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Sep 13 2016

YNMS: "Live By Night"

byChris Feil

Ben Affleck'sLive By Night,his directorial follow-up toArgo,has been long-rumored to pop up as a late entry into the 2016 Oscar race.Could Warner Bros.be out for some Best Director retribution after Affleck famously missed the nomination for that film?Don't be surprised if its January debut is preceded by a quick qualifying run in the hopes of making up for that sting.

Now we have our first look at what Affleck has been working on between Batman gigs.His second Dennis Lehane adaptation,the film finds the director in his crime saga sweet spot before also taking over the Batman directorial duties.Will this be one to savor before he's wrapped up in that studio monster?Take a look at the first trailer:

Let's break down the Yes,No,Maybe So of this first look...


  • That sure is some cast!Brendan Gleeson,Elle Fanning,Chris Cooper - When don't they deliver?
  • Affleck always does right by his bursting ensembles.Even some ofArgo's less recognizable names make up an interesting fabric of that film.
  • Fanning looks to be the darkest element here.After being one of the tamer pieces toThe Neon Demon's inferno,we're ready to see her get a little haunted."Repent."- if you insist!
  • Those Savannah shooting locations sure are stunning and director of photography Robert Richardson is bringing the beauty to a gloomy genre here.


  • Another entry into the "Sienna Miller Is a Supportive Woman In Three Scenes"Cinematic Universe?Give the actress more to do!
  • Can we go a single Oscar season without a gangster film,please?
  • There's an awful lot of competing (and patchy) dialect work going on.We love you Zoe,but this still sounds Na'vi light.
  • For all of the genre staples present,you can't really tell what this damn thing is about and there just isn't much to separate it from the pack.


  • "Powerful men don't have to be cruel."Another heavy dose of macho proselytiizing or maybe a slight dismantling?
  • Affleck's films have never looked this gorgeously crafted.A step up in production value feels like he's flexing some directorial clout.
  • This has been a pet project of Affleck's for some time.Never doubt what a little passion can bring to studio fare like this.
  • If it does skip the Oscar qualifying route,this could be a welcome respite from the January dumping ground.

So far,I'm unfortunately leaningNOon this until we see it breaking the gangster movie mold.What are your thoughts on another Ben Affleck crime thriller?

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Reader Comments (9)

The images are gorgeous but the script seems mildly awful with all of those great man musings.Does not help that the lines are often delivered by Affleck: consistently the weakest link in his films...

September 13,2016 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

Can't say any element interests me,Gleeson and Copper are always good but not enough to make me go see it and also I just don't like Affleck's persona offscreen.

September 13,2016 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

I get kind of a Road to Perdition vibe,so I'm leaning Yes.

September 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Affleck is 3 for 3 for me on good studio productions,and I'm always up for a new gangster movie.Especially one that looks so gorgeous,with such a great cast,dope costume/production design,exciting action,and strong source material.

I refuse to believe WB would skip a qualifying run,btw.I mean,why even move the movie from Oct to January dumping ground if you weren't planning an American Sniper/Zero Dark Thirty kind of deal?This is a big production,and although Sully was a solid film with a strong BO,I know they want another Oscar player with Collateral Beauty lookin' like a bust.There's just no way they would treat Affleck's new film wrong.He's their golden boy.Their Batman!Their Accountant!They wanna promote his movie the right way and have him show up at all those fancy celebrity parties.

September 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Unless it gets great reviews,I am a no.It seems hokey and ridiculous.

September 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Much as I still love Ben,he seems too modern for the setting,but I'm still a definite "Yes",since he has gone 3 for 3 so far,and that cast and those images look incredible.This does not look like a January movie.

September 13,2016 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

Why am I getting Gangster Squad vibes?

September 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris James

Maybe it looks good but old at the same time

September 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Live by Night is movie set in America from 1920.Its based on a novel from Dennis Lehane.Ben has performed really well and the movie is really good to watch.

November 20,2018 | Unregistered Commentershanaya

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