“It no longer matters what you want. You’re in this life.”
No, these are not the words Warner Bros. gave Ben Affleck after the critically maligned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. They’re from the trailer for his new film, Live by Night. Based on the 2012 novel, this crime thriller follows gangster Joe Coughlin (Affleck) as he makes his mark in prohibition-era Boston. The film is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Affleck himself.
The film looks handsomely shot and performed, which comes as no surprise given Affleck’s track record behind the director’s chair. It will be interesting to see if the film can rise above the crop of modern gangster pictures like American Gangster or Public Enemies. It’s a genre that’s been honed to perfection by great directors and has a high bar to reach for excellence. However, Affleck’s experience in crime film (Gone Baby Gone, The Town) should lend itself well to making this at least a compelling watch.
Live By Night is due out on January 13, 2017.