"Gone Baby Gone"
Directed by Ben Affleck.
Written by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard. Based on the
novel by Dennis Lahane.
Starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris and Morgan
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 10/25/07
You know, we as a people have been giving
Ben Affleck a hard time for quite a while now, but with his last
couple of acting gigs and now this turn as a director, I'm kinda
pulling for Ben to have his reputation turned around!
"Gone Baby Gone" doesn't just feel like
it was written by the same freakin' guy. The plots are
different but what isn't is the intensity of the characters, the
female leads and the Boston setting; in "Gone Baby Gone", Casey
Affleck stars as Patrick Kensie, a private eye hired by a family
that has just lost a young girl to an apparent kidnapping.
Along with his girlfriend/business partner Angie (Michelle Monaghan,
"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" and
Patrick works with the police to locate the missing girl; the cops,
led by a black police chief named Doyle (Morgan Freeman, clearly not
looking like a "Doyle") and a detective named Bressant (Ed Harris),
aren't wild about working with a P.I. but state law dictates the
relationship. What they discover is that this kidnapping is
WAY out of the ordinary.
Even though I am constantly amazed that
anyone puts Casey Affleck to work (even his own brother) because his
slow, monotone style just never seems to work, he is not a bad fit
here, in a world where everyone in Boston is yelling and cursing at
a mile a minute and there's Affleck, putting on his familiar
slowly-spoken dialogue. It's clear that the Afflecks have a
lot of love for Beantown; you can always tell when actors are being
used and non-actors are being used, and there are a TON of
non-actors in "Gone Baby Gone." I loved that about the film,
in addition to any time we get to soak up Ed Harris working on film.
He's excellent again here, and it was just really fucking cool to
see John Ashton in a movie again; he's the old Taggart character
from the first two "Beverly Hills Cop" movies and I half-expected to
see Judge Reinhold show up, too! The film has a very tense
shootout mid-movie that is also excellent, and Boston as a character
in "Gone Baby Gone" is always interesting from a visual standpoint.
And, the ending of "Gone Baby Gone" starts
out badly but works its way to a great end-end; I say this because
what starts out as a strange conclusion builds to a
thought-provoking last few frames, which I loved. Really, now
that I think about it, the only things I really didn't like about
this movie were the two lead actors, Casey Affleck and
Monaghan...otherwise, while "Gone Baby Gone" isn't going to make a
run for an Oscar, it's still solid entertainment that is good drama
for the entire family. That is, if your family regularly drops
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard