Focusing on the disappearance of a young girl within a crime-saturated neighbourhood Gone Baby Gone is an urban mystery of failure that mixes high-wire suspense with vivid characters and provocative themes. This dark, hard-bitten, and powerful adaptation of Dennis Lehane's haunting and emotional crime novel Gone Baby Gone sees Ben Affleck, in his debut directorial role, produce an intense crime thriller that is constantly surprising and deeply compelling.
Dorchester, a tough district of Boston where the gritty, working class streets are lined with the wreckage of broken families and dreams, is home to private investigator Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck). With professional partner and girlfriend Angela (Michelle Monaghan), Patrick investigates minor criminal cases. Their approachable tone and familiarity with the neighbourhood enables them to talk to people the police cannot. When four-year-old Amanda McCready (Madeline O'Brien) is abducted from her bedroom after her drug addicted mother Helene (Amy Ryan) leaves her alone, the local police unit led by Capt. Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman) and his ace detective Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) use all their resources to try and track the little girl down. With the police making no headway, Patrick and Angela are bought in by Amanda's proud and virtuous aunt Bea to start their own investigation. As Patrick and Angela delve further down a path in to the dark heart of the neighbourhood they uncover an intensifying web of sordid lies and a labyrinthine maze of class, corruption, evil and innocence.
With every clue or fact that is revealed, tension mounts and, much like Clint Eastwood's adaptation of Lehane's Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone packs an emotionally powerful punch that keeps you ultimately involved and unaware of what is around the corner. By opting for a cast that consists of established and confident actors like Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris paired with real-life, toughened Bostonians straight out of local pool-halls and clubs, Ben Affleck has managed to portray the tough, real feel of the streets of South Boston with natural grit and charm and has adapted Dennis Lehane's best-selling novel Gone Baby Gone in to a terrifying and intellectually engaging feature.