‘Live by Night’ failed to gain traction at the box office
Hollywood star Ben Affleck delivers another American gangster movie with ‘Live by Night.’ Ben Affleck both stars and directs the gangster flick. He once again adapts another Dennis LeHane novel, he previously directed Gone Baby Gone, which LeHane is most well-known for writing.
Affleck’s latest drama ‘Live by Night’ delivers strong in action and storytelling, but lacks what his other films have delivered.Ben Affleck’s ‘Live by Night’ lacks a spark his previous films held.
Ben Affleck stars at 1920s gangster Joe Coughlin, who desires not to be a gangster, until he is forced into the role and wins at the long game, ending up controlling all the rackets in Tampa for Italian crime boss Maso Pescatore (Remo Girone). Affleck’s character spends much of his time in the colored part of town, where he falls in love with a Cuban woman played by Zoe Saldana, who is focused on building shelters for women and immigrants.
Throughout the film, Coughlin is trying to get revenge on several of his past mob bosses. He ends up killing a Ku Klux Klan leader and ends up feeling responsible for the suicide of the town’s sheriff’s daughter. Brendan Gleeson portrays Boston Police captain and father of Joe. Joe originally gains the attention of top gangsters in Tampa, after ripping off card games and robbing banks. Coughlin earns his wings by aligning himself with the Mafia and going to war against his former boss Mr. White.
‘Live by Night’ attempts to live up to the gangster storytelling that ‘The Godfather’ created, but instead lacks any solid performance of the gangster life. As director, Ben Affleck made his greatest mark in the film, with the final scene, which is a shootout in a hotel between the two major gangster organizations.
‘Live by Night’ has failed to earn much at the box office, only raking in $5.4 million in its wide release last weekend. Nevertheless, the movie looks sleek, with evocative period production design by Jess Gonchor and elegant framing from cinematographer Robert Richardson, painting in a subdued monochromatic palette that heats up once the action travels south. Live by Night is solid enough entertainment.