Lawless (18)

Film

Thrillers

Shia LaBeouf, front, in Lawless

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Wed Sep 5 2012

Virginia, 1931: a time of good men, bad cops, pretty girls and a world turned as rotten as bad moonshine by poverty and prohibition. Cinema has been here many times before, of course, and director John Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave – who worked together on 2005’s ‘The Proposition’ – don’t much surprise with their bone-cracking tale of the bootlegging Bondurant brothers: Jack (Shia LaBeouf), Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke). In a rural backwater, the boys run up against mean cop Charley Rakes (Guy Pearce), an Al Capone-type from the Big Smoke (Gary Oldman) and two beautiful women (Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain).

Hillcoat and Cave’s decision to be liberal with the bloodletting and throat-cutting – knuckledusters in faces, testicles in jars – doesn’t stop their film from feeling a bit too pretty (likewise, Wasikowska and Chastain are perhaps too glossily beautiful as Jack and Forrest’s love interests). And this is not a nuanced tale. Where it has more to offer is in Benoît Delhomme’s photography – there are great pastoral shots – and a relaxed direction by Hillcoat that gives time to endearing performances and a strong sense of place. LaBeouf’s Jack is youthful and outgoing while Hardy offers the anti-charisma of a guy who’s been around the block and had his ribs broken a hundred times.

But there’s little in ‘Lawless’ – a more mainstream film than ‘The Proposition’ – to upset a romantic vision of the Bondurants. That’s surely because Cave’s script is based on a 2008 novel, ‘The Wettest County in the World’, by Matt Bondurant, grandson of one of the brothers. Hillcoat and Cave tell this tale from a perspective of blind fondness – like relatives eulogising their ancestors around the fireplace. It makes for an oddly comfy film considering the death and hurt at its core.

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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Sep 7, 2012

Duration:

116 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Shia LaBeouf

Screenwriter:

Nick Cave

Director:

John Hillcoat

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|21
1 person listening
David Allan

I support most of the reviews: a ripping tale of the good guys against the corrupt bad guys. Great locations, great camera work and very decent acting. Violent, yes but it does not glorify it. Go and see it.

eddie

very good film with some great acting from Guy Pierce and Tom Hardy...highly recommended!

JayneM

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, Its the best film I have seen in ages. Yes its violent, but I loved it! I thought Tom Hardy & Guy Pierce gave sterling performances, Guys character I really disliked, but that is a credit to his acting. Tom Hardy was just fab! A must see

JayneM

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, Its the best film I have seen in ages. Yes its violent, but I loved it! I thought Tom Hardy & Guy Pierce gave sterling performances, Guys character I really disliked, but that is a credit to his acting. Tom Hardy was just fab! A must see

scrumpyjack

Miscast HARDY & LaBeouf's last 15 min RAMBO act, cracking stuff. Oldman rather wasted? Agreed....but THE FIRM wink was back....2 sugars! 8/10

critique

A rollocking good yarn, brutal violence sitting side by side with some unexpected laughs. Hardy is broodingly charismatic and Pearce eerily slimy albeit on occasions bordering on pantomime villain territory. A sort of Proposition-lite.

Hehe

Absolutely capitivating; this is what you call a ROMP! I felt ill going into the cinema and planned to leave early, but could not tear my eyes off the screen. The guttural violence can be hard to stomach, but that carnal, soulful quality permeates every other aspect of the movie, making it a must see.

Hehe

Absolutely capitivating; this is what you call a ROMP! I felt ill going into the cinema and planned to leave early, but could not tear my eyes off the screen. The guttural violence can be hard to stomach, but that carnal, soulful quality permeates every other aspect of the movie, making it a must see.

Sutton

Enjoyable though violent film with some good performances from Tom Hardy and Guy Pearce - scary eyebrows.

Queenie

Just watched Lawless, an excellent and would recommend going to see it. All actors are outstanding, but i have to say Tom Hardy is at his best as always. Go see this film it's one not to be missed

Queenie

Just watched Lawless, an excellent and would recommend going to see it. All actors are outstanding, but i have to say Tom Hardy is at his best as always. Go see this film it's one not to be missed

john o sullivan

Waste of a good cast excessively violent and obssesive period detail cant disguise some poor performances Guy pearce is ott,shitloaf out of his depth and goldman phones in his performance the girls do better with crumbs... chastain is the only interesting character in the film and put another great performance the great Mia recycles her sissy southern drawl to good effect but it just boys with guns with a corny ending

GelS

My wife and I saw a preview of this film yesterday and loved - yes it's violent, but probably realistic. The film grabbed us, especially the filming and soundtrack. Strong acting like this is sadly rare these days. Brilliant stuff.

GelS

My wife and I saw a preview of this film yesterday and loved - yes it's violent, but probably realistic. The film grabbed us, especially the filming and soundtrack. Strong acting like this is sadly rare these days. Brilliant stuff.

Louise

What can I say other than fantastic! Best film I've watched in a long time. Not my kind of film either so was shocked at how much I really enjoyed it.

Louise

What can I say other than fantastic! Best film I've watched in a long time. Not my kind of film either so was shocked at how much I really enjoyed it.