Movie: Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Writer: Dennis Lehane (original novel); Ben Affeck and Aaron Stockard (screenplay)

For his risky directorial debut, actor turned filmmaker Ben Affleck chose to keep things close to the chest, selecting Boston-area crime author Dennis Lehane’s critically lauded novel Gone Baby Gone to adapt. And it’s an easy choice for Affleck, a Beantown native who’s better suited to capture the city’s blood, sweat, and tears better than any other, more reputable (at the time, at least) director. And, as a result, Gone Baby Gone(starring his brother, Casey Affleck) feels potently authentic, and, when all’s said and done, it’s a grade-A thriller.

Not to mention, a grade-A thriller with a tightly concealed twist. All along, detectives-for-hire, and lovers, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) are hot on the case of a missing girl, leading them into Boston’s underbelly of drug dealers and crooked cops. After a botched rescue attempt, they think that little Amanda has fallen off a mountain ridge and to her death.

But, as it turns out, she’s been living comfortably and safely in the home of Captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman), a well-meaning lawman whose been coping with the passing of his own young daughter. The shot of Amanda running out of Doyle’s front door, in relish-the-shock slow-motion, is definitely a jaw-dropper.