Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel.
Gone Baby Gone is the theatrical directorial debut by well-known actor Ben Affleck, and what a start in the new vocation it is. I found very little fault with Ben Affleck's direction – the only issue I had was the open-endedness of the night-time shoot-out scene at the quarry lake. But it was the strength of the script and Ben Affleck's younger brother, Casey, whose performance which shined in this movie.
The movie progressed at a reasonable pace, with the introduction of a range of well written and unique characters. This type of characterisation can really make a story more believable, and elevate movies from good to brilliant — something I felt this movie was.
There were a few twists and turns throughout, none of which I expected. Minor conversations and seemingly irrelevant pieces of information are referenced later, for climatic scenes. All the information is given to you, but like the private detective within the story, you have to make sense of them to solve the puzzle.
The amazing thing about this movie was the amount of complex but detailed themes and conflicts presented thoughout. There were many moral and legal issues put forth by both numerous characters and the overall story. And these are just the ideas I noticed during my first viewing — a testament to a good director and script.
Not since Requiem for a Dream (another masterpiece I highly recommend) have I watched the last fifteen minutes of a movie with my hand over my mouth, starring wide-eyed in awe of what has just happened and in anticipation of the decisions and resolution to come.
After leaving the cinema my mind started racing. I was trying to think how I would have handled the situations the lead character was faced with, and whether I would have made the same final decision. This movie is emotional, engaging and enthralling — I can't recommend it enough.