Live By Night

Critics Consensus

Live by Night boasts visual style and an impressive cast, but they're lost in a would-be crime saga that finds producer, director, and star Ben Affleck revisiting familiar themes to diminishing effect.



Total Count: 228


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,277
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Movie Info

Ben Affleck writes, produces, and stars in this adaptation of Dennis Lehane's sprawling crime novel centering on the prodigal son of a prominent police chief, and his gradual descent into the criminal underworld. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


Ben Affleck
as Joe Coughlin
Elle Fanning
as Loretta Figgis
Brendan Gleeson
as Thomas Coughlin
Chris Messina
as Dion Bartolo
Sienna Miller
as Emma Gould
Zoe Saldana
as Graciella Suarez
Chris Cooper
as Chief Irving Figgis
Robert Glenister
as Albert White
Miguel J. Pimentel
as Esteban Suarez
Titus Welliver
as Tim Hickey
Max Casella
as Digger Pescatore
Christian Clemenson
as Ritz Investor
J.D. Evermore
as Virgil Beauregard
Clark Gregg
as Calvin Bondurant
Anthony Michael Hall
as Gary L. Smith
Chris Sullivan (XII)
as Brennan Loomis
Benny Ciaramello
as Paulo Bartolo
Derek Mears
as Donnie Gishler
Danny Kitz
as Broomfield Waiter
Bobby Curcuro
as North End Local
Bruce Serafin
as Large Italian
Massi Furlan
as Anthony Servidone
Lewis Wheeler
as Herald Reporter
Michael Mantell
as Jack Jarvis
Tom Virtue
as Doctor
Giuseppe Losavio
as Illario Noble
Peter Arpesella
as Gino Valocco
Zak Lee Guarnaccia
as Adomo Valocco
Peter Sabri
as Wallace
Eduardo Cruz
as Factory News Reader
Ryan Young
as J&D Crew
Stanley M. Farrow
as Shine Runner
Austin Swift
as Mayweather
Anthony Palermo
as Fausto Scarfone
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News & Interviews for Live By Night

Critic Reviews for Live By Night

All Critics (228) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (149)

  • It's not Goodfellas. It lacks the black humour and the relish for eccentricity for its own sake, and the ending verges on mawkishness. But it's great entertainment -- a cunningly wrought tribute to old-fashioned Hollywood and the Warners style.

    Jan 27, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • You probably won't turn it off when it comes on cable. But the material needs to be bigger, more momentous, as well as more intimate.

    Jan 17, 2017 | Full Review…
  • One of the film's final set pieces is so wonderfully staged that it reminds you what skill Affleck has with the camera. Next time, he should perhaps confine himself behind it.

    Jan 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Live by Night is a solid, interesting but sprawling and often overwrought gangster picture.

    Jan 13, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A footnote in the history of cinematic mob stories.

    Jan 13, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • It ain't rubbish, but Affleck's fly-by-night operation is still one to avoid.

    Jan 13, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Live By Night

  • Jun 26, 2018
    Though it doesn't exactly die on-screen, Ben Affleck's stylish but stale latest presents a Gangsta's Paradise that recycles characters and situations seen time and time again in better 1930s-set mob classics. In this R-rated crime thriller, a group of Boston-bred gangsters (Affleck, Chris Messina, et al) set up shop in balmy Florida during the Prohibition era, facing off against the competition and the Ku Klux Klan. After turning out back-to-back hit A-Grade dramas The Town and Argo, writer-director Affleck had his pick of H'Wood projects, including taking a go at Justice League. Instead of teaming Batman up with other DC heroes, he chooses a different Dark Night, one exuding flourish but ultimately mired in clichés. He should have stuck with the Caped Crusader--not just because Live By Night lacks a unique oomph, but because his singular talents could have definitely improved upon Zach Snyder's less-than-stellar Justice League. Teaming up again with South Boston-born novelist Dennis Lehane (their first collaboration, the excellent kidnapping puzzler Gone Baby Gone, marked the auspicious start of a truly gifted filmmaker), Boston-bred Affleck sees an ambitious chance to leave a mark on the gangster genre, award-winning bestselling book in-hand. What results, however fresh the source material, somehow feels like a long slow walk in Alligator shoes. Punctuated by moments of visual spark (the climactic set piece, a bloody affair set entirely inside an oceanfront Miami hotel, is an exciting symphony even though you already know it note-for-note) and inspired casting, the adaptation hardboils down Lehane's more complicated story into something more pedestrian and bland. Affleck leads a capable cast that stands and delivers, among them Messina, Chris Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Scott Eastwood, and Brendan Gleeson, with Elle Fanning being the standout. They all seem to be having a great time playing Gatsby with Guns (having a slightly better time than the audience, at least), but no one here is walking away with an award. More boorish than noirish, their playing field is an all-too-familiar turf that looks grand (cinematographer Robert Richardson deserves special mention) but is ultimately more of a trope-ical than tropical paradise. To Sum It All Up: Bored-Walk Empire
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 22, 2017
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2017
    Other than the costumes, this flick's a nightmare.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2017
    LOL!!! I love hate-watching some Ben Affleck!
    Stevie S Super Reviewer

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