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Serious Filmmaker Ben Affleck Returns To His Boston Comfort Zone With "Live By Night"

Ben Affleck's latest turn as writer, director, and star looks suspiciously like a return to form.

WHAT: The first trailer for Live By Night, a Boston-set prohibition-era gangster movie.

WHO: Writer, director, and star Ben Affleck.

WHY WE CARE: After playing Batman last spring with decidedly mixed results, Ben Affleck is getting back in the auteur seat again. His latest project is an adaptation of a hardboiled Dennis Lehane novel, source material that worked well for the star's first directorial outing, Gone Baby Gone. Generic title aside, the new film, Live By Night, seems to have a lot in its favor. Affleck's Joe Coughlin is a white fedora-clad Roaring '20s gangster who just wants out of the scene. Obviously, he's not getting out without leaving a lot of tears and corpses in his wake. This first trailer promises flappers and booze barrels, back alley gunfights and staircase showdowns, along with a stellar cast that includes Brendan Gleeson and Zoe Saldana. Despite the grim specter of Gangster Squad still hanging in the air from a few years ago, this looks like the project that will make everyone remember Ben Affleck can be a filmmaking force to be reckoned with when he wants.