Live by Night - 3 Stars
Ben Affleck’s direction is the only thing keeping this film afloat.
A group of Boston-bred gangsters set up shop in balmy Florida during the Prohibition era, facing off against the competition and the Ku Klux Klan.
I was a little excited about seeing a gangster movie return to cinemas, however this features homages to many classics, but doesn’t do much to stand-out from a heavily saturated film market. Ben Affleck is a great director, this movie looks beautiful. However, Affleck’s writing and performance are far from brilliant. Some actors can direct themselves and while Affleck balanced everything perfectly in Argo, he can’t really direct himself here. Other performances are strong, with Brendan Gleeson standing out.
The music is fantastic and visually the film is great. My other major complaint is the 2 1/2hr runtime. I found myself checking my watch frequently, it seems Affleck has inherited the Kevin Costner curse (making ridiculously long movies).
Overall the direction is great, the performances by all except Affleck are strong, but the writing fails to ignite.
3 Stars Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas