Gone Baby Gone ★★★★½

Superb, powerful, engrossing, grim, and very atmospheric crime drama that is as intelligent and morally thought-provoking as it is suspenseful—a rare accomplishment that lingers in the mind. During the excellent quarry-lake scene, I figured out one aspect of the mystery, but the final act of the film nevertheless surprised me. Sobering, strongly emotional ending that effectively forces the viewer to reflect on what they would have done in the same situation. Beautifully shot, with the city of Boston in an important supporting role. First-rate acting; Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Amy Ryan, and Titus Welliver portray believably drawn characters with flaws; Amy Madigan gives a nice performance; Michael K. Williams, who plays Omar on the TV series "The Wire", has a small role. Ben Affleck’s masterful big-screen directorial debut suggests that maybe he belongs behind the camera rather than in front of it. Based on the book "Gone, Baby, Gone" by Dennis Lehane.