“Live by Night” stars Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, and Chris Cooper. Released in limited theaters on December 25, 2016, followed by a wide release on January 13, 2017, the film is about a Ybor City bootlegger who becomes a notorious gangster.
The film is directed by Ben Affleck, who is known for directing Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo. It is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. Once again, here is another film that was released nationwide in 2017, but was released in limited release first in 2016. After donning the bat suit for the first time in last year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck decided to take a small break from superheroes and focus on being a gangster in the 1920s. I can definitely see Affleck as a talented actor as well as a solid director who tells interesting stories. I definitely enjoyed the heck out of Argo back in 2012 and his role as the Caped Crusader was a solid effort. This latest project sees him taking on multiple roles as a director, co-producer, writer, and an actor. Compared to his other works, how does this one stand out?
Good performances from the cast.
Costume design was solid.
Average storytelling that failed to be captivating.
Pacing was slow at some points.
Final thoughts: “Live by Night” is well-acted and nice to look at, but the overall substance slowly succumbs to its usual crime drama standards, leaving Affleck’s latest project in the dust. This film didn’t really stand out that much when comparing it to the other films that Affleck directed, mostly because of how he tells this kind of story. It didn’t really pack any character-driven punches, and it wasn’t engaging enough to keep me interested in the plot. With that said, it's worth watching for the performances and the cinematography.