Oscar-hopeful season kicks off in earnest this weekend with the release of dramas 'The Town' and "Never Let Me Go.' Which isn't to say that there's not also plenty of frivolous fun ('Easy A,' 'Devil,' 'Alpha and Omega').

New and Noteworthy: 'The Town'

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively
Directed by: Ben Affleck
What It's About: After making his feature directing debut in 2007 with the acclaimed 'Gone Baby Gone,' Affleck returns to the world of Boston crime dramas with this adaptation of Chuck Hogan's novel 'Prince of Thieves,' this time starring and co-scripting as well. It's Stockholm syndrome in reverse when Affleck, leader of an accomplished team of bank robbers, falls for a lovely hostage (Hall) and finds his loyalties divided between her and his tight-knit, family-like crew.
Why Should You See It? The Boston-bred Affleck certainly knows the turf, works well crafting the performances of other actors and (lest we forget) is already an Oscar-winning screenwriter. He's out to prove 'Gone' was no fluke, and early word is he's done so. Plus, the film has plenty of action, not to mention the man you can't get enough of, Jon Hamm.
You Might Like It If You Like: 'The Departed,' 'Mystic River,' 'The Friends of Eddie Coyle'