Gone Baby Gone unfolds in tight-knit, working class
Some of the taut, downhill energy of the first act flags some as the movie wears on, lost to a daisy chain of reversals and upturned assumptions. But Gone Baby Gone never succumbs to outright murkiness, and its detail is absolutely spot-on. Affleck’s familiarity with and obvious affinity for the setting — with its heavy accents and piss-ahhff attitudes — enhance both the film’s novelistic richness and sense of rootedness. Special mention should go to Ryan, a twice-Tony-nominated stage actress with a slate of film roles forthcoming. She plays white-trash Helene with an unapologetic self-involvement — the unblinking victim of her own shattered childhood, who now knows no choices other than poor and self-indulgent.
If, in the end, Gone Baby Gone is just a bit over-plotted, the movie comes to the questions it raises honestly, and has the guts to present an ending that is both “right” while also alienating to at least half an audience. It also embraces an abrasive, bruised, combative quality that far too many genre pictures of its ilk attempt to avoid — all very good signs for the older Affleck’s career behind the camera. For the full review, from Reelz, click here. (Miramax, R, 114 minutes)