LIVE BY NIGHT – Rated R – 2 hours 8 mins.

Starring Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller and Zoe Saldana

Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane and brought to life by Ben Affleck, who not only wrote the screenplay, but who also directs and stars this time around, we enter into Boston during the roaring 20’s ~ with all its glamour. pizazz and corruption in full view.

When we first meet Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), he is nothing but a petty thief on the streets, hell bent on defying his moralistic upbringing under the direction of his father, Police Captain Thomas Coughlin (Brendan Gleeson).

Joe soon finds himself turning from small time thief, to big time mobster, when he gets mixed up in dealings with mob boss about town Tim Hickey (Titus Welliver). When Joe he decides to bed rival boss Albert White’s (Robert Glenister) leading lady, the beautiful Emma Gould (Sienna Miller), all hell breaks lose…as Joe soon finds himself incarnated, and trying to stay alive, without the love of his life…

Once free, Joe heads south to Florida to continue his dealings in rum and racketeering, when he comes across Cuban beauty Graciela, who he must make his wife. Trying to jump from his mobster ways, to a respectable life is harder than he thought, and Joe’s past just continues to rear its ugly head…

I give LIVE BY NIGHT a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD ~ Affleck is superb as mobster with a heart Joe Coughlin, and Miller and Saldana are perfect too, as his love interests throughout this film. And who better to play the stoic Irish father and police captain than Gleeson! I also enjoyed the nostalgia and the ambiance throughout this film, as some of the scenes throughout are absolutely exquisite to say the least. So why the less than perfect review? As mobster movies go, this one is about as tame as it gets ~ so if your thinking this film might hold a candle to THE GODFATHER, GOODFELLAS, THE UNTOUCHABLES or even THE DEPARTED, think again! The storyline is good too, but not superb, as you can figure out what is about to happen around almost every turn. All in all, I was happy to see Ben Affleck play a tamed down version of a mobster, as it doesn’t make him loose his appeal as the good guy that we have come to love him for playing over the years ~ but he might have wanted to raise the nastiness of the other characters in his film to counter act his lack there of, thus making this film more appealing to the true MOBSTER LOVING viewers who, who he definitely wants to head out and catch his film…

Kathy Kaiser

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