The first one I saw was Devil, a movie that probably surprised me the most of the two. This movie has M. Night's name attached to it, but the only involvement he had was the credit for the story and being one of the producers, so you're safe so far. The movie takes place in Philadelphia in some sort of business building (what kind, I'm not too sure but I doubt it makes too much of a difference). Five people, who don't know each other in anyway, end up together on an elevator which gets stuck about 20 floors up. Slowly but surely, weird things start to happen while they hang there and one of them may not be who they seem to be.
I just need to say this first. After M. Night's horrific move on making The Last Airbender, I thought NOTHING would redeem him for it. This movie barely does it. Since he actually direct this movie, he still has a way to go to earn the respect of the average moviegoer.
This movie was actually pretty intense. Director John Eric Dowdle (Quarantineand The Poughkeepsie Tapes) seems to know what he's doing when it comes to thriller/suspense movies. The movie often does the movie trick to completely shut off the picture to take us into the darkness of being trapped inside a small space like an elevator, which I found to be a good thing. I especially like the concept of the story, in which the Devil comes to Earth in human form and when that happens, everything is ends up going bad. One way they make that assumption was when the religious security guard tosses his toast with jelly in the air and it lands jelly side down....a useful test to see if the Devil is here. Another thing I liked about this movie is the cast itself. Each person trapped is very different and you may believe anyone of them is the one behind it. The thing that I did find a tad annoying was the acting of Logan Marshall-Green, one of the trapped. His acting was a bit off in my taste, but it's nothing that would distract you from the rest of the movie. I'm not going to reveal who the "Devil" is, but me personally, I had a guess and I was right. The twist on who is the devil may be obvious to some, but the overall twist kinda catches you off guard.
The next movie is Ben Affleck's second directorial movie, The Town. It takes place in the city of Charlestown, MA, where apparently there are a mass amount of bank and armor car robberies. Ben Affleck plays Doug MacRay, the leader of a crew which robs said banks and armor cars. In this team includes Jem Coughlin, played by Jeremy Renner (who has a great performance in this movie), and two others (who are pretty much no names in Hollywood), and each of them are just as bad ass as MacRay. The opening scene has the team robbing a bank, while they wear Grim Reaper-like masks, and we get introduce to our leading lady Claire Keesey, played by Rebecca Hall. The robbers go through this entire bank with precision and grace that it looks almost like an art. However, the silent alarm is tripped and they end up taking Claire as a hostage, just in case. When the close is clear, they drop her off unharmed and the FBI immediately ask her what she knows. With the possible risk of her identifying the culprits, MacRay takes it upon himself to check on her and see if shes going to talk, but by doing this leads to an unforeseen relationship between the two.
This is the first movie directed by Affleck I've seen (haven't gotten around toGone Baby Gone), and I'm impressed on his work. People often comment on his acting ability but as for his directing, it's top notch. The movie has the intense feel of a crime thriller and makes you care a little bit for Affleck's character, who is just trying to get out of the heist game and make a life thats better than this. Not only is Affleck on par with the movie, but the rest of the cast is great as well. Jeremy Renner gives a great performance as Affleck's best friend/partner in crime and Rebecca Hall is a great leading lady. Even Chris Cooper, who plays Doug's father is good for the short time he has on screen. The camera work could of used slight improvement, because it does the "shaky camera" technique, and often gives me a headache. The other thing I guess i have a problem with is Affleck as the lead. It kinda seems like an ego trip for the director to be also one of the lead stars, but most actors/actresses are starting to direct and put themselves in their own movies, and it works occasionally , and this is one of those times where it does work.
Both these movies were great in my opinion, and I recommend both for everyone.
Devil - 7/10
The Town - 9/10