Movie Review: LIVE BY NIGHT
Star Rating (out of five): **
Yeah.. it’s January. LIVE BY NIGHT, directed by Ben Affleck, is the story of a gangster and his endless revenge quest in the 1930s. Sadly, the worst of Affleck is shown in this film.
LIVE BY NIGHT is visually stunning. The production value and cinematic style culminate in an epic visual experience.
The action sequences are well directed and are gripping.
Based on a novel, LIVE BY NIGHT’s narrative is all over the damn place. Several characters have real depth, but their arcs don’t work and the performances just don’t cut it! Somehow everything feels out of place. Ben Affleck REALLY looks like he can’t act in this one. I had big trouble identifying with him, as I found zero emotional depth in his performance. Truth be told, I wasn’t able to identify with any of them. The setup is all there, the cast names are impressive… and yet they completely underwhelm. Unfortunately this throws shade on Oscar winner Affleck’s screenwriting and directing!
Sorry, that was a bit harsh. But I was actually mad at this movie for promising so much and keeping so little.
LIVE BY NIGHT is a stunning disappointment. It had EVERYTHING going for it. The story could have been intriguing, the characters engaging. But, sadly, Ben Affleck didn’t manage to tell this the way it deserved to be told.
Review by Sam Silber