Reviewed by: Spencer Schumacher
I think I was sexually abused, but I’m not sure. What is sexual abuse, and what can I do to stop the trauma I am facing now? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
How does viewing violence in movies affect the family? Answer
How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to pornography or sex? Answer
|Featuring:||Morgan Freeman, Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris, Robert Wahlberg, Amy Madigan, Amy Ryan, Michael K. Williams, Edi Gathegi, John Ashton, Mark Margolis, Chuck Slavin, Titus Welliver, Matthew Maher, Jay Giannone, Patrick Pitu, Madeline O'Brien, Brian Scannell|
|Producer:||David Crockett, Alan Ladd, Jr., Dan Rissner|
“Everyone wants to know the truth, until they find it…” reads the ad for the film, “Gone Baby Gone.” As provocative as this proverbial thought is, it is rather uncomplicated when compared to the dilemmas faced by the characters (and by cinematic symbiosis, the audience as well) in the film it advertises.
Ben Affleck makes his directorial debut with a script that he adapted from the bestselling Dennis Lehane novel.
Ben’s younger brother Casey stars as Boston private detective Patrick Kenzie, who along with his girlfriend Angie (Michelle Monaghen) are hired to find a missing four year old girl. Fearing the worst, both are hesitant to take the job of finding the missing girl, Amanda. The search has them cross path with Lieutenant Doyle (Morgan Freeman) and Det. Remy Bressant (Ed Harris). There is the typical ego exchange between the police and these upstart private investigators, but calmer heads prevail and the forces decide to work together. Kenzie proves to be a great asset to the investigation having grown up in the neighborhood so his knowledge of the streets and residents is utilized to their advantage.
Kenzie finds out that Amanda’s family has not been absolutely honest with him and are hiding the fact that Amanda’s mother’s drug use may be the cause behind Amanda’s disappearance. In their search to find Amanda, Patrick and Angie wander into the shadows of Boston’s underworld of drug-dealing, prostitution and child abduction.
The investigation also forces Patrick to question the lines between good and evil, right and wrong. We as audience members are forced to view the moral dilemmas that film poses through Patrick’s lenses, and none of the decisions are easy.
The performances are superb. Casey Affleck gives a riveting and nuanced portrayal, and Michelle Monaghen delivers a very believable performance as she balance between supporting Patrick and abandoning him in the tough choices they have to make. Ed Harris is his normal stellar self, and the whole supporting cast does a fine job of bringing life to the people of this Boston neighborhood.
As far as objectionable material, the characteristic that would be hard to miss is the considerable amount of profanity included in this movie, every curse word one could imagine is uttered numerous times, at some instances characters speak rapid sentences of profanity-laced words, only broken up by an occasional preposition. There are multiple instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, racial epithets and homosexuals being referred to by an offensive epithet, you know that other f-word.
By most standards, the film is not graphically violent, however, there are scenes of shootings and characters getting shot with the blood and gun shot wounds on display. There are a couple scenes of gruesome crime scene investigations. The element that will probably be most disturbing to viewers is the overall tone of the movie, and based on its subject matter, if left out it would make the movie far less effective, if not much shorter. The film centers around child abduction and all the unseemly elements that are linked to it, including molestation and child pornography. Though the film doesn’t delve too deeply into those areas, the disappearance of this child certainly plays on the most primal fears of the characters.
Let it be clear, the film is disturbing, due to the fact that the film dares to go into places many audience members may not want to enter, but more than that it poses questions most audience members may not want to address.
“Gone Baby Gone” is rated R and runs 114 minutes.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.