No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.
In The Town, bank robber (Ben Affleck) falls in love with a witness (Rebecca Hall) to his latest heist while dodging the investigation of an FBI agent (Jon Hamm) into his crimes. This flick sprang from (among other films):
• Gone Baby Gone (2007), also from Affleck as director (and starring his brother, Casey), which also captures working-class Boston like no other filmmaker has before.
• A History of Violence (2005), in which Viggo Mortensen is a criminal who’s left his past behind, as Affleck’s thief hopes to do in The Town.
• Stander (2003), in which Thomas Jane’s South African cop is also a bank robber who ends up “investigating” his own felonies.
• The Yards (2000), in which Mark Wahlberg is set up to take the fall for a heist pulled off among rival subway-car repair companies in New York City.
Where to buy:
Gone Baby Gone [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
A History of Violence [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Stander [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Yards [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]