Ben Affleck writes, produces, and stars in this adaptation of Dennis Lehane's sprawling crime novel centering on the prodigal son of a prominent police chief, and his gradual descent into the criminal underworld. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Consensus:Live by Night boasts visual style and an impressive cast, but they're lost in a would-be crime saga that finds producer, director, and star Ben Affleck revisiting familiar themes to diminishing effect.
New York Magazine/Vulture
You probably won't turn it off when it comes on cable. But the material needs to be bigger, more momentous, as well as more intimate.
That speaks well of Affleck -- the screenwriter -- in demonstrating maturity by offering up more nuanced characters than we generally expect from the average gangster movie. Still, that maturity doesn't mitigate the shortcomings of the film's star.