Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lawless Movie Review

Lawless Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello Director: John Hillcoat (‘The Road,’ ‘The Proposition’) Starring: Tom Hardy (‘The Dark Knight Rises’), Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke (‘Zero Dark Thirty’), Guy Pearce (‘Prometheus’), Mia Wasikowska (‘Alice in Wonderland’), Jessica Chastain (‘The Help’) and Gary Oldman Crime westerns are often characterized with countless battles of gunfire, but are often void of true character development and diverse roles for actors to truly emotionally mature in. But the new film ‘Lawless,’ which reunites ‘The Proposition’ director and writer, John Hillcoat and Nick Cave, effortlessly intertwines the fierceness of hard-working men trying to provide for their family with their passionate desires. The gun battle instead merely acts as a backdrop and catalyst for the pain the main characters continuously feel throughout the course of the film. ‘Lawless’ is based on the true story of the infamous bootlegging Bondurant Brothers who are struggling to survive in Prohibition-era Franklin County, Virginia. The brothers include the eldest, Howard (Jason Clarke), who came home from the Great War changed, due to the fighting he had seen; Forrest (Tom Hardy), who continuously beats death with a quiet strength and visceral invincibility that have come to define him; and impressionable Jack (Shia LaBeouf), the youngest brother, whose sensitivity and emotions often dictates how he reacts to confrontation. Since jobs are scarce, the Bondurant Brothers have built a thriving business selling a popular brand of moonshine. But the brothers’ ways are tested with the arrival of Chicago’s Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce), whose corrupt ways and desire to change the balance in Virginia. The brothers’ lives are also changed when Jack’s growing ambitions and enterprises alter the balance of power between them. He elicits help from his friend Cricket (Dane DeHaan), to set up their own moonshine business. One of their customers is the notorious gangster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman), who Jack idolizes. The dynamic between the Bondurants is also changed when Jack begins pursing the quiet Bertha (Mia Wasikowska), the daughter of the local preacher. Forrest also starts a relationship with the secretive, exotic Maggie (Jessica Chastain), who begins working for the brothers upon her arrival in Virginia. Based on the 2008 novel ‘The Wettest County in the World’ by Matt Bondurant, ‘Lawless’ is full of unique, strong-willed characters whose ambitions and emotions are clearly defined by the well-cast actors hired by Hillcoat. The clearly defined, original characters, from the Bondurant Brothers to the women they have come to love to the lawmen trying to control or eradicate their business, aren’t afraid to show their emotions and motivations when needed. Hillcoat rightfully and creatively didn’t just focus on the violence between the brothers and Charlie as they fought over the future of Franklin County; he also used their emotions to move the action and plot forward. To continue reading this review, please visit Shockya.


  1. With an awesome cast, and some electrifying moments of blood and action, Lawless has a lot going for it being the last big blockbuster of the summer, even if it isn’t all that fast-paced as some people may think. Good review Karen.

  2. Thank you for reading my review! I'm glad you liked the film.