It's easy to finger Amy Ryan's performance in Gone Baby Gone as one of the best of the year, however I'm surprised more notice hasn't been given to the entire cast. After all, this is an ensemble film, with fantastic performances from Casey Affleck, Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman, Amy Madigan and a host of Boston locals plucked from obscurity; all of whom were, essentially, asked to play themselves. Gone Baby Gone is a tough film to review, because there are so many plot twists, and criticisms of said plot twists, that it's hard to discuss without giving away some major spoilers. I will say that Gone Baby Gone is a good film; a solid film -- and one that will definitely leave you debating the outcome with whomever you choose to watch it with.
Set and filmed entirely in the Boston area known as Dorchester, Gone Baby Gone revolves around the kidnapping of a little girl and the subsequent investigation into her disappearance. Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan play a pair of local private investigators/lovers who are hired by the missing girl's aunt and uncle in an attempt to solve the case by going through the folks who won't talk to the cops. Ed Harris and John Ashton play the main detectives on the case, Morgan Freeman plays the police captain heading the entire investigation and Amy Ryan plays the little girl's delinquent, drug-addicted mother. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), Gone Baby Gone will certainly hit you emotionally, but how much depends upon whether you buy into the story as it unravels.