If you’re easily offended, don’t like history, or think that Hollywood shouldn’t make movies that are messy, violent, gritty, old-fashioned gangster films with awesome costume design, then Live by Night isn’t for you.
But here’s the thing about Ben Affleck directed movies, there’s an unapologetic style. From Gone Baby Gone to The Town to Argo, Affleck isn’t afraid of making the smart and complicated movie.
Live by Night is set in Prohibition era Boston (surprise) and then beautiful Florida. Its about control for alcohol supplies and like Argo is set in a historical context.
It is undeniably violent, its narrative includes both the Irish-Italian and Catholic-Protestant rivalries, which echoes contemporary fear of change. The conversation that occurs around alcohol and gambling as a sin running contrary to American puritan roots, also has modern parallels.