Film Review: Ben Affleck Shoots Nothing But Blanks in ‘Live by Night’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Movies released in the first weeks of January are invariably either awards hopefuls trying to gain momentum or studio dreck being buried in the dead of winter, and quickly forgotten by Valentine’s Day. “Live By Night” aspires to be the former, but ends up being the latter. Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Ben Affleck stars as a Boston stickup man Joe Coughlin, the son of a Boston police officer, who reluctantly becomes part of a gang to get revenge on a rival mob boss. If you think back to the time before “Argo,” “The Town,” and “Gone Baby Gone,” this is the kind of movie you’d think of as a movie directed by Ben Affleck, before that became an improbable sign of quality filmmaking.

Affleck certainly looks the part, with his square jaw and chiseled features, and at times resembles one of those less grotesque Dick Tracy villains. But he seems to let the chin do most of the work, rarely trying to find the character underneath the fedora. While the movie starts in Boston, it mostly takes place in Florida…with Affleck playing a crew boss for the Italian mob out to corner the rum market, while getting revenge in the process on the exiled Irish gangster who nearly killed him and iced his girlfriend.

”Live by Night” opens everywhere on January 13th. Featuring Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Chris Cooper. Screenplay adapted by Ben Affleck, from a novel by Dennis Lehane. Directed by Ben Affleck. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Spike Walter’s full review of “Live by Night”

Ben Affleck Seeks Revenge in ‘Live by Night’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Spike Walter’s full review of “Live by Night”

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