User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 205 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 205

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  1. Aug 29, 2012
    One of the best movies of the year. While it doesn't quite reach Hillcoat's masterpiece The Proposition, it's still a beautifully shot, though brutally violent period piece that is expertly acted by the entire cast. While it's ultimately Tom Hardy who steals the show, Guy Pearce looks to be having the time of his life playing the cartoonish (in a good way) and sleazy villain, and Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' soundtrack stays with you long after the credits roll. Expand
  2. Aug 31, 2012
    What a rollicking good ol' time at the movies! Think "Breaking Bad", circa 1930, and you have a taste of what "Lawless" is like. Stellar ensemble cast, beautiful cinematography, tremendous production design, one of the best soundtracks of the year (reminiscent of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?), and a LOT of action! Dunno if its gonna cause any Oscar buzz, but I sure liked it!

    This one is
    NOT for the squeamish though! TONS o' graphic violence and very bloody, but all of it fits within the realm of the story, so I won't call it gratuitous. Definitely not for everyone because of this factor, Those that see it and have a discriminating eye may catch some editing, continuity, & make-up gaffs, but you know what? Heck, even "Terry Malloy" (Brando) even gets outta the wrong side of the cab in On the Waterfront, so you'll find little "oopsah-daisies" in the very best films of all time. Downloading the soundtrack from iTunes tonight. Grade = A- Expand
  3. Sep 9, 2012
    Not a film for the squeamish or faint-hearted. Casting very good, music was tremendous and the cinematography was superb. I especially thought the casting of women was tops.
  4. Dec 23, 2013
    An excellently cast and written movie that manages to be extremely brutal without coming across as over excessive with it's violence. It might not get all the facts right but it still provides an excellent look into the lives of these characters. It might even make you want to look further into the history of the events yourself. I really enjoyed Lawless and highly recommend watching it.
  5. Sep 8, 2012
    This film has many aspects that make a movie great. There are amazing and fun characters, there is an interesting story, great acting, tension, ect. This movie had something that is missing from movies today and it was made as a money-grabber but it was made to be a great movie. The audience liked this movie, it had scenes that were funny and sad. It had scenes that were made you laugh out loud and sit on the edge of your seat. Everything is great about this movie. Only downside was a little bit too much blood at the very beginning (just a little bit too much) and there wasn't enough Garry Oldman but Tom Hardy and Shia Labeouf played outstandingly. Expand
  6. Sep 10, 2012
    Brilliant film, wonderful cast. Good to see Tom Hardy playing more American roles. Guy Pearce's character is a total shocker and well acted. I can't praise this film enough. Everybody has their own tastes with regards to what makes a good film and for people to go on this site and slate it is just sad and wrong!!! Good film and if you are the sort to slate this film, get out of your dark little cave and live a little. Collapse
  7. Nov 26, 2012
    Highly underrated - very strong narrative, impressive mise en scène and (f)lawless (see what I did there) acting. The ending could be better, but "Lawless" remains a somewhat important movie in my opinion. The quartet's (Hardy, LaBoeuf, Clarke and Pearce) acting alone should make you wanna see this, it's really a masterclass.
  8. Dec 10, 2012
    Ran across this movie last week. I have watched it at least 25 times now, read the book and did a little ancestry research. Phenomenal casting, soundtrack carries you to the period and the emotion of the time. Compelling cinematography captures the essences of the hard times people managed to thrive and survive. The movie captures the genuineness of the family bond and speaks to the nature and character of the men and women of the era. My Grandfather and his brother were bootleg drivers in Oklahoma/Arkansas/Louisiana. My Grandfather survived, his brother did not, killed while hall white-lighting, in a high speed chase. Have pictures of them, the stills they operated and their stories. This movie brought back a lot of memories, Love the movie, the acting, location, book, history. Expand
  9. Dec 14, 2013
    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 with plenty of entertaining and memorable characters coupled with smart filmmaking choices. A few core story beats aren’t fully realized and there are some awkward moments of truth and fiction balancing but, nevertheless, the movie delivers a brutal and exceptionally honest look at the Bondurant Boys and their fascinating (not to mention dangerous) bootlegging days. Expand
  10. Mar 15, 2013
    An all star cast makes this one of my favorite films of 2012. Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Jason Clarke, Dane Deehan, and even Shia LaBeouf give top notch performances. Making Lawless a must see.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Sep 3, 2012
    An uneven mix of impressively executed, violent clichés about good ol' boys defending the American right to flout the law.
  2. Reviewed by: Jane Crowther
    Sep 1, 2012
    Stylish and savage, but nothing you haven't seen before. Lawless is something of a blunt instrument but seductive nonetheless.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Aug 31, 2012
    Lawless is one of those films that, through seeming serendipity, has a cast that defines its moment. There have been others - "The Breakfast Club," "The Godfather" and "Silverado," to name one irrelevant and two relevant examples. But Lawless really lucked out.