• R, 1 hr. 55 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    John Hillcoat
  • In Theaters:    Aug 29, 2012 Limited
  • On DVD:    Nov 27, 2012
  • The Weinstein Company

Lawless Reviews

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Nicolas Rapold
Film Comment Magazine
July 1, 2013

Hillcoat makes a foray into Virginia's Prohibition-era moonshine country. But the adaptation (by Hillcoat compadre Nick Cave) is a hokey piece of pop history that wearyingly insists upon its own mythos like a comic-book blockbuster.

John Hanlon
Big Hollywood
June 30, 2013

This fact-based drama succeeds because of its great cast and its strong story of loyalty and brotherhood.

Full Review | Original Score: 5.0/5
Will Leitch
June 23, 2013

The movie is smart and focused on what it's trying to be.

Full Review | Original Score: B
David Thomson
The New Republic
Top Critic
June 14, 2013

It's slight and casual to the point of laziness, but it's straight fun, done with knowledge and a laconic pleasure. You could do far worse.

Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger
May 26, 2013

Hillcoat exhausts every gangster cliché he can cram into a would-be epic distilling hooch, cooch and putsch into a diluted Scorsese mash.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Meredith Borders
Badass Digest
April 3, 2013

If only LAWLESS weren't such a superficial endeavor, these parts would add up to a very entertaining whole. As is, the movie is fun while it lasts but forgettable soon after.

Catherine Bray
March 4, 2013

A pumped-up, Hollywood-flavoured neo-Gothic Western delivering knockout performances and raw, corporeal thrills.

Tom Glasson
Concrete Playground
March 3, 2013

An impressive Aussie line-up shines in this tale of Prohibition-era bootleggers.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Eric Melin
December 20, 2012

Lawless features a unique villain and several great supporting actors, but none of them are able to rise above what is pretty standard crime movie material with nothing really new added to the mix.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Chuck Bowen
Slant Magazine
November 28, 2012

Lawless is a compellingly nutty and uneven gangster film.

Richard Knight
Windy City Times
November 11, 2012

fairly entertaining

Rob Humanick
Projection Booth
November 5, 2012

Appropriately solemn and violent, yet strangely lifeless. I imagine a better film was lost in the editing room, and will hopefully be found on Blu-ray.

| Original Score: 2.5/4
Robert Denerstein
Movie Habit
October 20, 2012

Tale of bootleggers has genre kick

Jim Schembri
October 19, 2012

Every time things heat up, the film down-shifts just long enough to keep you from getting too engaged in the characters, some of whom disappear for reels before popping up again.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Perry Seibert
TV Guide's Movie Guide
October 19, 2012

Just as he did in his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Hillcoat creates a very specific and unnerving sense of place in Lawless.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Adam Ross
The Aristocrat
October 15, 2012

...[Hillcoat] has an ability to capture violence in a way that breaks through a century of cinematic desensitisation - when someone gets hurt in a John Hillcoat film you feel it.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Matthew Toomey
ABC Radio Brisbane
October 15, 2012

The strong narrative will keep you interested. The graphic depiction of the violence also gives Lawless a heavy dose of realism.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Luke Buckmaster
October 15, 2012

Director John Hillcoat's terrifically acted prohibition era thriller, inspired by the real-life story of the Bondurant brothers, shows how the American dream starting to go wrong - before it even existed.

Tim Martain
The Mercury
October 12, 2012

Don't expect to be carried along by big action and cliched dialogue, Lawless expects you to do some of the work yourself by immersing yourself in this richly textured world.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Leigh Paatsch
Herald Sun (Australia)
October 12, 2012

The film as a whole is no classic. Between sporadic bursts of very intense violence, there are often drifty, drowsy scenes that struggle to justify their relevance.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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