“Gone Baby Gone” stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, John Ashton, and Amy Ryan. This is Ben Affleck’s directorial debut and the screenplay was written by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard. “Gone Baby Gone” also features Amy Ryan’s first academy award nomination.

A four year old girl by the name of Amanda McCready becomes missing. The little girl’s aunt hires two missing person detectives named Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennero (Michelle Monaghan) to find the truth about what happened to Amanda McCready. Living in a tough neighborhood and not being police officers gives these two detectives a huge advantage on the case.

This is undeniably a really good movie, but I found my mind wondering. It didn’t live up to my expectations. I was ready for a movie that was going to blow me away. Instead I got a critic proof movie and nothing more. The scenes that really kept my interest were the ones that involved academy award nominee Amy Ryan. Even then, I found myself distracted, more interested at the wall in my living room. For a directorial debut, this is a fine job. Maybe it is just me, but I found this somewhat hard to follow. I was totally disoriented until the ending.

I also had a hard time understanding Casey Affleck’s lines considering that he talks through his teeth the whole time. “Gone Baby Gone”, for some strange reason, just didn’t hold my interest. The twist ending that isn’t a happy one, but the right one almost won me over. However, I can’t see myself watching this movie again. I do think that Ben Affleck has more talent behind the camera than in front, but he is none the less talented. Let me put it this way, you won’t be kicking yourself in the ass for not seeing it.

I was somewhat annoyed by Casey Affleck’s performance here, never completely opening up his mouth when he spoke. Amy Ryan has a total of about twenty minutes of screen time, which is probably the most interesting moments of the two hour film. This movie has top-notch acting, it is directed superbly by first timer Ben Affleck, and has you guessing until the end. In other words, Ben Affleck’s directorial debut is strong in most of the critical areas, but it’s just not interesting enough to capture my attention. It earns not a high recommendation, but a low one.