We're breaking down all the Oscar contenders for you, so that you can decide whether you want to see them -- or at the very least, hold your own at cocktail parties. Next up: 'The Town,' about a bank robber who falls for his hostage.

Nominated For: Best Supporting Actor (Jeremy Renner)
What It's About: Things get complicated for Boston bank robber Doug McCray (Ben Affleck) when he falls for a woman (Rebecca Hall) whom he once held hostage. The affair threatens to destory some of his closest relationships, including the one he has with Jem (Renner), Doug's hot-headed partner in crime, and ex-girlfriend, Krista, played by the nearly unrecognizable Blake Lively. All the while, Doug finds himself on the trail of a no-holds-barred FBI agent (Jon Hamm) who is determined to bring him to justice.

Why You Should See It: Renner is scary-good as Jem, deservedly earning his second consecutive nomination (following last year for 'The Hurt Locker'). But 'The Town' is ultimately Ben Affleck's show. In his second directorial effort, Affleck proves that 'Gone Baby Gone' wasn't a fluke, as he exhibits grace, skill and control behind the camera. Though he has a ways to go before we start calling him the next Robert Redford or Kevin Costner, after 'The Town' we're more than happy to take this comeback kid seriously again.

It's Kind of Like:'Gone Baby Gone' Meets 'The Thomas Crown Affair'

How You Can See It:Now on DVD

Watch the Trailer for 'The Town'

The Town
Based on 42 critics

A bank robber looks for a way out of his criminal life after he falls for a former hostage. Read More

categories Features, Oscars, Awards