Amanda McCready is missing and Patrick (Casey Affleck) and Angie (Michelle Monaghan) are hired to assist in bringing her back home. Patrick is a life-long Beantowner, this city made him. Subsequently, he knows this city's dark alleys better than any law enforcement. If there is a chance that Amanda can be found, it rest in these dark alleys.
Boston is a city that wears its blue collar proudly, the people don't gossip, and they answer questions even less often. Police inquiries are dusted off and no answers are had. This is a problem because in missing child cases 50% of the children die within 78 hours and the window is closing. No one is more aware of that than Chief of Police Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman), whose own child died after being abducted. The police are utilizing every available resource looking for the child, but Patrick is sure something is amiss and it starts with Amanda's mother, Bea (Amy Ryan).
She does coke, screws around, and deals, but she never finds the time to be a mother. When it comes to light that one of her dealings with "Cheese", a Haitian gangster, could be the reason for Amanda's appearance, Patrick ingratiates himself into a much larger scenario.
When watching the film one begins to long for the days when you could leave your child in the backyard without worrying they could be abducted. Now, seemingly there is not a single moment in the day that a child is completely and assuredly safe. Gone Baby Gone presents many questions, some forcefully through Det. Bressant (Ed Harris, in probably Ed Harris's best performance in recent history). Whether he plants evidence on a dirtbag father, or operates a sting without the higher-ups he is always 100% certain. Patrick is less so.
Casey Affleck is superb as Patrick. He faces off against acting titans like Freeman and Harris on a regular basis and comes out punching. His convictions are what make him possibly the most human part of the film (or, depending on your outlook the most flawed).
Gone Baby Gone is a tale of pieces: the pieces of ourselves we lose and the pieces of us that tell us what is right and what is wrong. The ending of this film is haunting. And reverts back to the questions posed at the beginning. Saving a child is worth any price, but that toll the disappearance takes on us is monumental.