The Town (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Town 4KI didn’t use to be the biggest Ben Affleck fan around, but The Town was definitely one of the movies I could not wait to see after viewing its initial theatrical trailer.  Maybe it was those devilish looking bank robbing masks (click here to see what I am talking about) that reminded me so much of  Point Break‘s creepy presidential masks or maybe it was the simple fact that this film blatantly looked so bad-a$$.  I don’t know what it was.  But I did know this.  I was pumped and primed for it.  I love me a good Boston crime drama any day of the week.  Little did I also know back then, but Ben Affleck was about to light the world on fire, not to mention Jeremy Renner too.  With an impressive cast, an intriguing storyline and a trailer that made me instantly want to plop my hard earned cash down on there was little chance that The Town was ever going to be anything less than crowd pleasing.  Looking back six years now I definitely was not disappointed at all with the end product.

The Town


The Town is an action crime thriller film that was both written and directed by the mighty Ben Affleck (seeing him complete a trifecta as na actor here too).  The movie is based on a novel called Prince of Thieves, written by Chuck Hogan.  Don’t worry though neither this book nor this flick is about the swashbuckling Robin Hood character portrayed by Kevin Costner.  The Town also stars Ben Affleck, big surprise, in the titular role he was born to play (I’m still shocked about him landing Batman) and Jon Hamm (who I was initially rooting for to be Batman in the new DCU), Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively, Jeremy Renner, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper.

There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. And a one-square-mile neighborhood in Boston, called Charlestown, has produced more bank and armored car robbers than anywhere in the U.S. One of them is Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), but he is not cut from the same cloth as his fellow thieves. Unlike them, Doug had a chance at success, a chance to escape following in his father’s criminal footsteps. Instead he became the leader of a crew of ruthless bank robbers who pride themselves on taking what they want and getting out clean. The only family Doug has are his partners in crime, especially Jem (Jeremy Renner), who, despite his dangerous, hair-trigger temper, is the closest thing Doug ever had to a brother. However, everything changed on the gang’s last job when Jem briefly took a hostage: bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). When they discover she lives in Charlestown, Jem gets nervous and wants to check out what she might have seen. Knowing what Jem is capable of, Doug takes charge. He seeks out Claire, who has no idea that their encounter is not by chance or that this charming stranger is one of the men who terrorized her only days before. As his relationship with Claire deepens into a passionate romance, Doug wants out of this life and the town. But with the Feds, led by Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm), closing in and Jem questioning his loyalty, Doug realizes that getting out will not be easy and, worse, may put Claire in the line of fire. Any choices he once had have boiled down to one: betray his friends or lose the woman he loves.

The Town wastes no time in setting the stage in motion as it tells the tale of four Charlestown, Massachusetts bank robbers depicting them in their every day lives, pulling off high stake heists and most importantly, evading law enforcement.  I say most importantly to the last point because that is basically what The Town is all about, the avoidance of being caught, plus a mandatory B-love story thrown in for proper screenplay storytelling standards.  And get this…Ben Affleck plays a bad guy, well kind of.  Ultimately, his attraction to a certain assistant bank manager (Rebecca Hall) is his career limiting move (or undoing).  However, that does not stop him from pressing forward and pulling off one of the biggest heists of his life in order to, you guessed it, retire for good and hopefully get the girl too.  But is it really ever that simple?  Things like this rarely ever are, and thankfully The Town is no exception to the rule.

While the performances are not as raw or believable as Ben’s earlier efforts like Good Will Hunting or Gone Baby Gone, they are still way above average here and lend themselves well in credibly sucking you into the story at hand (especially Renner’s plight).  The wish washy ending may leave the majority of intelligent moviegoers scratching their heads like really, is that really possible.  I believe it’s better than the alternate doomed possibilities Affleck could have taken this to.  I really love the relationship dynamics and conflicts between both Ben and the boys as well as his love interest.  There’s also his crazed ex too (Lively).  Ben has a lot of drama going on in his life, not to mention the FBI hot on his trail.  I love it!

It’s also always a treat for me when a criminal character is designed well enough to make you feel sympathy for them and ultimately care about them.  So by the film’s end, you can’t help but not root for them.  Films like this always hold a soft spot in my heart.  I think that’s why I liked  The Town as much as I did.  It’s not the best bank heist flick you’re ever going to see, but it’s nice to see a diamond in the rough every once in awhile and the action sequences we’re given to play with aren’t shabby at all.  All is not that bad though as The Town managed to make it onto my Top 10 list of film’s in 2010 (proof is in the pudding here).

I guess truth be told I initially fell in love with this film over its grisly depicted subject matter.  This one is a slow burning action thriller, but much like the character relationships formed in The Departed, and after repeat visits, this one continues to suck me in from the getgo and never lets go.  I continue to always root for Affleck’s character throughout.  While I wish they could have made the final escape scene just a little bit different for believability reasons (the shootouts) and whatnot, I like it for what it was.  It is brutal, honest and raw, much like how Good Will Hunting is for me.  Ultimately it’s the character study of it all for me.   For anyone that’s interested, there’s also an Extended Cut of this film available only on Blu-ray (see Aaron’s review of it here) that basically extended character beats.

