The Early Buzz On Ben Affleck’s LIVE BY NIGHT Is In. What’s The Verdict?

Something that’s been a recurring topic on the LOS FANBOYS Podcast and within your own circles, I’m sure, is what a linchpin Ben Affleck is for the DC Extended Universe. The Batman actor is seen as one of the few unanimously praised aspects of the WB’s DC plans, and a huge part of that has been his fantastic creative output as a director so far. The man hasn’t had a dud yet, with Gone Baby Gone, Argo, and The Town all garnering rave reviews and turning Affleck into a filmmaker to watch out for. That’s why folks got so excited when it was announced he’d be directing and co-writing The Batman.

Affleck’s got another Warner Bros. film to release before he can tackle The Batman, though. It’s called Live By Night, and it’s coming out in a few days. The early reviews have started trickling in. 

How’s it looking for Affleck’s next? Not so good.

Kellvin has been warning listeners of the podcast for a while that Live By Night is not being spoken of favorably, and that the film is, as he puts it, “Caca.” But we know Kellvin can be a bit of a colorful character, and he doesn’t tend to care about being too analytical. He tries to enjoy things simply as a fan, so there was a chance it just wasn’t his cup of tea. Now that the reviews from real critics are hitting the web, though, we’re getting a better sense of what’s up with Live By Night.

Several major outlets have given their verdict on the film, and it ain’t pretty…

“The … nagging hole in the thriller is Affleck himself, playing a tough guy with a sense of right and wrong, in a stolid performance that takes up a lot of space without packing the necessary gravitas.”

– David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

“It’s like seeing the ghost of a terrific movie: All the pieces are in place, yet as you’re watching it (or thinking back on it afterwards), there doesn’t seem to be quite enough there there.”

– Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Live by Night may be about rum, but the pacing is like molasses.”

– Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News

In the positive column, the best you’ll find is this:

“Chock-full of sturdy fedoras, thick accents and double-crossing mobsters, the resulting film is both remarkably compelling and a bewildering mixed bag.”

– Tomris Laffly, Time Out

It’s still early yet, and we can’t predict what the final verdict will be on the film, but something is already clear: No matter what, Live By Night is not going to be the kind of critical and “award season” darling that has adorned Affleck’s directing resumé so far. This will likely take some of the shine off of Affleck as the WB’s Golden Boy.

You surprised to hear that Affleck’s latest is getting this kind of response? Think it’ll have any impact on the kind of leeway the studio gives him for The Batman

SOURCE: Rotten Tomatoes

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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