Rated R 115 minutes 2012

With Lawless, I was hoping for a late-summer powerhouse that would top off a mediocre season. I figured a film with John Hillcoat at the helm and featuring Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce and Shia LaBeouf couldn’t fail. While Lawless isn’t a complete failure, it is a bit of a letdown. Hillcoat (The Road) here is telling the “true story” of the Bondurant brothers, Depression-era bootleggers who stood up to the law. That sounded appealing. However, the film makes the mistake of positioning the youngest brother, Jack (LaBeouf), as the primary character, when his older brothers, Forrest (Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke), are far more compelling. LaBeouf isn’t necessarily bad; it’s just that Hardy and Clarke are way better and far more interesting to watch. Guy Pearce overdoes it as the bad guy in a film that ultimately feels empty and misdirected.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: John Hillcoat

Producer: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Megan Ellison, Michael Benaroya, Dany Wolf, Rachel Shane, Jason Blum, Scott Hanson, Cassian Elwes, Laura Rister, Robert Barnum, Ted Schipper, Randy Manis and Ben Sachs

Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan, Chris McGarry, Tim Tolin, Gary Oldman, Lew Temple, Marcus Hester, Bill Camp, Alex Van and Noah Taylor



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