It's actually starting to get difficult to remember a time when Ben Affleck was a punchline, following his dismal performance in Daredevil, his string of forgettable action films like Paycheck and Reindeer Games and the despised Gigli. Since 2004, he's been taking mostly serious lead roles, and his appearances in less-respected fare were mostly smaller, comedic cameos. And after winning acclaim for his directorial debut, Gone, Baby, Gone, it seemed like he had found a new fallback career if this acting thing didn't work out. Well, Affleck directs and stars in The Town, and while it's mostly the familiar ground he walked in previous Boston dramas like Gone and Good Will Hunting, and it has its moments of silliness, it's a pretty solid heist movie, with a bunch of great actors and enough wicked Bahston accents to fill Fenway Pahk.
Some movies are destined to work better than they should because of their cast. Take, for example, the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: No one thought it would be a movie that adults and teens/tweens would love, but it inexplicably was. Only not quite inexplicably, because the reasons were plenty: great script, great story, and, mostly, that amazing cast.