Movie Review #2942 LIVE BY NIGHT
A gangster epic set in prohibition era America with Ben Affleck in the spotlight, which sees the man write, direct, produce and star in this tale of cop-kid turned-bad.
It has the usual ups and downs as he negotiates his way through alliances, betrayals, love affairs and hails of bullets to come out the other side intact, albeit somewhat traumatised.
Starting out in Boston but finding his way down to sunny Florida, the anti-hero encounters not only the cops and rival bad guys but also an array of femme fatales, Bible-thumping evangelists and the Ku Klux Klan before finding some redemption in charitable acts that supposedly alleviate his guilty conscience.
Affleck is adequate as Joe Coughlin with Brendan Gleeson superb as his do-good old man of a cop. Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller and Zoe Saldana make up the female interest contingent, each with their own influence and agenda for Mr Coughlin’s attentions and resources.
Pretty journeyman stuff really, that plods along with a few little turn-ups that raise the eyebrows but nothing I could really say was not fairly predictable. A little over-long at 2 hours 15 mins and it does get a bit tedious in the middle sector but that said, not the worst gangster movie I have come across.
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since, I've been mesmerized by the giant screen, and the darkness that went on forever. Despite the infernally uncomfortable seats, (plus having to stand for God Save the Queen), I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism.