Ben Affleck makes a powerful directorial debut with this timely yet perplexing crime thriller about two private investigators searching for an abducted four year-old Boston girl.
No one could call irresponsible Helen McCready (Amy Ryan) a good mother. An admitted substance abuser (alcohol, cocaine, heroin), shes thrust into the media spotlight when her four year-old daughter, Amanda, is kidnapped from their dingy apartment.
Distraught and dissatisfied with the investigation led by Capt. James Doyle (Morgan Freeman) and his Crimes Against Children unit, Amys aunt, Bea McCready (Amy Madigan) and her husband, Lionel (Titus Welliver), hire a team of young private detectives (Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan) who are familiar with the seedy denizens of their Dorchester neighborhoods tight-knit underworld. Reluctantly, Capt. Doyle agrees to let them work with his experienced cops (Ed Harris, John Ashton), and they soon discover that $130,000 belonging to an unsavory Haitian drug dealer known as Cheese (Edi Gathegi) went missing not long before Amanda disappeared. Could there be a connection?
Adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) by Aaron Stockard and Ben Affleck who won an Oscar for co-writing Good Will Hunting its filled with intriguing moral and ethical ambiguity. As a Boston native working with cinematographer John Toll, Affleck achieves the emotion-driven, working-class authenticity essential to the storys believability.
Fresh from his villainous performance in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Casey Affleck (Bens younger brother) demonstrates his versatility as the perseverant, albeit baby-faced private eye. (In an amusing jibe, hes told to go back to his Harry Potter book.)
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Gone, Baby, Gone is an enigmatic 8 with a challenging conclusion thats bound to ignite conversation after the lights go on.