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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Live By Night

After reading a few of my movie reviews, you'll probably learn that I like a good "shoot first, ask questions later" movie. Remember when I reviewed Gangster Squad on here four years ago? I find it hard to believe that movie was reviewed almost exactly four years ago. It's also hard to believe the amount of times that Ben Affleck has mysteriously found his way on to my site. I'm not his biggest fan, but I have enjoyed him in both Gone Girl in 2014 and The Accountant last year.

Even though Affleck is the star in his latest film, Live By Night, he's certainly not the best part about it. That accolade would have to go to the beautiful scenery. And maybe he played a part in that, too, considering that he directed this movie as well. The plot: Prohibition in the 1920s is in full force, but the gangster-run speakeasies are looking to make bank off selling illegal liquor. Joe Coughlin (played by Affleck) is an outlaw with two interests: being a criminal and being in love. Coughlin gets involved with the two biggest mobsters to make a name for himself not only in Boston but in Tampa, too.
Live By Night is great when it comes to the comedic timing of the side characters like Chris Messina who plays Affleck's sidekick or Matthew Maher who plays a Ku Klux Klan member and a thorn in Affleck's side. And you really can't deny the powerful performance of Elle Fanning's Loretta Figgis -- a junkie turned proselytizing evangelist. But for the most part, when those characters aren't in the scenes, the movie practically falls flat. Zoe Saldana doesn't do enough and Sienna Miller does too much.

Because of my affinity for gangster-style films (and Zoe Saldana), I am probably rating this one heart higher than I normally would. I don't think you need to see this movie in theaters, but it would be a fun Friday night watch at home.
Live By Night - opened 1/13:

  • Split - opened 1/20: M. Night Shyamalan has come back with a bang! He really needed to revive his career after giving us great films but then following them up with terrible nonsense. If you're into thrillers then you have to go see Split. James McAvoy kills in the role of a person with more than 20 personalities. It really is a fantastic thrill ride. Rating: 
  • A Dog's Purpose - opened 1/27: If you're not a dog person then there's no real reason for you to see this movie. But being that I own two dogs, the previews for A Dog's Purpose really tugged at my heartstrings. The movie, itself, was super predictable, but I knew that it would be going into it. It's not supposed to do anything special but make you cry at all the cute dog parts. And it totally succeeded at doing so. Rating: 
  • Even though I haven't seen these, I do hear really good things about Moonlight, Manchester By the Sea and Lion. I think I've already seen all the other Oscar best picture nominees except for Hacksaw Ridge. I can tell you that I fell asleep during Arrival, but that's not because the movie was bad. It's because it was 1 A.M. I think it's actually a pretty good film. Fences has the best performances of all the nominated movies; Hell or High Water is just a solid, solid movie; Hidden Figures gives you everything you want in a movie; and La La Land is fabulous, but now seems overrated after how well it did at the Golden Globes. I honestly have no idea which film will win! Do you?
  • Logan
  • The Power Rangers
  • The Girl With All The Gifts


Rachelle Pinksole said...

I want to see moonlight and manchester by the sea so badly. I'll wait for live-by-night.


Emmylou MW said...

Oh my gosh! I've been dying to see Split! Love James McAvoy so hard:D
And thanks for the honest review on this, Cheryl. As much as I love Ben as a director (Argo is still one of my fave films), I'll pass on this one.

Rach DiMare said...

You may not know this, but your Movie post is always a good reminder that there are good movies to watch! I love Zoe too so live by night may be added to the must watch list haha.

Style Domination said...

I have an absolutely embarassing crush on Ben Affleck. LOVE HIM.

Marina Rosie said...

Loved this review! x Yass, ZOE! x
Lots of love,
Marina Rosie xx

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

I have absolutely no interest in any movies with Ben Affleck but Split looks like it would be a really good thriller.

Tanvi Rastogi said...

I will check it out. I have to catch up on all Oscar nominations in next 10 days. I have Moonlight, Manchester By the Sea and Lion, Fences to watch :) Wish me luck.


Oh to Be a Muse said...

Sounds like a good plan. The hubs has been begging me to see Moonlight for months. You know when it's been a while and then you're like, I might as well just wait to rent it at this point, lol.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

Honestly, it's fun, but it's not really theater-worthy. But Split, on the other hand, is pretty amazing!

Oh to Be a Muse said...

I'm so glad to hear that! I sometimes feel like I do these movie review posts just for myself because they're not fashion related. But it's good to know that you actually get something out of them. And yes, Zoe Saldana is one of my faves!

Oh to Be a Muse said...

LOL, that is hilarious! He's never been my type, but I can see how others like him. Did you know that he has a gigantic tattoo on his back now?

Oh to Be a Muse said...

Zoe is a babe! How does she still have such a rockin' body after having twins? Amazing.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

LMAO, you're too funny. I find that people either love Ben or hate Ben. But, you're right -- Split was a fantastic thriller. Definitely worth a watch.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

I, too, have to watch Moonlight, Manchester By the Sea and Lion. Fences should probably win in the best actor/actress categories, more so than best overall film, imo. Probably quite unlikely that Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge or Hell or High Water will win.

I think La La Land, Hidden Figures and either Moonlight or Manchester By the Sea will win. Clearly, I have no idea, lol.

Evolve With Mary said...

I’m a huge fan of gangster movies and Zoe Saldana. Ben Affleck is growing on me. I was never a big fan, but lately, he’s been tickling my fancy. I can’t wait to watch Live by Night; it looks sooooo good.

Beth Shankle-Anderson said...

I love honest and thorough movie reviews and you have provided just that. I'm afraid that I'm behind on my movie watching, but hope to catch up using your post as a guide.

Beth ||

FashionJazz said...

I am so behind on movies, but you gave a honest review, I would love to see this :) xx

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Live By Night sounds interesting, but I really want to see Split!

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