Live By Night

Featured In Issue 216, April/May 2017

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Color With B/W Sequences
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Ben Affleck
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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The story of Live By Night is about that what you put out into this world will always come back to you, but it never comes back how you predict. Taking fatherly advice is not in Joe Coughlin’s (Affleck) nature. Instead, the WWI vet is a self-proclaimed, anti-establishment outlaw, despite being the son of the Boston Police Deputy Superintendent. Joe’s not all bad, though; in fact, he’s not really bad enough for the life he’s chosen. Unlike the gangsters he refuses to work for, he has a sense of justice and an open heart, and both work against him, leaving him vulnerable time and again––in business and in love. Driven by a need to right the wrongs committed against him and those close to him, Joe heads down a risky path that goes against his upbringing and his own moral code. Leaving the cold Boston winter behind, he and his reckless crew turn up the heat in Tampa. And while revenge may taste sweeter than the molasses that infuses every drop of illegal rum he runs, Joe will learn that it comes at a price. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director/Actor Ben Affleck; four featurettes: Angels With Dirty Faces: The Women Of Live By Night (HD 08:54), The Men Of Live By Night (HD 08:30), Live By Night’s Prolific Author (HD 06:53), and In Close Up: Creating A Classic Car Chase (HD 07:35); deleted scenes with and without commentary (HD 15:56); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed with the Arri Alexa 65 camera system in Panavision® Super 70. The imagery is gorgeous, with a cinematic appearance that exhibits dense, saturated hues with engaging warmth and richness. Beautifully photographed by Cinematographer Robert Richardson, ASC. Colors are darkly hued in scenes with low-light attributes. Shadow delineation is nicely revealing and essential to the Great Depression period stylization. Costume design is wonderful, with beautiful warm hues. Lighting highlights enhance the sense of natural contrast, whether in interior or exterior scenes. Black levels are deep and nicely contrasted against highlights. Resolution is generally soft, though, finer detail is evident in close-ups of object textures, clothing, hair, and facial features. This is a true cinematic experience that projects enormous warmth and color richness. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely atmospheric with segments of heightened violence and dynamic sonics. During the violent scenes, pelting gunfire in the form of handguns, shotguns, machine guns, and explosions ring with high-energy, deep-bass extension in the .1 LFE channel, as well as directionalized surround engagement. Foley effects also are excellent and enhance the convincing realism of the period. The sound of cars and trains of the period are realistic. The music score is perfectly complementary, with a low-bass foundation. The music is well recorded with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the surrounds. Crowd noise in the evangel flock tent meetings is nicely enveloping. Dialogue is natural sounding, though, a bit challenging to understand in the early Irish dialect scenes, but is decently integrated spatially. This is a great holosonic® soundtrack with effective dynamics and surround envelopment. (Gary Reber)