DVD Gone Baby Gone [DVD]  [Region 1] (DVD 7025421),
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Gone Baby Gone [DVD]  [Region 1]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Based on the novel by MYSTIC RIVER author Dennis Lehane, GONE BABY GONE marks the directorial debut of actor Ben Affleck. Featuring a solid cast that includes Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman, and Affleck's brother Casey in the lead role as a private detective, GONE BABY GONE centers on the disappearance of a young girl in the working class neighborhood of Dorchester in South Boston. With plenty of twists and turns, the movie works as a solid crime thriller, but it's as a study of a place--and one's ability to either accept and embrace or ultimately break free from it--that the film flowers.
Beneath the movie's street-tough justice and cop shop politics sits a very complicated view of the world, which Affleck delves into unflinchingly, thanks in large part to his ability to extract some excellent performances from his cast. Casey Affleck offers a nice mix of both steely resolve and vulnerability, while Harris presents a strong performance as a conflicted, emotionally tortured cop. Of particular note is Amy Ryan as the mother of the abducted girl. Her character's outrageous foul-mouthed demeanor ultimately ends up feeling both tragic and pathetic, with the only appropriate reactions being either pity or rage. It makes for an uncomfortable but affecting dichotomy. GONE BABY GONE signifies a confident and impressive turn behind the camera for one of Hollywood's more contentious stars. A Boston native himself, Affleck takes great care in evoking his city's entirety, from its undeniably ugly underbelly, to what feels like an almost primordial sense of community. It speaks to Affleck's substance as a director, and of good things to come.
Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, John Ashton, Amy Ryan, Amy Madigan, Titus Welliver
"The film is effective throughout, and in its last shot it rigorously encapsulates a moral situation whose resonating implications justify everything that has gone before."
"Affleck steps behind the camera to direct a murder mystery that grapples intelligently with big questions."
"Mr. Affleck is already deep into the character right from the start....One of the graces of GONE BABY GONE is its sensitivity to real struggle, to the lived-in spaces and worn-out consciences that can come when despair turns into nihilism."
New York Times
"[A] notable piece of work, a strong directing debut by actor Ben Affleck..."
Los Angeles Times
4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] superbly detailed, focused performances. GONE BABY GONE absorbs Morgan Freeman's fatherly persona, channels Ed Harris' powder-keg rage and finds Amy Ryan quite sensational..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "It's a major directorial debut from Affleck, successfully combining the elements of a smart, intriguing police procedural with a distinctive Bostonian flavour and the psychological sophistication and moral complexity that distinguish the very best mystery thrillers."
"Ben Affleck maintains the downbeat mood effectively, drawing understated performances....Amy Ryan as the missing girl's mother turns in the most powerful performance."
Sight and Sound
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Affleck's first time at bat as a filmmaker is more than promising, it's strikingly assured....GONE BABY GONE is full of dark secrets, and how they unravel will keep you glued."
"Affleck the director shows excellent instincts, not least of which is letting his younger brother, Casey, hold the center..." -- Grade: B-
5 stars out of 5 -- "[N]ative Bostonian Affleck makes full use of the weather worn streets and people of his home town to give this powerful, intelligent and thought-provoking film an authentically gritty texture."
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