Boston seems like the most forbidding city in crime movies. There are lots of movies about criminals in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and points between, but somehow in Boston the wounds cut deeper, the characters are angrier, their resentments bleed, their grudges never die, and they all know everybody else's business.
One of the great pleasures of the mystery writer Dennis Lehane and of the movies derived from his books -- "Mystic River" and now "Gone Baby Gone" -- is sense of place. The books are like a tour of back-alley, blue-collar Beantown; spend time with them in any form, and you start swallowing your r's, then spitting them out as h's.
And that's what makes "Gone Baby Gone" such a pleasure, the absolute fidelity with which it penetrates and makes real the non-Brahmin, unhip parts of that really interesting urban swamp up there, with all its colorful eddies and whorls of hatred, ugliness, hostility and, of course, treachery.