What you put out into this world will always come back to you, but it never comes back how you predict. Taking fatherly advice is not in Joe Coughlin’s nature. Instead, the WWI vet is a self-proclaimed anti-establishment outlaw, despite being the son of the Boston Police Deputy Superintendent. Joe’s not all bad, though; in fact, he’s not really bad enough for the life he’s chosen. Unlike the gangsters he refuses to work for, he has a sense of justice and an open heart, and both work against him, leaving him vulnerable time and again—in business and in love. Driven by a need to right the wrongs committed against him and those close to him, Joe heads down a risky path that goes against his upbringing and his own moral code. Leaving the cold Boston winter behind, he and his reckless crew turn up the heat in Tampa. And while revenge may taste sweeter than the molasses that infuses every drop of illegal rum he runs, Joe will learn that it comes at a price.
I have this secret love for noir type stories and I can thank Bruce over at GonzoGeek.com for that. Since I’ve gotten into them I’ve seen my fair share of good ones but for the most part they’ve been pretty bad so of course I’m going to try to go in with low expectations. The thing is I believe in Ben Affleck as an actor and director so those expectations started to get higher and higher. I was not disappointed however. There was a great introduction to Affleck’s character and gave it to us upfront view of him to show that he wasn’t particularly the best person but had decent intentions. That set that stage for a bigger story of betrayal, revenge and a hell of a lot more. It was beautifully directed and I was easily transported to the that era of the great storytelling. Again, I may be bias due to the fact that I’m a fan but if you look at Argo and The Town the proof is there. Now the one thing that I didn’t like was the fact that the main purpose of the story was predicated on a lost love and in the end the resolution to it all fell flat. It was set up nicely but it failed to really knock it down. Other than that I felt like it was a strongly directed and acted gangster film and it was so entertaining to watch since we don’t get many of those too often so I can easily recommend picking this up if you like the noir genre. 7/10
The Men of Live by Night – Affleck and the leading men of the film discuss their characters and what they brought to the film.
Live by Night‘s Prolific Author – Author Dennis Lehane talks about how he came up with the story as well as how he feels about it being adapted into a movie.
Angels with Dirty Faces: The Women of Live by Night – This feature dives into each of the lead women in the film and how each one brought out a different side to the main character.
In Close-Up: Creating a Classic Car Chase – This feature looks at the challenges that go into creating a unique car chase.
Deleted Scenes with Commentary – Five scenes that can’t be individually selected and also offer optional commentary. The longest and most interesting has to be the alternate opening that’s included.
Commentary with Director Ben Affleck, Director of Photography Robert Richardson and Production Designer Jess Gonchor