Combustible Celluloid
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With: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, John Ashton, Amy Ryan, Amy Madigan, Titus Welliver, Michael Kenneth Williams, Edi Gathegi, Mark Margolis, Madeline O'Brien, Slaine, Trudi Goodman, Matthew Maher, Jill Quigg, Sean Malone, Brian Scannell, Jay Giannone, William Lee
Written by: Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane
Directed by: Ben Affleck
MPAA Rating: R for violence, drug content and pervasive language
Running Time: 114
Date: 05/09/2007

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Missing Links

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Gone Baby Gone on DVD

Oscar-winning screenwriter Ben Affleck makes his directorial debut with this gripping film, happily making up for his recent string of turkeys, duds and flops. Based on the 1998 novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) and set in Massachusetts, the story involves an abducted little girl. The media makes a circus of it, and the cops can't find anything, so the girl's aunt (Amy Madigan) hires private eye Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and his girlfriend/associate (Michelle Monaghan). Like many actor/directors, Affleck elicits fine performances from everyone, including Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman. He also has fun with detective movie motifs, the tough-guy talk and verbal showdowns, but he's more interested in the complex moral tangle the story becomes; he handles the outcome with unrelenting toughness and expert patience.

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