Gone, Baby, Gone is a 2007 neo-noir mystery drama film directed by Ben Affleck in his directorial debut. The screenplay was written by Affleck and Aaron Stockard and was adapted from the 1998 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island, both adapted to their own critically acclaimmed films in 2003 by Clint Eastwood and 2010 by Martin Scorsese, respectively. The film stars Ben’s brother Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and John Aston.
Gone, Baby, Gone is set in Boston, and tells the story of local private detective Patrick Kenzie and his girlfriend Angie Gennaro. Kenzie is a very likeable and down to Earth guy who grew up in the neighborhood and up until this point had successfully handled usual run-of-the-mill missing person cases using friends and connections in the neighborhood. Amanda McCready is a four-year-old girl who has gone missing. Her aunt and uncle, Bea and Lionel McCready, hire Kenzie and Gennaro to augment the investigation of Amanda. Amanda’s mother is Helene Mccready, an arrogant and abrasive drug addict who does not seem to care about anything. The case is being investigated by the steadfast Captain Jack Doyle and Detective Sargeant Remy Bressant and his partner Detective Nick Poole. It is discovered that Amanda was abducted by a violent, sociopathic Haitian drug lord named “Cheese.” From that point on, the rather idealistic Kenzie and Gennaro are wrapped up in a web of mystery and decit where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted.
Ben Affleck is a masterful director, writer, and actor, and I never understood why people seem to hate him. I don’t see a reason to. With that being said, his brother is more “likeable” and can play more relatable characters it seems. Ben is an excellent Bruce Wayne/Batman, but Casey, much like Patrick Kenzie, seems like a normal, relatable dude. Casey’s likeability is further amplified ny his brother’s flawless script and perfect directing. From the opening sequence alone, which quickly and effectively introduces the setting and the feelings and motovations of everyman Patrick Kenzie, it’s undeniable that Ben Affleck is one seriously talented dude.
This is a movie where everything about it (the movie itself, not the plot, that gets nuts) goes just right. All of the actors and actresses are great, but Ben Affleck’s directing is honestly the true star here. The man knows what he’s doing. He can make a scene intense, endearing, emotional, or balls to the wall insane. It all depends on what is needed or is appropriate, and since he wrote the movie as well, he knows exactly what is needed.
The Affleck Brothers grew up in Massechusets near Boston, (where Ben became BFFs with Matt Damon) so it isn’t suprising, yet still very impressive, that Casey is able to nail the Bostonian accent and Ben’s directing and script is able to perfectly encapsulate the nature of the neighborhood of Dochester; it’s a crappy and seedy neighborhood full of seedy, unsavory, and tough characters, and if you go around asking questions, you best be packin’ heat.
It is clear here that both of the Affleck Brothers know what they’re doing. I really can’t say enough about how talented Ben is as a director. Everything in this film fits like a well-oiled machine. I have no negatives to bring up. Sometimes, there are movies that are so good, it’s hard to extrapolate anything to talk about. Gone, Baby, Gone is one of those movies. Even a hip-hop artist like Slaine, who has a minor role as a drug dealer and close friend of both Kenzie and Gennaro, comes off well. Of course, having also had a role in Affleck’s second directorial effort, The Town (which I am reviewing later today and will come back and link to here), I think Slaine just might also be a suprisingly good actor, but you get my point.
There is tension from the start of this movie to the end, wether having a conversation with a sociopathic drug lord…
Or the uncaring, oblivious, addicted mother of a missing child…
But this movie isn’t just talk. When stuff hits the fan, this movie doesn’t mess around.
Sometimes, movies succeed because of the actirs involved. Sometimes, they succeed from a great story. Sometimes, they succeed because of the man behind the camera. Gone, Baby, Gone succeeds so well because of alll three of those things. I still feel that this Oscar-nominated and award-winning film is underrated. It ended up on several top ten lists in 2007, but I don’t know of anyone else who has seen it. Gone, Baby, Gone is possibly the best movie in its genre since L.A. Confidential, and you should definitely go watch it.
RANT: As you may notice, it’s been five days since my last review. It’s the longest I’ve gone since posting a review in quite some time. Well, you can thank YouTube for that. You see, I like to add clips of movies to go along with my reviews to illustrate my point. Sometimes, I can’t find a clip that I want, so I make it myself and upload it to Youtube. That is perfectly legal and falls under fair use, but YouTube’s content ID system is entirely automated, so the computer just looks at the video I’ve uploaded and says “That’s from a movie! Block!” I’m the type of guy who won’t let that go. With this reviw, I wanted to upload the full interrogation of Helene McCready, the full shootout scene, the bar scene, the scene with Cheese, and the opening monologue. The opening monologue and the bar scene are tagged as “including copyrighted content,” but never got blocked, and the Cheese scene I found on YouTube and didn’t have to upload it. But the full interrogation scene and the full shootout scene got blocked worldwide, even though I put this in the description of every video I upload.
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. This is a non-monetized video for the purposes of review only.
That’s right. I looked up copyright law statutes. Sue me! Oh, wait, you can’t! BAHAHAHAHA!!! I disputed the takedowns, but copyright disputes can take up to thirty days, so for now, you get the stupid, abridged, hacked to pieces versions of the scenes I wanted to show you. YouTube is dumb.
So I’m gonna keep attempting to upload clips for various movies, and when and if I win the Gone, Baby, Gone disputes, I’ll update this post and replace them. YouTube is dumb. Did I mention YouTube is dumb? Because YouTube is dumb!!!!