Gone Baby Gone is Ben Affleck s directorial debut, adapted by Affleck from the novel by Dennis Lehane "Mystic River". — It is an intense look inside an ongoing investigation about the mysterious disappearance of a little gi... more »rl. As two young private detectives (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) hired to take the case get closer to finding her, they discover that nothing is as it seems and more dangerous than they ever thought possible. Also starring Academy Award® winners Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) and Ed Harris (Pollack).« less
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 12/29/2014...
I liked this movie. I like all the cast and I did not know anything about the movie. I like the twists, just when you thought it was over... another one.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jean W. from JORDANVILLE, NY Reviewed on 9/18/2013...
I give this movie a 4 because of the unusual story and the very good acting. Well worth watching.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Randal A. (Movieran) from SATELLITE BCH, FL Reviewed on 7/11/2010...
Very fast paced and sometimes to fast to hear the dialog. A complicated story that takes you into a very seedy part of city living.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jeremy A. from REISTERSTOWN, MD Reviewed on 2/16/2010...
You think this movie is over twice and you're wrong. Full of action and intensity. Brilliantly raises a deep/heavy question at the end and is strong enough to not try to answer it. Brilliant film, will force you to think well after it's over. I treasure it in my collection.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
NANCY S. from BROOKLYN, NY Reviewed on 3/29/2009...
Many twists and turns in this story. Mystery/drama fans will enjoy it, I did.
5 of 10 member(s) found this review helpful.
Patricia S. from DEATSVILLE, AL Reviewed on 9/8/2008...
Did this movie make it into the theaters? It might have gone straight to DVD, and that's a real shame. It's a good movie, with fine acting by all concerned. The screenplay was co-written by Ben Affleck, and he directed it as well. I'm thinking B. Affleck belongs behind the camera, because he has a fine eye for effects and coaxing the most out of a moment. I recommend this movie.
6 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Quin S. from FARMERSBURG, IA Reviewed on 2/25/2008...
Dark as Mystic River but with so much depth, twists and turns you never see the end coming until it hits you like a freight train.
Morgan Freeman has played this role before (gruff police captain) but he's definitely worth seeing again and Ed Harris' performance as transplanted detective Remy Brassant really stands out. I would have liked to see more depth in Michelle Monaghan's character but she seemed to be mainly window dressing, a sounding board and romantic interest for Casey Affleck's character. Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie really shines- not so much the 'hard-boiled detective with a heart of gold' as a guy wanting to get ahead and make some bucks by taking the case and surprises himself by having a moral compass.
Not wanting to give away the ending I'll only say that it makes you think and if you're looking for a happy ending all tied up with a bow and a Hallmark card you're not going to get it. Instead you're going to find yourself wondering a few days later who was right and who was wrong.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
One of the Year's Best Films: Oscar Ignored!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ben Affleck has written (with Aaron Stockard) a superb screenplay adaptation of Dennis Lahane's novel GONE BABY GONE and has proceeded to direct this tough tale with an ensemble cast of both well-known actors and unknown actors and walk-ons from the streets of the Boston area where they grisly story takes place. The result is a film so well tuned and realistic with a perfect sense of pacing and character development that it becomes a remarkable calling card for Ben Affleck's career as a director. That it is going unnoticed (with the exception of Amy Ryan's nomination for Best Supporting Actress) by the Oscars is a grave oversight !
The time is contemporary Dorchester, Massachusetts and Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and his girlfriend/partner Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan), become aware of a missing child Amanda (Madeline O'Brien) in their own neighborhood. The child's aunt Bea (Amy Madigan) and uncle Lionel (Titus Welliver), unable to cope with Amanda's drugged out mother Helene (Amy Ryan), knock on Patrick and Angie's door, pleading with them to help find Amanda: Patrick and Angie are private detectives who just happen to be an integral part of the neighborhood. Reluctant at first to become involved in the now 3-day police hunt for the child, a hunt headed by the respected Captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman) who his lost his own daughter in similar circumstances and detectives Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton) and who as a triad feel they are competent to handle the case without the 'immature experience' of the young couple. But Patrick and Angie do become involved, uncover leads within the neighborhood that lead to the clues behind the missing child incident and in doing so, unravel a lot of corruption within the police force, and also discover differences between themselves that threaten their otherwise close relationship. To say more would remove the incredible tension this story maintains all the way to the fadeout credits.
