The Town is the second stint in the director’s chair for Ben Affleck and on the strength of the excellent trailer (see it here) it was one of my most anticipated movies of 2010.

The Town is set in a Boston suburb called Charlestown which in real life has produced more bank robbers and armored truck thieves than anywhere else in the world. It’s a place where robbery has become a trade passed down from father to son and the film centres on one of its citizens named Doug MacRay (Affleck) who, along with best friend Jim (Jeremy Renner) and two other accomplices, perform the most perfectly executed theft operations in town.

On their latest heist things take an unexpected turn as Jim takes a hostage who turns out to be a resident of Charlestown, and one who could identify them if they were to release her. Doug offers to check what Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) knows but he begins to fall for her.

This draws attention from the gang as to Doug’s intentions, of both his heist career and the prospects of their money making future, specifically from the Fergie ‘Florist’ Colm (Postlethwaite), the guy who runs things and identifies the heists for the gang. At the same time FBI agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) is closing in on the crew, watching their every move.

Doug realises it’s time to get out of Charlestown after one more imposed last job to save Claire’s life and to save him from being forever held in the grasp of The Town.

The Town is an utter triumph, it’s a film of excitement, tense action, gripping crime drama and very LOUD gunfire. I enjoyed it far more than I was expecting too and it’s by far the best thing Affleck has done in a recently improving career. The three well crafted heists are played out very intelligently with a keen attention to detail and with great pace, making them stand out on their own without taking too much away from the character development and the different relationships of Doug and his heist crew and his conflicted relationship with Claire.

Ben Affleck has created an a familiar feeling film with Heat and Point Break instantly coming to mind when watching it, but don’t let that put you off – it has enough of its own personality to set it apart It’s easily one of the better films I’ve seen this year and  will no doubt be greeted by a decent box office taking.

The Town delivers some very well written characters from an excellent script by Affleck and Peter Craig encompassing superbly crafted action scenes with a pacing that works exceptionally to let you rest after each exciting set piece and allow characters to exchange great dialogue before we head face first into another explosive bank heist. It’s an absolute joy and as satisfying as any crime thriller this year or many years before it.

The acting from the entire cast is also  worth mentioning as each actor is in really impressive form with Affleck putting in a solid performance that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. Partnered alongside the excellent Jeremy Renner who was a mean and unpredictable guy bordering on psychotic, they proved to be a brilliant pairing wit a wonderful chemistry.

Blake Lively was a particular standout as Krista, who is a long time on/off girlfriend to Doug and plays a key part in the film’s climax. She delivers a brilliant and broken performance that should have directors taking note and after her role in Green Lantern look out for her taking on some big roles.

Jon Hamm is also pleasing to watch as the bitter Agent trying desperately to get a successful arrest and he clearly has what it takes to lead on the big screen as brilliantly as he does in the TV series Mad Men. Rebecca Hall delivers everything but the kitchen sink as her character goes through the toughest emotional ride of any character in the film and she delivers it beautifully.

There are so many other positives from the film including a nice role for the legend Pete Postlethwaite as a tough guy and especially a small role from Chris Cooper as Doug’s father who gives a short but memorable scene from inside the joint that explains the harshness of Charlestown perfectly. It’s a lot of actors and characters to mention in a review but they all fully deserve praise for an ensemble cast that deliver a great, great film.

Overall ‘The Town’ is a glorious film that delivers everything you could want from a crime thriller movie. It’s by far the best film released this week so go check it out.

The Town is out on 24th September.