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Live by Night

Director:  Ben Affleck
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  1.0

Boston-based hoodlum Joe Coughlin (Affleck) - whose father is a police officer (Brendan Gleeson) - has a secret affair with Emma (Sienna Miller), his mob boss' girlfriend; upon discovery of the liaison, Joe is beaten up, tries to flee to California, goes to jail, gets out, starts working for his former boss' Italian rival and is sent to Florida to make rum, start a casino and fight off the KKK (yeesh!). Although Affleck's working from another novel by Dennis Lehane, this comes across as a plodding Scorsese/Boardwalk Empire retread - the poster reads "Joe was once a good man," but I personally found him to be non-empathetic and flatly sociopathic ... plus the 'romantic' storylines, with both Emma and Graciela (Zoe Saldana), are so underdeveloped they don't pay off in a satisfactory way. Maybe those pictures that have made their way around social media of Affleck looking physically drained and smoking are onto something: he just might be burned out, since this feels like the result of someone going through the motions.

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