The Film (3/5)
Well, Ben Affleck has been hitting them out of the park since his debut feature Gone Baby, Gone in 2007. It is unlikely that he was to keep that streak going forever, and so it ends here with Live By Night. I will say it is an entertaining film as a whole, but when stacked up against his recent successes it just does not match up.
Live by Night follows Joe, the outlaw son of a Boston police superintendent. He decides to eschew the criminal life in Boston to become a rum bootlegger in prohibition era Tampa, FL. Unfortunately, he has to face off with the KKK and religious zealots to keep his business afloat. After prohibition ends, business dries up, and so does the other businesses he is running.
I had high hopes for Live by Night. I loved Argo, The Town, and Gone Baby, Gone, and thought he had another great film in him. Unfortunately, his second adaptation of a Dennis Lehane book after Gone Baby, Gone seems to have gotten away from him. The film is a period piece set in prohibition era Boston and Florida, and the details and cinematography are gorgeous. There are some great action set pieces, but the overall plot is almost too complex, and details are lost in translation to screen.
Warner presents Live by Night in a solid 1080p AVC encoded transfer that looks lush, well detailed, and everything looks truly tremendous here. Even if you're not into the film itself, it looks well represented here.
Audio is presented with a Dolby Atmos track that sounds fantastic. Dialogue and score come through nicely. I detected no issues.
We get a commentary with Ben Affleck, multiple features, and deleted scenes.
Live by Night is not a great film, but it is largely entertaining especially in the middle section of the film with some decent action to recommend it on. It also has some great period design and the cinematography is great. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic, and has a limited extras slate. RECOMMENDED.