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Review: Ben Affleck’s LIVE BY NIGHT Is A Muscular Gangster Thriller - Movies In Focus
Tommy guns, bootleggers, fedoras and molls – Ben Affleck’s Live By Night has everything you would want from a 1930s gangster drama. This adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel is a love letter to Warner Bros’ golden age of gangster movies and it packs all the genres tropes into a tight two hour running time. Affleck once again shows he’s an assured director who knows how to deliver classy, grown-up thrillers. The writer-director plays Joe Coughlin, a low level crook, caught between the Irish and Italian gangs in Boston. He moves to Florida and takes over a bootleg rum business, growing it until his past, the law and his morals collide. Live By Night is a luscious and luminous film. It features some beautiful production design and costumes, creating a vibrant world that echoes nearly a century of wonderful gangster movies. The classic works of Howard Hawks, James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart is clearly an inspiration here but Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and Brian De Palma’s The Untouchable are also strong influences. If you’re going to borrow, borrow from the best. An early car chase is fantastic, while a bloody shoot-out in the last act packs a powerful wallop. Affleck [...]