The cast is uniformly excellent, from the smallest roles to the most major ones. It is difficult to single out any performer for praise as this is truly an ensemble piece. The flavor of the film is honest, unflinching, and refuses to ignore the grotesque incidents that must be shown for the movie to maintain its impact. Writer Dennis Lahane ('Mystic River', 'Shutter Island') is a master of detailing the spectrum of responses that ugly matters induce: even the most noble of intentions have their shadowy side. Affleck finds all of this in this excellent film, a film so strong that it easily bears repeated viewings. Highly recommended...but not for the squeamish. Grady Harp, February 08"
A Conventional Police Procedural Turns Into One Of the Year'
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 01/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm going to be honest, I really wasn't overly exited to see "Gone Baby Gone." From the previews, it looked like a competent--if familiar--genre picture. I was galvanized, finally, to see the film based on Amy Ryan's practical sweep of the award season's Best Supporting Actress Prizes. The Affleck brothers, Ben as Director and Casey as Star, did nothing to alleviate my limited expectations. But something quite unexpected happened--my opinion completely changed as I was caught up in the twists of this genuinely good sleeper. Ben Affleck has generated a brisk, tough and uncompromising film and Casey Affleck has turned himself into a bona fide leading man! And although not a flawless film, I ended up loving "Gone Baby Gone."
When a child goes missing, the community of Dorchester gets caught in a media frenzy. With Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris as officials in charge of the investigation, Casey Affleck (as a local detective) is brought in by the family as additional help. Having been raised in the area, it is felt that these contacts may give him better access to and communication with the tightlipped Boston neighborhood. Immediately, the story starts to unravel and the sympathetic mother (Amy Ryan) turns out to be not so sympathetic. The route the film follows takes us to some familiar territory but also to unchartered waters. The film dares to raise moral and ethical questions and presents a terrific and thoroughly uncompromising ending! The film's final moments put this head and shoulders above traditional Hollywood product. And I give Ben Affleck full credit for not bending to a more stereotypical conclusion.
"Gone Baby Gone" is actually the fourth in a series of novels by crime writer Dennis Lehane featuring private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. It is, however, the first to be treated to a big screen adaptation. Those familiar with the novels know that the Kenzie/Gennaro dynamic provides much emotion and conflict. Their relationship is almost as important as any case that they work. Fans of this aspect of Lehane's novels, therefore, might be a bit disappointed. In making this stand-alone film, Gennaro is largely marginalized and the impact of what happens to them as a couple isn't as significant to the story as it is in the book. That said, film and novels are two different mediums and "Gone Baby Gone" as a film still works exceedingly well in its own right.
Casey Affleck is not the conventional actor one would picture for this role. Small in stature, relaxed in delivery--his offbeat presence actually makes "Gone Baby Gone" even more intriguing. As he is not a predictable "leading man," you're never quite sure what he's going to do. I found this lack of expectation to be quite invigorating and led me to accept and appreciate the twists of the film to a greater degree. With "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," this was Casey's year to redefine himself. Freeman, Harris, Ryan, Amy Madigan, and Michelle Monaghan (as Gennaro) all give impassioned performances. With a tight script and solid direction, "Gone Baby Gone" is a surprisingly tough film--and I mean that in all the best ways. Highly recommended. KGHarris, 01/08."
How long am I going to be talking about this one....
R. Kyle | USA | 10/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When a young Boston girl, Amanda McCready, is kidnapped, PI's Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) are called in by the child's aunt to investigate sources in the neighborhood that won't talk to the police.
They're reluctant to take the case. Gennaro doesn't think it will end well--as Kenzie comments in the opening narrative, "we handle cases for people who live on the edge--and fall through the cracks."
As they dig into the case, they realize Helene McCready, Amanda's mom, isn't precisely Mother of the Year material. Amanda is considered the mascot at Helene's favorite bar--but she only goes in there in the daytime because it's far too violent after dark. Helene is a drug user and occasionally acts as a mule for one of the local dealers. Little Amanda was probably stolen because Helene and her no-account boyfriend ripped off the local drug dealer.
Enter Detective Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and his partner, Nick Poole (John Ashton). They're assigned to help Kenzie and Gennaro by Captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman). When Bressant learns of the drug deal gone bad, he and Kenzie team up to set things right believing that if they paid back the drug dealer that he'd return little Amanda to her family.
The switch goes awry and Kenzie and Gennaro realize they've been had. Now they stand on opposite sides of a moral issue and the question posed to them threatens their future together and their individual peace of mind.
Ben Affleck did an amazing job directing this thriller-morality play by Dennis Lehane. For the most part, he was spot on with his timing. Standouts were younger brother Casey as Kenzie and of course Ed Harris as Bressart (in a reprise of his true believer type role in "The Rock") and Morgan Freeman as Doyle. I genuinely believe at least two of the three of these actors should be nominated for an Academy Award for their performances.
"Gone" was a hard film to watch and it's one that will have you debating the merits of the decision with your family and friends for days to come. That's the true mark of a really good film--how well it stays with you. This one's a must for collectors of strong mysteries.
A brilliant piece of work
Eric J. Schlueter | MA | 12/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ben Affleck's adaptation of Dennis Lehane's book, Gone Baby Gone, is one of the best movies I have seen in years.
The basic story centers around two local detectives who reside in Dorchester. They are asked to assist the police in their investigation of a missing girl, who was abducted while her alcoholic/drug addict mother was at her friend's place. Reluctantly, they agree to take on the case.
Having read the book, the only complaint I would have is how they portayed Angela Gennaro, played by Michelle Monaghan. In the book, her character has survived a physically abusive marriage and numerous brushes with death. In this film, she is almost like a hood ornament to Casey Affleck's Patrick Kenzie. But the chemistry between the two actors can almost make you forget about that.
The story moves at breakneck pace and keeps you in suspense until the very end. Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris are excellent as two police officers who are deeply involved in the case....and even deeper in secrets. But the true standout is Golden Globe nominee, Amy Ryan, who plays the missing girl's mother. You don't like her from the start, even though you feel tempted to feel some sympathy because of her situation. Ryan plays this crass, ambivalent single parent with such raw power, you truly despise this woman.
The movie reflects on many famiilar themes; tight knit people who will "die with their secrets", things not appearing to be what they seem, the moral dilemma of doing what is right and what is "right", etc. And by the end, you find yourself just as torn as Kenzie about which "right" will prevail.
You should probably read Deniis Lehane's prequels to this film such as "A Drink Before the War", "Darkness, Take My Hand", and "Sacred" before watching this film. It will make you appreciate it even more.
A great film. A truly "do not miss" film. "
Ben Affleck SHOULD quit his day job...and direct!
RMurray847 | Albuquerque, NM United States | 01/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a confident and assured directing-debut for Ben Affleck. He has proven to be a good screenwriter (he co-wrote this one, as well as the Oscar-winning script to GOOD WILL HUNTING), but has been prett spotty as an actor. Sometimes his choices were poor and sometimes his performances too. He is obviously very intelligent and capable...but that doesn't always come through in his performances.
With GONE BABY GONE, filmed in Affleck's beloved and familiar Boston...he has established himself as an outstanding director. There aren't any fancy tricks or special-effects here. Just an understanding of how to set mood and how to give good actors space to operate.
The movie (based on the novel by Dennis Lenhane, who also wrote MYSTIC RIVER) tells the story of two low-rent private eyes (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) who are hired by grieving relatives to help the police in their search for a 4 year old missing girl. The belief is that people who won't talk to the police will talk to them. This proves to be an astute assumption, as the two investigators (who are also a loving couple) quickly make headway.
Regulations apparently compel the police to cooperate, so two veteran detectives (Ed Harris and John Ralston) assist the couple in their work...and vice versa. I liked the fact that there was tension between the two groups (which we certainly come to expect when we see similar scenarios in movies) but it fairly rapidly is lightened when it becomes clear that the two private eyes are actually making progress and the two cops are actually willing to act on this information and to take some risks themselves.
I'm going to leave the plot there...suffice it to say that no one is quite who they appear to be. It is an intersting and surprise-packed story on the surface...and that's almost good enough...just watching the case unfold and the twists get revealed. But what earns this film an extra star is the moral and ethical tale just beneath the surface. These characters grapple with moral choices, and the movie shows over and over that our consciences and religious beliefs may be tightly held and admirably adhered to...but they can nonetheless get us into serious trouble. As viewers, we understand fairly clearly what we think everyone OUGHT to do...but we also feel the pain of internal conflict when they don't. Because we understand their internal battles. And we also feel for them when they live with the consequences of their prideful stubborness. Doing the right thing isn't cut and dried in this film at all.
Pretty much everyone in the film does great work. Special mention should go to Casey Affleck, an actor that I've pretty much paid no attention to. Well, he's having a great year (with this film and THE ASSASINATION OF JESSE JAMES...) and he's an interesting performer. Unconventional looking and seemingly a little slow and sleepy-eyed...his character bursts forth with shocking actions and bravery. He uses bluster to get out of sticky situations...but you can also easily tell that he's probably quivering in his boots at the same time.
The film isn't perfect. Michelle Monaghan's character is both underwritten and underplayed. I think this movie stretched her skills just past her breaking point. She isn't awful...but I was distracted by her lack of convincing reactions in many scenes. And a couple of brief flashback scenes go by SO quickly, and they're so important, that I think I may have missed a couple of minor points of plot developments.
Quibbles aside...this is a stirring, adult, thought-provoking, well-acted, well-written and SURPRISE, well-directed thriller. I HIGHLY recommend it."