The Town


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Town.  To learn how the Blu-ray version of the film looks in 1080p please visit our review of it here.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Layers: BD-66
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.4:1
  • Clarity/Detail: I know depending upon which review site you read regularly there’s a lot of debate about the presentation of this film on former Blu-ray releases.  However, I’m very happy with the way things look in this 4K Ultra HD presentation.  Sure there are some soft focus shots that make you scratch your head like why, the pigeons on the roof for example, but detail is actually quite prominent throughout.  Sharp detail can be found everywhere you look from the fabrics and clothing to onscreen characters’ hair, moles, stubble (there’s a lot of this on display), freckles, etc.  My only minor complaint is a few blurry moments, almost a tad wax like in a few select dark scenes.  Besides that it’s a well shot, great looking crime action flick on the Ultra HD format.
  • Depth: Onscreen characters pop throughout this presentation so it should come as no surprise that the depth of field is vast and bold as the Boston cityscapes seemingly go on forever.  The onscreen characters stand out prominently from their respective backgrounds, but the intricacy of the sets and everything else in the backgrounds are what draws me in here.
  • Black Levels: There’s a lot going on in the darkness throughout here, but thankfully the HDR infused presentation keeps the color palette wide and fine detail prominent (with the exception of the few blurry shots I mentioned above).  The black levels are gorgeously deep, inky and solid.  Thanks to the HDR again I was impressed by how well and accented black fabrics looked in here from dresses to the awesome A.D.I.D.A.S jacket Ben dons throughout.  All I know is these night scenes and Boston cityscapes (the aerial ones too) look phenomenal here.
  • Color Reproduction: Here’s where critics also formerly bashed the Blu-ray presentations, but I had zero qualms with the wide color palette here.  The colors were robust, rich and always authentic looking on my television screen.
  • Flesh Tones: The temperatures of skin tones look natural throughout. Everything from freckles and birthmarks to acne and a big pimple on Renner’s neck look ultra authentic in this 4K presentation.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There’s a hearty layer of cinematic looking grain throughout, but nothing that ever severely distracted me from enjoying The Town for the first time in 4K.

The Town


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Town.  To learn all about how the Blu-ray version of the film sounds please visit our review of it over here.

  • Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 2.0, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Castilian & Latin) Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: It’s too bad they didn’t pull out all the stops and dropped a new Atmos or DTS:X track on us, but The Town gives us plenty to admire in its sound design that features plenty of gunplay, car chases, dialogue and moments for the score and little intricacies to take over.  From silent moments like bank video footage and dramatic scenes to background songs mixed perfectly in the background where you can hear it, but it doesn’t interfere with anything important onscreen.  I really am smitten with the dynamics of it all here on The Town‘s 4K debut.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is like TNT dynamite.  The subwoofer LFE channel is a powerful beast when called upon here.  It effectively complements the score and scenery throughout, but it doesn’t hold back any punches at all when needed in moments of car chases and crashes, bank robbing and raids, gunfire, explosions and any other thud you can through at it.
  • Surround Sound PresentationThe Town is equally effective in its constricted utilization of the rear channels putting you in the middle of the gunfights and robberies.  Our film here is a an action drama so it should come as no surprise there’s a lot of front heaviness to it all, but fear not because directionality and prioritization is paramount here.  Everything that transpires onscreen is faithfully reproduced all around you from helicopters and airplanes, dogs barking and gun shots to police sirens, car horns, bullets spraying, explosions, wind and the list goes on and on.  The score also infects the rear channels too with little nuances that immerses you.  I said constricted up above because the surround channel is not a gimmick here, but the real, strict thing.  Nothing happens behind you that’s not supposed to.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is prioritized and focused throughout here.  I found it to be always loud, clear and intelligent throughout the 4K presentation’s runtime.

The Town


The Town is now available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film plus an audio commentary track with Ben Affleck (FYI…NOT the Extended version) in 4K with HDR, a 1080p Blu-ray disc with the feature film (125 minutes), extended cut of the film (150 minutes), special features in HD and a redeemable Digital HD version of the feature film (redeemable in Ultraviolet only).  Check out the below extras which appear on the 1080p Blu-ray disc only.

  • The Town: A Director’s Journey (HD, 30 mins.) – Here we take a look at Ben Affleck’s process in creating the various edits of the film because obviously there are multiple cuts.
  • Ben’s Boston (HD, 31 mins.) – Here we have actor/writer/director Ben Affleck taking you through the movie making process of The Town within his hometown.  “Ben’s Town” is a collection of segments that one can either access separately or watch as they are integrated during the film.  The segments include: The Cathedral of Boston, Nuns with Guns: Filming in the North End, Pulling off the Perfect Heist, The Town, The Real People of The Town and Ben Affleck: Director & Actor.  FYI…this is the same set of features that came on the original Blu-ray release.  They serve their purpose well as being instrumental in doing a decent job of presenting an obligatory making of the film.  Fans will love this, but most probably have already seen it on earlier Blu-ray releases.
  • Audio Commentaries – The audio commentaries feature Ben Affleck on both the Theatrical and Extended Versions by Ben Affleck.  Paraphrasing from Aaron Neuwirth’s original Blu-ray review of it all here the commentary track is the same on both versions, with the exception of where the films have new scenes added.  The commentary is a solid one, with Ben Affleck touching on a lot of aspects of making the film and figuring out how to properly develop the various versions that everyone will now have seen.  Given that he is riding solo, there is no one for him to really bounce off of, but the track is informative and worth listening to nonetheless.

The Town


So in summary I guess it all comes down to how big of a fan you are of Ben Affleck’s The Town.  If you’re anything like my tastes, you’ll relish every minute of the film’s 4K Ultra HD presentation.  However, just a word of caution that’s all you’re getting new here.  Everything is else can be found on the former Blu-ray releases.  The 4K version of the film is the theatrical cut only, but it does come with an audio commentary so there’s always that.  I say if you’re a fan of The Town, a Day 1 purchase of this is a no-brainer.  All others may want to wait until the price tag comes down a tad.  Me on the other hand…I am stoked to own The Town on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified A/V gear found here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


It’s Just Another Day At The Office When

The Boys From The Town Clean You Out

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Released December 6th!




The Town 4K UHD


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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