What Is 'Live By Night' About? Exploring the Intriguing Plot of This Film

What Is ‘Live By Night’ About? Exploring the Intriguing Plot of This Film

What Is ‘Live By Night’ About? Exploring the Intriguing Plot of This Film

The Synopsis

‘Live By Night’ is a crime drama film released in 2016, based on the novel of the same name written by Dennis Lehane. The plot follows Joe Coughlin, a young man who turns his back on his respectable upbringing and becomes a notorious gangster in 1920s Boston. Fueled by revenge, ambition, and romance, Joe’s journey takes him from the shadows of the criminal underworld to the glitzy streets of Florida.

Setting the Stage in Prohibition-Era Boston

The film kicks off in Boston during the Prohibition era, a time when the sale, production, and distribution of alcohol were illegal. This sets the perfect backdrop for a story filled with bootleggers, speakeasies, and power struggles. As Joe Coughlin immerses himself in the criminal world, he battles rival gangs, corrupt cops, and his own inner demons.

A Tale of Revenge, Ambition, and Love

At the core of ‘Live By Night’ is Joe Coughlin’s quest for revenge against the Irish mob boss who double-crossed him. Joe’s thirst for vengeance drives him to build his own criminal empire and become a formidable figure in the underground scene. Along the way, he encounters powerful adversaries and navigates complex relationships, including a passionate romance with a Cuban immigrant named Graciela.

The Journey to Florida

As tensions rise in Boston, Joe Coughlin relocates to the booming city of Tampa, Florida. Here, he sets his sights on controlling the rum business, using his wit and cunning to outsmart his competitors. As he expands his empire, Joe finds himself entangled in a web of treachery and must navigate the dangerous waters of the organized crime industry.

The Themes Explored

One of the central themes in ‘Live By Night’ is the blurred line between good and evil. Joe Coughlin’s journey forces him to question his own morality as he is faced with difficult choices and embraces a life of crime. The film also explores themes of redemption, loyalty, and the consequences of one’s actions.

The Cast and Crew

‘Live By Night’ boasts a talented cast, including Ben Affleck as Joe Coughlin, Sienna Miller as Emma Gould, Elle Fanning as Loretta Figgis, and Zoe Saldana as Graciela. Ben Affleck not only starred in the film but also directed and co-wrote the screenplay. The movie received critical acclaim for its stunning visuals, captivating performances, and compelling storytelling.


‘Live By Night’ is a thrilling crime drama that delves into the dark and captivating world of organized crime during the Prohibition era. With its intriguing plot, complex characters, and exploration of timeless themes, this film offers a cinematic experience that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Whether you’re a fan of crime sagas or simply enjoy a well-crafted story, ‘Live By Night’ is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, sit back, grab some popcorn, and prepare to be immersed in the gripping tale of Joe Coughlin.


1. What is the plot of “Live By Night”?

The plot of “Live By Night” revolves around a group of organized crime figures in the Prohibition era, focusing on a young man named Joe Coughlin who becomes involved in the world of illegal activities.

2. Who is the main character in “Live By Night”?

The main character in “Live By Night” is Joe Coughlin, portrayed by actor Ben Affleck, who also directed and co-wrote the film.

3. Where does the story of “Live By Night” take place?

The story of “Live By Night” mostly takes place in the city of Boston, Massachusetts during the 1920s and 1930s, a time known for its Prohibition and organized crime activities.

4. What makes the plot of “Live By Night” intriguing?

The plot of “Live By Night” is intriguing due to its mix of crime, romance, and drama. It explores themes of power, loyalty, and redemption, making for a captivating storyline.

5. Who are the other notable characters in “Live By Night”?

Apart from Joe Coughlin, “Live By Night” features a range of interesting characters, including crime boss Albert White, love interest Emma Gould, police officer Thomas Coughlin (Joe’s father), and rival gangster Maso Pescatore.

6. Is “Live By Night” based on a book?

Yes, “Live By Night” is based on a novel of the same name written by Dennis Lehane. The novel was published in 2012 prior to the film’s release.

7. Who directed “Live By Night”?

“Live By Night” was directed by Ben Affleck, who is also known for his work in films like “Gone Baby Gone” and “Argo”.

8. Did “Live By Night” receive any awards or nominations?

While “Live By Night” did not receive any major awards or nominations, its stunning cinematography and production design were praised by critics.

9. What genre does “Live By Night” fall into?

“Live By Night” falls into the genres of crime, drama, and historical fiction, blending elements of each to create a unique cinematic experience.

10. Is “Live By Night” suitable for all audiences?

“Live By Night” is rated R, indicating that it contains violence, strong language, and adult themes. It may not be suitable for younger or sensitive viewers.