Say what you will about Ben Affleck as an actor but, as a director there is no doubt, the man has definite talent. Ben first demonstrated his ability in the under-appreciated “Gone Baby Gone”. He grows and expands on that in THE TOWN. Affleck has a definite talent for story telling. To prepare for this movie I re-watched “Heat”. Both movies have similar themes. A criminal looking to get out after one big score and a law enforcement officer determined to stop him. “Heat” had more style and got us more in the heads of the two leads. THE TOWN is more interested in the criminal. We learn all about what it means to be a “Townie”, and how tough it is to get out of the life. Affleck's touch with actors is obvious as he gets the best out of the ensemble. Jeremy Renner stands out as Affleck's best friend and partner. The Oscar nomination he didn't get for “Hurt Locker” should come his way for this supporting role. Affleck has a great touch for the action set pieces, for the tender moments and the intensity of an interrogation. Simply put, Ben is a director to watch in years to come. If The Academy is going to once again nominated 10 films in the best picture category, it is not unreasonable to expect THE TOWN to receive a nod based on the competition seen so far this year. — Alan Yudman

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