Live By Night follows the story of a small time bank robber who falls into the Mob life after a love affair goes wrong during the prohibition era. Sent to Florida to run a booze cartel he grows his empire, taken on the local mobsters, the KKK and his own guilt, all the the aim to get revenge on the man who killed his beloved.
I'm not a huge mob movie kind of a guy but Live By Night has a certain charm about it. Affleck is great as Joe Coughlin, you feel the heaviness of the life he no leads and even though he isn't the most clean cut of characters Affleck gives a performance that makes you care for Joe. The progression of his character his helped with the perfect supporting cast of Chris Messina who plays the role of Coughlin's partner in crime Dion and Zoe Saldana as Joe's second love Graciela. Ella fanning also puts in a good performance as Loretta, the police chiefs daughter who goes of to LA and comes back broken. Loretta's story is heart breaking, and this shows Joe's more caring side.
The film is also well paced, at no point did I feel the film was dragging on to long (a rare thing in cinema at the moment). The story keeps the viewers attention right up to the dramatic final scenes.
Live By Night is a masterclass of modern Gangster films. Ben Affleck has shown that he isn't just a great actor but a brilliant writer and director. The only annoying thing, and once you hear it you will not get it out of your head, is that Joe's accent makes Affleck sound like Adam Sandler....it's uncanny really.
If you are looking for a film to buy this weekend, this is the one to grab for.