Lawless - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lawless Reviews

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March 28, 2015
Excellently acted and a plot that is well played out with a little too much romantic side-plot for my taste, but I got over it. Locations and clothing represented the timeframe really well and the story was a good example of little people standing up against corruption and senseless laws.
½ March 22, 2015
Watched this a while ago, but haven't rated it yet.
March 20, 2015
To be honest, the story wasn't very interesting for me, but all the actors were great and Tom Hardy was simply brilliant! :) He really makes even the not-so-positive characters likeable! :) Can't wait to see more of him! :)
February 21, 2015
"Lawless" is the true story of bootlegging brothers who can't seem to stay out of trouble. I think this is a great picture with great acting performances by the entire cast, which isn't seen a lot in cinema. For what this film is trying to be, I think it pulls it off nicely. While some of the scenes are dull and drag, I do think any viewer can watch this film and have no regrets of seeing it after watching it all the way through. 7.6/10
February 17, 2015
Esperaba mas de esta pelicula,igual esta buena 6/10
February 15, 2015
Sharply-made with a terrific cast, this one packs a satisfying, if imperfect, punch!
½ August 30, 2012
Definitely an interesting ride with some truly BRUTAL violence, but nowhere near perfect with some slower parts and a truly bizarre climactic shoot-out. The plot is pretty thin and lots of subplots seem irrelevant but you're honestly never bored watching it, largely due to the great cast. Guy Pearce has never been more intense, and his imposing physical performance is truly memorable with shaved-off eyebrows, a gaunt appearance, and slicked-back hair with a wide part in the middle. The three brothers were cast well with Shia LaBeouf stepping into his big-boy pants, Jason Clarke as the constantly drunk muscle of the family and Tom Hardy playing a very restrained, soft-spoken bad-ass who won't take any shit from anyone. The period drama is great to look at and features some harsh violence that you feel in your gut, but it is a bit unexceptional and the ending shoot-out really let me down where almost no one is dying though the characters are no more than 20 feet apart. Definitely watch it for Guy Pearce's performance though, he will stick with you and get under your skin!
September 1, 2012
I liked it back when I saw it
October 20, 2013
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
Super Reviewer
½ February 7, 2015
always enjoy watching shia, tom hardy was good in it. a good cast, soundtrack & style to it. decent writing by nick cave. more please!
August 10, 2012
Great cast! Should be an enjoyable movie.
January 24, 2015
Bloody, dirty, grim, and superbly acted. Tom Hardy stands out the most.
½ January 19, 2015
Some might think disturbingly violent, or overlong for the plot. I may be one of those people.
½ January 18, 2015
Incredibly gritty, and some real mean characters. Just like life would have it as well. While some sequences and story events were squeezed in too tightly, the overall pace was good. The semi-ending was really violent.
½ January 14, 2015
Guy Pierce is a haunting villain, and the film is well-made. However, Shia Labouf is hit and miss, and it doesn't stick to its root story very much at all, more like a standalone plot than a retelling.
½ January 12, 2015
A very watchable, somewhat pulpy 1920's bootlegging drama with a strong cast and a sharp cutting edge. Shia LaBeouf outside of the clumsy hands of Michael bay and his awful space robot movies is a decent actor, and you only need to glance over the cast list to know this is unlikely to be a washout; although Gary Oldman is only on screen about three or four times. Working against this is the slack pacing that never really builds to anything that exciting. And Guy Pearce's character is too much the one dimensional bad guy along-side what are supposed to be real life people. Uneven reality, and slack pacing aside, this is one of the stronger crime movies of the year.
October 19, 2014
If you are interested in the prohibition era, you may want to give this movie a shot, just know the plot can be a little muddled at times. Still it looks great and showcases an electrifying and sinister performance from Guy Pearce, whom is completely unrecognizable.
½ August 28, 2012
I hate to see things go to waste. Like Shia LaBeouf: very funny and charming in Even Stevens and Holes, and clearly capable of drama based on Disturbia. Then he somehow became synonymous with being smarmy, arrogant, and insufferably obnoxious. I guess he played Sam Witwicky too well. Also, "The Road" movie. Beautiful opportunity ruined by cheesy narration, terrible music, and too much happy. I hoped Lawless would be a new chance for both the Beouf and The Road director John Hillcoat. Come on, it has Tom Hardy. No such luck.

Jack (Shia LaBeouf), Howard (Jason Clarke), and Forrest (Tom Hardy) Bondurant are successful bootlegging siblings in Franklin, Virginia during prohibition. The law doesn't bother them, they are well liked in town, and allegedly, Forrest is unkillable. Things shake up with two new arrivals from Chicago: Maggie (Jessica Chastain), a waitress with a past, and Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce), an eyebrow-less FBI agent who wants a cut of the business. The Bondurants refuse to bow down, and Jack tries to court Bertha (Mia Wasikowska) in his spare time. But Rakes won't give up, and when he decides to make it personal, all hell breaks loose.

When your violent gangster movie features Tom Hardy as a hulking yet wise tough guy with a penchant for brass knuckles and a reputation for surviving death, why make his little brother the main character? Especially when that brother is Shia LaBeouf and is cowardly, useless, and the cause of every bad thing that happens to the characters in the film? Also, why go through the trouble of having Gary Oldman if you only have him in one scene? So yeah, the plot and characters of Lawless aren't great. In fact, both are pretty boring. God knows the actors work hard with nothing, but there's a limit. The script by Nick Cave (seriously?) is hyperbolic, shallow, and confusing, and like in The Road, Hillcoat's direction is much too slow.

As I said earlier, it sucks to see things go to waste, especially an interesting story like Lawless that could've been a unique and interesting prohibition film. I admit that I'm a bit tired of big-city shootouts and fedoras. But Lawless is so endless and monotonous that I'm reconsidering that. Not much happens, but the film takes so long to do anything that I couldn't get invested. It's also relentlessly and cartoonishly violent, which is completely unnecessary and only served to take me further out of the story.

Saying that I was disappointed by Lawless wouldn't be true. But at the same time, I know it could've been so much more. Especially since it's a true story, which should've been a reason to attach emotionally to the characters and narrative. Sadly everything is underdeveloped; the people are uninteresting, the dialogue is insipid, the plot is a mess, and the pacing is terrible. Lawless probably would've been silly no matter who made it, but it could at least have been more fun to watch. So stay away, because something nasty got into the moonshine.
½ December 13, 2014
Some entertaining elements, with good performances. It misfires quite often however.
December 13, 2014
The Prohibition Era in American history is often most famously explored in cities in movies; this time it moves from the city to the Virginia countryside to tell the true story of the Bondurant brothers, who were infamous bootleggers in their time. Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke star as the brothers, and they're all good, although LaBeouf and Hardy get more of the focus than Clarke. Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain are also good as LaBeouf and Hardy's love interests respectively, and Guy Pearce, in what I felt was a performance that should have gotten an Oscar nomination, was fantastic as the over-the-top corrupt sheriff who vows to bring the brothers down at any cost. Gary Oldman also shows up here, but he was woefully underused.

This isn't necessarily a groundbreaking look at Prohibition, but it certainly has its share of romance, shootouts, and villainy that you need for a movie like this. 8/10.
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