Lawless Reviews

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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
Erin Free
FILMINK (Australia)
October 12, 2012
This Prohibition-era crime drama boasts bravura performances, unforgettable characters, moments of shocking violence, and enough in-your-face entertainment for three films.
Julie Rigg
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
October 12, 2012
In the climax, Hillcoat brings it all back to where it began: as a folk tale. You could read it as a tale of the triumph of the small businessman.
Matt Neal
The Standard
October 12, 2012
A powerful story that packs a punch (plus a few stabbings and shootings).
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Simon Miraudo
October 10, 2012
Utterly untroubled by any expectation to entertain - or even mildly engage - the audience, Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave take a stroll through 1930s Virginia with the enthusiasm of beleaguered berry-pickers rather than raucous bootleggers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Ian Buckwalter
The Washingtonian
October 9, 2012
The cinematic equivalent of a murder ballad: rambling, violent, and more concerned with style and presentation than meaningful character development. Which sounds like a complaint, but in the case of Lawless, is high praise.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.5/10
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show
October 9, 2012
Lawless is by no means a bad film, it's just a recipe with great ingredients that didn't fully deliver.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
October 8, 2012
A sporadically watchable misfire...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Patrick Kolan
Shotgun Critic
October 8, 2012
As you'd expect from that kind of artistic pedigree, 'Lawless' is a well-oiled production that knows exactly what kind of film it is: a classic revenge tragedy with Tommy-guns and fiddles in the dustbowl South.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Ed Gibbs
The Sun Herald
October 7, 2012
John Hillcoat's tale of Prohibition bootleggers boasts excellent performances, but doesn't feel as focused or nuanced as The Proposition (his last collaboration with Cave).
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Paul Chambers
Movie Chambers
October 5, 2012
Tom Hardy leads a great ensemble cast in this story of a rural family reaching out for the American dream by giving America what it wanted most in 1931. Booze.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Bruce Bennett
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
October 5, 2012
A compelling, authentic eye-popping tale with a worthy and ready cast that forces any of the film's flaws to the back burner.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Sam Bathe
Fan The Fire
September 30, 2012
One of the standout movies of the year, never mind the summer.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ben Kendrick
September 27, 2012
Lawless may not entirely live up to the sum of all its celebrated parts but it succeeds in telling a riveting 'true life' historical drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
September 25, 2012
... if you can take it, there's good stuff here ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk
September 20, 2012
It offers an anti-romanticized history in which the violence is more brutal, the characters more deplorable, and the vengeance downright Biblical. It's not quite a cartoon, but it comes close.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
September 17, 2012
Seems to have been cut on a tight deadline: Gangster Gary Oldman all but disappears after his Tommy gun-blazing entrance, and Jessica Chastain has little to do as an unlikely refugee-stripper turned Bondurant waitress-mascot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Neil Pond
American Profile
September 14, 2012
Like the kickapoo hillbilly brew slow-cooking in one of the Bondurant stills, it packs a punch that may be thrilling to some, but possibly a bit too strong and unsettling for some stomachs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Kristian Harloff
Schmoes Know
September 14, 2012
If you go in expecting full-on action you may be disappointed, but I did enjoy both the action and the slower beats, and for that I'm giving this 4/5 Schmoes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Mark Ellis
Schmoes Know
September 14, 2012
Bane leading the charge, the movie had a Public Enemies vibe to it. You feel totally immersed in this time and the southern dialect, a tough one to not go overboard on, was pulled off very well by all parties in the film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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