Live by Night (2016)


Crime | Drama


Ben Affleck




Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, Robert Glenister, Tits Welliver, Remo Girone, Max Casella, Miguel, Gianfranco Terrin, Anthony Michael Hall, Chris Sullivan, Derek Mears, J.D. Evermore, Clark Gregg


It follows Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), the prodigal son of a prominent police chief (Brendan Gleeson), and his gradual descent into Boston's criminal underworld.


I don't care much for gangster movies, but since the trailer to "Live by Night" was good and it was produced and directed by Ben Affleck I decided to give it a shot. It can't be that bad, right? Well, I was wrong. This film is just too long and dull - it should have been called "Sleep by Night" - and lacks impact.

The main problem with it is the plot and its execution. Although it has multiple twists and turns, it goes on forever, it's not compelling and never engages. Also, it is so unoriginal you could sleep your way through it and still not miss anything important because there simply isn't anything important. And choosing a voice over narration was probably the biggest mistake Affleck could make, it makes the film even worse if that's even possible.

Another problem with the film is the lack of focus. Starting off as a gangster film, "Live by Night" later becomes a story about racism that eventually becomes a love story. And none of those seems to work. Affleck also tries to lecture us of morals, but that doesn't work either.

Then, the film is incredibly boring. Not only the pace is terrible, but the love scenes lack passion and the action scenes lack excitement. I didn't care much for the first, but if I'm watching a gangster movie I want to see great action, but this film's isn't even decent. Maybe it just needed more guns, I don't know.

The acting isn't better. I was really expecting something better from this cast, but overall they all are a huge disappointment. And don't have me started on Ben Affleck whose face has the same damn expression for the entire film.

There's something good about it, though. The film is very beautiful to look at because of the cinematography and sets. Too bad they are not enough to make a film.


  1. Gahhhhh! I like to say I'll give any movie a go, but I haven't read a positive review of this yet!

    1. I know a guy who loved it but it's probably because he is a huge Ben Affleck fan

  2. That is too bad, Ben Affleck is usually good.

    1. Actually, in my own experience, it's been more the times Ben Affleck sucked than did good.