by Tim Ryan
on Thursday, Aug. 30 2012, 04:20 PM
This week at the movies, we've got bootlegging brothers (Lawless, starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy), a bedeviled box (The Possession, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick), and some bewitching balloons (The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure, featuring Toni Braxton and Christopher Lloyd). Director John Hillcoat (The Road) has carved out a niche as a filmmaker skilled at wringing empathy from bleak and bloody scenarios. Critics say his latest, Lawless, is brilliantly acted and evocatively atmospheric, which helps it to overcome the script's sometimes slack narrative. The Possession earns points for injecting a dash of Jewish mysticism into the bedeviled-tot subgenre. Otherwise, critics say, this is a pretty ho-hum frightfest.