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The Town | 2010 | R | - 7.8.10

According to the film, Charlestown, MA is home to more bank robbers and armored car thieves than any other place in America, and a longtime criminal (Ben Affleck) and his buddies are being pursued by a tenacious FBI agent (Jon Hamm) while they plan their next heist. Also with Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Slaine, Owen Burke, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver and Pete Postlethwaite. Directed by Ben Affleck. [2:04]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man is seen shirtless (his bare chest and back are visible) thrusting on top of a woman and they are seen kissing briefly. A woman and a man are seen facing one another (the woman appears to be sitting on the man's lap and she's fully clothed), and the woman moans and thrusts suggestively, implying that they are having sex; they kiss and the woman stands up and walks away.
 A woman's bare breast is seen as she dances suggestively against a pole, in what is implied to be a strip club; the side of a woman's buttocks is seen (she is wearing thong-style underpants) while she dances with her buttocks very close to man's face, and he places money in the waistband of her underpants.
 A man's bare chest and back are seen as he is lying in bed and then as he is working out. The bare chests and backs of two men are seen as they shower on different occasions. Women are seen wearing cleavage-exposing shirts and short skirts.
 A man and a woman kiss briefly on multiple occasions.
 Men have crude conversations about sex with women. A man jokes that he would have sex with a man if another man had sex with a woman. A man makes a crude joke about a man being a sexual slave for cigarettes. A woman talks suggestively to a man, saying that he needs to "chase the tail" before he "gets the rabbit." A man discusses castrating another man.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - Police chase an armed man as he runs through traffic, narrowly avoiding being struck by a car: the man shoots at the police, they fire back, he is struck in the leg (we see the bullet strike and a small amount of blood sprays out), shoots at police officers, who fire back, and two bullets hit the man in the head and body (we see blood oozing from the bullet hole in his forehead and cheek), he slumps over and dies (we see blood on the pavement and surrounding area).
 A man shoots another man point-blank in the head and we see blood oozing from the bullet hole as the man lies on the ground. A man fires a pistol at another man, who fires back, but is struck, lurches forward and falls to the ground; we see two wet bullet holes in the man's chest as the other man stands over him, puts the pistol to the man's crotch (we see blood on the man's pants and shirt) and fires it.
 During a bank robbery a man shoves another man to the ground while shouting, two other men grab a woman and one of them points his gun at her, another hostage lying on the floor has his face slammed multiple times with the butt of a gun (he lies lifeless and bloody), and the woman is blindfolded and forced out of the bank by the gunmen (she is later seen unharmed).
 A man driving an ambulance is fired at by many SWAT team officers and police officers: shots are seen coming through the windshield as the man drives and it is implied that one of the shots hits him, and the ambulance crashes into a truck (the man is seen dead, slumped over the steering wheel with his face bloodied and cut).
 We see multiple flashbacks (in color and in black and white) of a man shooting another man in the back; the man falls to the ground and the other man shoots him in the back repeatedly (blood is seen coming from the bullet holes).
 During a gunfight between four men and police officers, a man is shot in the head (the bullet wound is seen, with blood oozing from his temple); a man looks at the dead man's body and we see a pool of blood around his head.
 Two men see a man threatening another man with a gun: they shoot at him, he shoots the man he was threatening and then he falls to the ground, bleeding (we later find out that neither man was killed, but one is in a coma).
 Two men break through a door and beat two other men with their fists and a nightstick, knocking the two men to the ground (one man's face and chest are bloodied and cut); one man holds a gun to another man's face, and then shoots him twice in the leg (we see the bloody bullet holes in the man's pants).
 Flashbacks of a man beating a man's head and face with the butt of a rifle until he is bloody and lifeless are seen multiple times in color and in black and white. Dried flecks of blood are seen on a woman's shirt during a flashback of witnessing a man beat another man's face and head with the butt of a rifle.
 Inside a building, a man opens fire at a group of SWAT officers and the officers fire back: rapid gunfire is exchanged between the officers and several other men and one man is struck in the chest and he moans in pain (it is revealed he has a bulletproof vest on and is mostly uninjured); armored cars open fire on the men, they fire back and one of the cars drives out of the building and off the street, crashing into two cars and flipping over, as the police officers surrounding the building fire at it.
 We see two perspectives of a bank robbery: a silent black and white surveillance video feed and a color, in-person encounter: they show four men wearing masks and holding guns rushing into a bank, and shoving and kicking people to the ground while shouting and threatening them with guns.
 We see photographs of a dead body with bullet holes in its back and several people discuss how a man had shot him. Men and women look at photographs of two deceased men, their faces bloodied and mangled, lying face-down with their hands tied behind their backs, as a man explains that a man had murdered both men.
 A man tells another man that he cut off the genitalia of another man and would do the same to him; he describes that castration can be performed with a chemical or with a knife and says that he had forced a woman to watch as he castrated a man, and the woman later hung herself.
 An FBI agent follows a man, who turns around and fires a gun at the agent: the agent returns fire, the man chases the agent, corners him behind a car, and shoots at him, hitting the car.
 A man drives a van wildly through crowded city streets as police cars follow, and the van causes cars to crash; the van is cornered and one of the passengers shoots out the window, hitting the police cars (we do not see any police officers being shot), the van races away, crashes into multiple cars, and the occupants get out and set it on fire.
 Two FBI agents tear into a room, one of them slams a man into a glass table (shattering the table and leaving the man with small cuts on his face and legs), another man is slammed into a wall, and a woman attempts to lunge at one of the men and she is slammed to the ground (the woman is later seen unharmed). A man shouts at a woman, slams her against a wall and then shoves her out as a child watches.
 Police officers are seen throwing four sound and smoke bombs into a building where four men cover their ears; after the explosion it is implied they are temporarily deafened.
 Two men shout at one another, and they wrestle and struggle; one of the men pulls a gun from his waistband and slaps the man on the face with its butt. A man wearing a mask shoves another man to the ground and hits him in the face and torso with the butt of a rifle while two other men rob his car. Two men wearing police uniforms pull guns on several other men, who in turn pull out their guns: the two men shout and the four men put down their guns and have their hands zip-tied behind their backs. A woman pushes a man's hand away as he tries to grab her arm.
 A wrecked car is seen, and the driver is seen sitting in a hospital room with a bandaged cut on her forehead and a cut on her lip. An SUV with four male passengers is seen racing recklessly through crowded city streets, driving on the wrong side of the road and narrowly avoiding hitting other cars. Firemen are seen surrounding a still-smoldering burnt out car on a road, and we hear that no one was injured.
 A man asks another man to go with him in order to injure some people and they are seen with a sledge hammer and a nightstick and wearing hockey goalie masks. A man puts two knuckles to the back of another man's head and speaking in a gruff voice tells him to "stick them up"; he then starts laughing, revealing to the man it was a joke.
 A woman discusses how she had been taken hostage during a bank robbery and tells a man that she did not attempt to escape because the men had guns and had told her if she spoke to the police they would come to her house and rape her and kill her. An FBI agent uses crude language to tell another man that he will suffocate a man who was left to die after being shot, just so he could face murder charges and have to face the death penalty. Two men discuss following a woman and on two occasions one of the men implies that the woman will have to be killed if she speaks to the police. A man tells two other men that he will kill them if he "has to." Two men discuss murder in a very casual manner. Two men tell two other men that they will have the men's wives injured if they do not comply. An older man in prison tells another man that he has gotten in multiple fights with people and the other man tells him to stop fighting younger people. A woman tells a man that she had glass bottles thrown at her as she walked down the street. A man asks a woman if she had gotten in a fight, and the woman tells him that she had, and that her hoop earring had been ripped from her ear (she appears unharmed). A woman tells a man that her brother died when she was younger and that sunny days make her think of people dying. A man tells a woman that he had heard an older man crying and it sounded like a "trapped animal." An older man tells another man that when the man was younger he had seen him crying so hard that he threw up. We see a description stating that a town has produced more armored car thieves and bank robbers than any other in the country.
 Sparks fly from a microwave after a man puts a stack of video tapes in it and turns it on.
 A man is seen spitting into a sink -- the spit flies from his mouth.


