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Running Time:
1 hour, 55 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for violence, drug content and pervasive language.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A riveting mystery/thriller made by director Ben Affleck in an auspicious directing debut, with his brother Casey playing his first major role.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Thought-provoking extended ending; Deleted scenes with optional commentary by writer/director Ben Affleck and writer Aaron Stockard; Going Home: Behind the scenes with Ben Affleck; Capturing Authenticity: Casting Gone Baby Gone; Audio commentary by writer/director Ben Affleck and writer Aaron Stockard

Casey Affleck ... Patrick Kenzie
Michelle Monaghan ... Angie Gennaro
Morgan Freeman ... Jack Doyle
Ed Harris ... Detective Remy Bressant
John Ashton ... Nick Poole
Amy Ryan ... Helene McCready
Amy Madigan ... Beatrice McCready
Titus Welliver ... Lionel McCready

Gone Baby Gone
In Boston, the four-year-old daughter of single mom Helene McCready (Amy Ryan "Capote") was kidnapped from her home and the whole neighborhood's out looking for the missing child, as well as the whole police force. After three days pass with no leads, the child’s desperate Aunt (Amy Madigan "Pollock") and uncle (Titus Welliver "Assault on Precinct 13") hire a young private investigator Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck "Gerry") and his girlfriend Angie (Michelle Monaghan "North Country") to help find the child, although this is not their usual kind of case.

Patrick knows just about every bartender, drug-dealer and degenerate in town, and starts digging into the mother’s booze and cocaine habits, quickly putting together a probable suspect list. Before long Patrick and Angie discover a critical clue but their best efforts cannot prevent the tragedies that force them to team up with police chief, Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman "Driving Miss Daisy"); and the two other cops assigned to the case, Remy Bressant (Ed Harris "Pollack") and Nick Poole (John Ashton "Beverly Hills Cop").

The closer that Patrick comes to solving the case, the more complicated it becomes until ultimately, he’s left in a place where the line between right and wrong become imperceptibly blurred. This mystery/thriller is based on the novel by Dennis Lehane ("Mystic River"), so it should come as no surprise to learn that the film does not proceed in a straightforward manner. Director and co-writer Ben Affleck employs twists and turns, some of which are predictable and some of which are not. Affleck manages to give the film a gritty and realistic, almost documentary feel, from his edgy cinematography, to the heavily accented dialogue, to the well-cast actors who all appear to be real people.

The film explores some dark dilemmas including the age-old question “do two wrongs make a right,” without feeling preachy. Ultimately, Affleck leaves the moral judgments up to the audience, but as the story gets seedier and the felonies more alarming, the film starts to lose some of its distinct Boston flavor and become a more generic crime thriller. It also suffers a bit by having at least one plot twist more than it should, straining credibility in what is otherwise a beautifully constructed thriller that will definitely leave you thinking.

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