The Town

Ben Affleck may have been overshadowed as an actor by his great mate Matt Damon ever since they burst onto the scene in the late 1990s with Good Will Hunting, but if you can keep on writing yourself good parts (and can then direct the resulting films) then you can always have a career.

And for all his limitations as an actor – he was nominated for the Worst Actor Of The Decade at the Razzies for a resume that includes such shockers as Gigli, Jersey Girl and Daredevil - he is clearly a pretty good writer.

Good Will Hunting earned both him and Damon an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (and Damon a nomination for Best Actor) and more recently Affleck co-wrote the screenplay to The Town, which he also makes his directorioal debut and in which he also takes the lead.

The Town may not be Oscar-winning stuff, but it is definitely 'good night in in front of the telly' material – a much better than average heist movie set in the Boston neighbourhood of Charlestown which claims to have produced more armed robbers than anywhere else in the world.

On the face of it, there is nothing very original in the basic plot – criminal wants to go straight but is forced to do one last job with (fairly) predictable consequences…

But it’s really much better than it sounds. Affleck himself is perfectly passable in the lead role as the leader of a group of friends who hold up a bank and end up taking the manageress (Rebecca Hall) hostage.

Worried that on her release Hall (who also lives in the same neighbourhood) might be able to identify them, Affleck determines to keep a close eye on her - and, yes, falling in love. This is his reason to go straight, but as always it's not as easy as it sounds.

Highly recommended for a night in - and if Affleck keeps on writing films like this, he may be on our screens for some time to come...