They fear crime, yet they live in it; a couple must then escape to the innocent adrenaline of firsthand freedom, independence, and love for as long as they can. It’s a classic Romeo and Juliet ordeal set though right in noir-York territory. Sadly, this gist nor its counterpart of cringy on-the-nose execution ceased to impress me, but at least “They Live by Night” will always thrive on as one of the dopest movie titles I’ve ever heard of. It’s a pretty looking film too, but still a bottom-tier Nicholas Ray effort by a long-shot in whole. Here’s my daily dose of millennial fuel, readers: it’s all a-okay in the end because Edgar Wright would do the story better justice nearly 70 years later with the brighter and less melodramatic release Baby Driver.
“They Live by Night” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.