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Gone Baby Gone


Stars: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Amy Ryan, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, John Ashton

Director: Ben Affleck

Similarities with the Madeleine McCann case have understandably held up this grungy thriller (Ben Affleck's directorial debut) for some time. That's a shame as, despite a rather jumbled first hour, it's really quite good.

Four-year-old Mandy (Madeline O'Brien) is kidnapped from the home of her drug addict mother (Ryan). After three days of fruitless police search, the child's aunt (Madigan) hires private detectives Patrick (Casey Affleck, Ben's brother) and Angie (Monaghan) to find her.

Hard to follow at first, the film develops in more satisfactory ways later on, although the story doesn't always reverberate with conviction, and I couldn't buy Monaghan's failure to support her partner's crucial decision at the end. Affleck is OK in a mumbly sort of way, but is substantially outgunned by Freeman as the police chief who resents his interference, and particularly by Harris' intense performance as a slightly crooked cop.

Action scenes convey brilliantly the terror of walking into the unknown.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Colour.
114 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 02 Jun 2008