Live by Night ★★½

The kind of epic, sprawling narrative that feels significantly short-changed by the film format, it could have made a terrific TV show. Far too much incident compressed into the 2-hour and change running time to really feel a sense for the characters and the central revenge plot is put on the back-burner for so long that you start to wonder if it might not bother resolving it at all. I'm also growing wary of Affleck's desire to have his bad guy characters but redeem them too, with his good deeds here (fighting against racism, nepotism and the Klu Klux Klan) working too hard to redeem his unsavory central character, who is allowed to be bad-ass but shielded from anything that might be too wrong. Robert Richardson's work is uncharacteristically bland, Harry Gregson-Williams' score seems to lift a motif from Morricone's score for THE UNTOUCHABLES, which only further underlines the shortcomings here.