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Gone Baby Gone (2007) R 114min

October 22nd, 2007 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 3,452 Views

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Gone Baby Gone (2007) PosterBen Affleck directed this morally ambiguous film about a private detective Patrick Kenzie played by his brother Casey and his associate join the police investigation of kidnapping of a 4 year old girl, Amanda. Ben Affleck also co-wrote the script with Aaron Stockard based on Denis Lohane’s novel.

I was surprised, actually, that Ben Affleck is capable of writing and directing such a mature and emotionally complex film. He’s been in a lot of really lousy movies and I mostly wrote him off. The story is engaging and with a lot of suspense. Talk about emotional roller coaster: twice I thought the movie is over, but the story would not let go. After each one of possible endings I was thinking that I wanted this movie to end and I shall forget is as soon as I can because the story was so gruesome, but the actual open-ended ending was clever and unexpected. The audience is given opportunity to judge the characters and their decisions and make their own mind on what’s write and wrong. Affleck exposed moral corruption “for the greater good”.

It’s a completely different character for Casey Affleck then in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, where he was spineless, wimpy and cowardly guy, and here he’s still wimpy, but that only makes him more human and more real.

Michelle Monaghan (she also appeared in the recent The Heartbreak Kid, M:I III, North Country, Mr & Mrs Smith, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Bourne Supremacy and more) played Patrick Kenzie’s associate/girlfriend, who stood by him until the finale. Monaghan’s performance is great, but she’s overshadowed by others, particularly Amy Ryan.

Amy Ryan was a great bad mother stereotype – not likable, but tragic – and real. Everyone is probably living next to one.

Morgan Freeman can make any movie look great, but here he had a pretty much background role. Although I have not seen any Oscar-worthy performances, all characters were believable and felt real – the way regular people should be.

Ed Harris was great as a cop who’s also trying to find Amanda, giving great performance in several scenes. I wish he had more scenes.

I thought narration was too long; I had to make an effort to focus and follow it, although it was a late show and I had a crazy night before that. As you know from my other reviews, I believe long narrations are a sign of poor direction (unless Morgan Freeman does it): a great director can tell a story without resorting to narration.

Photography was not outstanding, but it was professional. Musical score by Harry Gregson-Williams was nothing special, but worked well with the movie by setting the right mood.

Pretty good movie, with a lot of similarities to Mystic River – a novel also written by Denis Lehane. I recommend to see it. It could be the “Crash” of 2007.

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Tags: Detective/Mistery · Drama · Movies

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Eugene // May 21, 2008 at 11:14 am

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    Saw it last night, gave it 5 stars on Netflix. Great movie, very interesting story line, good acting.

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