Every winning streak has to end to some time. “Live by Night” will go down as the first “L” in the loss column for Ben Affleck as a film director. After climbing to the top of the mountain with the trio of “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Town,” and the Oscar parade of “Argo,” there was nowhere to go but down, but this newest film is a little more than down.
Where using a composite character gets dicey is when they are made the lead because their fictional presence can outweigh the history and accuracy around them. Too much can be skewed to suit a character that doesn’t exist. That is exactly what occurs in “Patriots Day,” Peter Berg’s third consecutive collaboration with Mark Wahlberg. The makings for a stocked and stacked ensemble drama are dismantled by the misplaced hero worship that becomes little more than a vanity project.