Live By Night – Movie Review

Live By Night – R
Release Date: Fri 13 Jan 2017

Live By Night is a crime/drama directed by Ben Affleck adapted by Affleck and book author Dennis Lehane.

Ben Affleck stars as Joe Coughlin, a WWI vet who has turned to a life of crime in Boston. Through a series of events he decides to throw in with the Italian mafia (despite his Irish background) and is sent to Tampa to run their rum bootlegging business during the prohibition era.

The characters, performances and story of Live By Night are very strong. It felt rushed in some places and then laser focused on others. This feels like either an issue with the adaptation or the edit or some combination of both. There’s way too much going on for the two hour running time to really let anything breathe, so it’s a testament to how strong all the other elements are that it works to the extent that it does.

That being said, I wasn’t surprised by Live By Night in a positive or negative way. It seems like it will be hard pressed to compete against all of the movies released at the end of 2016 and is not a movie that requires a theater to experience. Give it a rental if you’re in the mood, or (as it’s likely much better) just read the book.

Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:

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