The problem with Ben Affleck, the actor

"Live By Night" is, by all measures, a decently watchable film that is well directed and stylized well enough to harken us back to a time when Gangster films defined a particular era of cinema. I can't say anything else about it, for the time being, due to embargo restrictions, but I do want to talk about Ben Affleck, not the director, but the actor himself.

"Affleck hasn't really shown any kind of legitimately great acting skills over the course of his, now 22 year, career. If anything I'd say that he gave his truest, most mature performance in "Gone Girl," very much due in part to its director, David Fincher, I presume, purposely casting him as the unlikable protagonist. Other than the "Gone Girl" performance, his acting track record has been spotty at best. The other times he actually pulled off believable, unforced performances were in his more playful, earlier roles such as in "Dazed and Confused," "Mallrats" and, even, "Good Will Hunting."

Over the course of his career, his performances have lacked dimension, felt wooden and too self-absorbed to be taken seriously. Although I do find his directing can be inspired at times. Just watch the way he shoots action in "The Town," there's talent there, but also a severe lack of focus in other parts. What can I say, his art just doesn't impress me.