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 141 F-words and its derivatives, 19 scatological terms, 10 anatomical terms, 6 sexual references, 4 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, 2 derogatory terms for mentally handicapped people, name-calling (townie, punks, idiots, loser, rat, dummies), 5 religious profanities, 5 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man and a woman discuss how the man no longer uses drugs, a man and woman discuss how a woman sells Oxycontin, a woman is arrested for DWI with a child in the car after crashing into a light pole (a man says she tested positive for cocaine, Oxycontin and alcohol), a man tells another man that a woman had hung herself while under the influence of drugs and that she was a "junkie," a woman carries a small vial of what is implied to be drugs (she offers some to a man who turns her down), and police tell a man that drugs and money have been found in his house and he will be serving jail time. On multiple occasions men and women drink alcoholic drinks at bars and at a picnic. Smoke is seen coming from ashtrays, a man is seen holding a cigarette, and a man discusses how another man had stolen cartons of cigarettes and drank a case of beer.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Charlestown MA, armored car theft and bank robbing, taking hostages, murder, revenge, family values, honor, disrespect, organized crime, gambling, drug and alcohol abuse, violence against women, sexual violence, witness protection program, FBI, SWAT teams, Boston Red Sox, being drafted into NHL hockey, family history of crime, love, kidnapping, dishonesty, changing your past, money laundering, crime brackets, police brutality.

MESSAGE - It is hard to change your life if you are constantly being confronted with bad things from your past.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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