in The Town, including the release of the blindfolded hostage to walk to the water's edge, mirror sequences in this film.[37][36]


Award Category Subject Result
National Board of Review Awards[38] Top Ten Films Won
Best Acting by an Ensemble Cast Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards[39] Best Film Nominated
Best Cast Nominated
Best Screenplay Ben Affleck, Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard Nominated
Best Action Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jeremy Renner Nominated
Academy Awards[40] Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[41] Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards[42] Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Awards[43] Best Supporting Actor Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards[44] Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Blake Lively Nominated
Satellite Awards[45] Best Supporting Actor Jeremy Renner Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Peter Craig Nominated
Aaron Stockard Nominated
Ben Affleck Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Editing Dylan Tichenor Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Best Film Nominated
BAFTA Awards[6][46] Best Supporting Actor Pete Postlethwaite (posthumous) Nominated

Factual accuracy

This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (September 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

A voice in the trailer of the film says: "There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. Most of these professionals live in a 1-square-mile neighborhood called Charlestown." In fact, there were 23 reported bank robberies in the entire state of Massachusetts in the first quarter of 2010, compared with 49 in Illinois and 136 in California, according to the FBI.[47]

The film drew criticism from residents of Charlestown, Boston neighborhood due to the film's promotion as being about “the bank robbery capital of America." [48] While specific robbery crime statistics were not available for the area, Greg Comcowich, Boston Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman, said it was a "pretty good conclusion" the description was not accurate.[48]

The film ends with a written disclaimer: "Charlestown's reputation as a breeding ground for armed robbers is authentic. However, this film all but ignores the great majority of the residents of Charlestown, past and present, who are the same good and true people found most anywhere,"[49] to whom the film is dedicated.

According to a September 2010 article in The Boston Globe, Charlestown was once known as an area where bank robbers were concentrated, but has not been since the mid-1990s, and the subject has been a sore point for "Townies". Now much of the neighborhood has been gentrified. The paper reported there is some sense of rivalry between Townies, people who lived in the historically Irish-Catholic neighborhood for decades, and "Toonies", largely white-collar workers who arrived with gentrification, but most of that has died down.[47] The film makes reference to the definition of "Toonies" during one of Doug and Claire's dates.

In the early 1990s, an increase in the number of bank and armored car robberies by Townies focused attention on Charlestown. In one heist in Hudson, New Hampshire, two guards were killed, which is alluded to in the film - during a scene where Agent Frawley is briefing his task force, he mentions that Doug's father is serving life for a notorious robbery in Nashua. According to Frawley, the elder MacRay hijacked a "bread truck" (armored car) up to New Hampshire, and when one of the guards saw his face, he executed both of them with their own weapons. Frawley notes that this incident led to the passing of regulations prohibiting the driver from leaving the cab even if his partner is being held at gunpoint. Charles Hogan got the idea for his novel, on which the film is based, in 1995. "It was just so remarkable that this one very small community was the focus for bank robbers," he said, but he was very aware that crime was only one part of the community, and he did not want to make all residents of the neighborhood look like criminals.[50]

See also


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  2. ^ a b c d "The Town (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
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  4. ^ Kit, Borys (August 26, 2009). "Blake Lively going to 'Town' for WB, Legendary". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  5. ^ "10 Actors Who Deserved an Oscar Nomination". Animated Times. July 26, 2021. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Baftas 2011: surprises and sure things". BBC News. January 18, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  7. ^ "Par moving to Hogan's 'Town'". The Hollywood Reporter. November 21, 2003. Archived from the original on January 1, 2004. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c Siegel, Alan (September 16, 2020). "The Oral History of 'The Town'". The Ringer. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  9. ^ "Lyne recruited to mastermind WB's 'Thieves'". The Hollywood Reporter. August 14, 2006. Archived from the original on August 14, 2006. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Anatomy of a Contender: Making of 'The Town'". The Hollywood Reporter. November 17, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  11. ^ Fleming, Michael (September 15, 2008). "Ben Affleck moves to WB's 'Town'". Variety. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  12. ^ "The Real People of the Town". The Town (DVD). Warner Bros. 2010.
  13. ^ Fee, Gayle; Raposa, Laura (September 1, 2009). "Ben Affleck, Blake Lively are the talk of 'The Town'". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  14. ^ DeMaina, Daniel (October 9, 2009). "Melrose: 'Lights, cameras, action' in city as Ben Affleck movie shoots locally this month". Melrose Free Press. GateHouse Media. Archived from the original on January 31, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  15. ^ Hansen, Roland (November 9, 2009). "Ben Affleck's 'The Town' film hitting Mohegan Sun". Delta Films.
  16. ^ "The Town (2010)". Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  17. ^ Thomas, Devon (September 8, 2010). "Ben Affleck Brings "The Town" to Venice Film Festival". CBS News. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  18. ^ "Ben Affleck brings 'The Town' premiere home to Fenway". Los Angeles Times. September 15, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  19. ^ "The Town (US - DVD R1 BD) in News". Film. Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
  20. ^ Foster, Tyler (March 10, 2012). "The Town - Ultimate Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)". DVDtalk. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  21. ^ The Town 4K Blu-ray (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray). Retrieved March 30, 2024 – via
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  26. ^ "The Town reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  27. ^ "CinemaScore". Archived from the original on April 5, 2015.
  28. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 15, 2010). "Robbing banks is the neighborhood business". Chicago Sun-Times.
  29. ^ Scott, A. O. (September 16, 2010). "Bunker Hill to Fenway: A Crook's Freedom Trail". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  30. ^ Brooks, Xan (September 9, 2010). "The Town". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  31. ^ a b c Chang, Justin (September 9, 2010). "The Town". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  32. ^ "Movie Reviews". Archived from the original on October 6, 2010. Retrieved December 8, 2023.
  33. ^ Roeper, Richard (September 21, 2010). "The Town". Richard Roeper & the Movies. Starz. Retrieved December 8, 2023.
  34. ^ "The Town Movie Review". Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  35. ^ Legel, Laremy (September 17, 2010). "Review: The Town Works Best if You Avoid the Heat". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
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  39. ^ Alexander, Bryan (December 13, 2010). "'Black Swan' Leads Critics' Choice With Record 12 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
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  41. ^ "The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards NOMINATIONS". Golden Globes. December 14, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  42. ^ "The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards | Screen Actors Guild Awards". Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  43. ^ ""Social Network" dominates 2010 NSFC awards". National Society of Film Critics. January 9, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
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  50. ^ Woodman, Tenley (September 16, 2010). "Author Hogan talks about his kind of 'Town'". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2010.