Tommy guns! Dizzy dames! Ben Affleck in a white suit mumbling incoherently.
Youse guys better check out this movie if youse know what’s good for youse, see?
BQB here with the 1930s period piece/screen adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s historical crime novel, Live By Night.
Ben “Look At Me, I’m From Boston So I Have to Be in All the Boston Movies, Kid” Affleck stars as stick up man Joe Coughlin, a petty thug/World War I veteran who, despite being Irish, rises up through the ranks of the Italian mob on a mission of vengeance against the rival mobster who killed the maul he loved.
It’s a great premise. It’s fun to see the past brought to life on the big screen. Historic films rarely do well at the box office anymore, so it’s great to see Hollywood sticking up for them anyway.
Further, we’ve seen gangster era New York on screen, but its rare to see somewhere like Boston in the thirties.
My main complaint is the film tends to wander. The whole point of the film is Joe seeking revenge, but he takes a roundabout zig zag approach to it instead of a straight line. Halfway through the film you start to forget what Joe is up to.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Probably the best you’re going to see on screen in January.