By Jay Hunter – The 21st century has been tough for gangster movies. Johnny Depp’s Public Enemies, Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad and even Tom Hardy’s Legend all underperformed, either commercially or critically. Ever since Martin Scorsese stepped off his wise guy throne to work in more advanced fields, there has been no one to fill his shoes. Which brings us to 2017’s Live By Night, if you had hope for anyone to fill Marty’s shoes, you’d bank on Ben Affleck – who’s previous work includes Argo and Gone Baby Gone. There shouldn’t be a world in which the award winning director could fail to portray the murky underground of 1920’s America, alas here we are.
Based on Dennis Lehane’s ramble crime novel of the same name, Live By Night tells the story of Joe Coughlin (Affleck) the son of a Boston Police superintendent, who turned his back on the law to favour the bounties of being a criminal.
On the surface, Live By Night is incredibly self-assured boarding on arrogant. Boasting an exquisite visual style and imposing cast. However, for all it’s assets, producer, director and star Ben Affleck covers nothing new in an increasingly abate genre. From the promising first half, Live By Night proves to be nothing more than a deflated gangster movie with little substance.