Gangster’s Paradise

mv5bmjmwnti2nzy2n15bml5banbnxkftztgwmdc2njc5ote-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_“Live By Night” hits theaters nationwide tomorrow, and critics are cheering – read on below:


…the original book was written by pulp genius Dennis Lehane, who also penned Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. (And LIVE BY NIGHT won the 2013 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery Novel over GONE GIRL, which must have made Affleck think the story was a can’t-miss.) If there’s any surprise in Live by Night, it’s how good it feels to watch a gangster battle the KKK in the year 2017. Laws are changed, rum is legalized, Tampa’s population has tripled. But the joy of watching a white supremacist get destroyed is forever.

Entertainment Weekly:

Adapted (like his 2007 directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone) from a sprawling Dennis Lehane novel, Live by Night is clearly Affleck’s love letter to classic pulp, and almost no noir touchstone goes unturned: sharp-suited mafiosi, hip-swinging vixens, bloody shoot-outs, double crosses.

Rolling Stone:

Ben Affleck’s tribute to old-school Warner brothers gangster pictures may lack the white heat of the Cagney-Bogart era, but Live By Night still gets in its stylish licks. The actor started his impressive directing career in 2007 by bringing Dennis Lehane’s GONE BABY GONE to the screen. Now, after adding The Town and the Oscar-winning Argo to his resumé, he returns to Lehane by taking on the second book in the Boston-based author’s acclaimed trilogy about Joe Coughlin, the son of a Beantown police captain who turns to organized crime in the Prohibition era…Affleck shines as a director of actors and action. The man knows how to create a haunting gangster noir worth getting lost in.

Time Out:

Before he slipped on the bat mask, director Ben Affleck was a young Clint Eastwood in the making, telling quintessentially American tales of morality and heroism. Affleck adapted Live by Night himself from a novel by Dennis Lehane, who also authored GONE BABY GONE with its Boston DNA. With the ably executed Prohibition-era drama Live by Night, [Affleck] picks up where he left off, drawing from Gone Baby Gone’s understated potency, The Town’s nail-biter car chases and shootouts, and Oscar-winning Argo’s humor and grandiose Hollywood polish.

The A.V. Club:

Ben Affleck’s first film as a director, 2007’s Gone Baby Gone, was adapted from a novel by Boston crime fiction scribe Dennis Lehane. A little less than a decade later, Affleck returns to Lehane with a drastically elevated status as a filmmaker, having subsequently made two hits for Warner Bros.—one of which, Argo, won the Best Picture Oscar a few years back. So far, all of Affleck’s films as a director mix pulp with prestige, and Live By Night is no exception. It’s a lavish, decade-spanning period piece…On a purely technical level, Affleck is only getting better.


Affleck, who also wrote the screenplay adaptation (from Dennis Lehane’s novel), stars as Joe Coughlin, a WWI vet and 1920s-era Boston outlaw. His first feature as a director, Gone Baby Gone, was also a Lehane adaptation…in its best moments, [Live By Night] recaptures not only that picture’s craftsmanship, but its soul.

Las Vegas Weekly:

For his fourth movie as a director, Ben Affleck returns to the street-level Boston crime of his first two films, once again adapting a novel by GONE BABY GONE author Dennis Lehane…It’s a worthy addition to Affleck’s Boston crime canon.


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