Lawless

Lawless Image
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 333 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Lawless is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic gangster tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant’s family in his novel “The Wettest County In The World”, theLawless is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic gangster tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant’s family in his novel “The Wettest County In The World”, the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave. (The Weinstein Company) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 29, 2012
    80
    Lawless is one of those movies that feels like it's trying to say something more important than it really is. It could have been better, but with Hardy and Pearce on board, it's plenty good enough.
  2. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Aug 11, 2012
    80
    If Lawless doesn't achieve the mythic dimensions of the truly great outlaw and gangster movies, it is a highly entertaining tale set in a vivid milieu, told with style and populated by a terrific ensemble.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 29, 2012
    75
    The strength of the cast assembled by Australian-born director John Hillcoat is eye-opening.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Aug 29, 2012
    63
    Lawless is very bloody - but the scenery and production design are a whole lot nicer.
  5. Reviewed by: Jane Crowther
    Sep 1, 2012
    60
    Stylish and savage, but nothing you haven't seen before. Lawless is something of a blunt instrument but seductive nonetheless.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 29, 2012
    50
    So stunningly photographed that the blood that spurts early and often in this grisly period piece is extra-vivid red. But that hardly makes the Prohibition-era story of a trio of bootlegging brothers feel authentic.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 29, 2012
    38
    It's hard to make a movie about moonshiners that isn't entertaining, but the lethargic, generically titled Lawless comes perilously close - at least a third of its two hours is devoted to "arty'' shots of landscapes.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 51
  2. Negative: 5 out of 51
  1. Dec 10, 2012
    10
    Ran across this movie last week. I have watched it at least 25 times now, read the book and did a little ancestry research. PhenomenalRan 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
  2. Dec 23, 2013
    9
    An excellently cast and written movie that manages to be extremely brutal without coming across as over excessive with it's violence. It mightAn 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. Expand
  3. Sep 1, 2012
    8
    Nick Cave and John Hillcoat are back and they offer us another sophisticated historical film "de genre". Lawless is obviously less original,Nick Cave and John Hillcoat are back and they offer us another sophisticated historical film "de genre". Lawless is obviously less original, violent and - let's admit it - interesting than its predecessor (The Proposition), it is nonetheless a powerful and striking effort focusing on the destiny of a brotherhood of local gangsters during the prohibition. The actors are convincing, especially supporting actors such as the gorgeous Jessica Chastain and aweful Guy Pearce. Quite classical, but with a modern and exquisite presentation. Expand
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    7
    Not a bad movie. But watching it after you hear it involves John Hillcoat, Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman,Not a bad movie. But watching it after you hear it involves John Hillcoat, Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman, you can't help but be disappointed. Expand
  5. Feb 3, 2013
    6
    If Atlantic City showed us the Broadway of prohibition violence, Lawless takes us through the back alleys in the world bootleggers andIf Atlantic City showed us the Broadway of prohibition violence, Lawless takes us through the back alleys in the world bootleggers and moonshiners. Tom Hardy stands tall as usual and the rest of the well put together cast bring a solid punch. If your looking for good ol country boys with nothing to lose and principle then your in the right town. Lawless pours you drink of violence and bad ass while not spilling a drop. Expand
  6. Sep 17, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A very good story and authentic filming location. I gave the lower score of 6 because the director should have had more care in the control of analyzing his scenes for a professional portrayal. I can definitely see Tom Hardy nominated for best supporting actor, he was that good of a character actor (think of Heath Ledger quality of acting and more of his Broke Back Mountain character minus the gay and you'll have the character Forrest in this film). Guy Pierce once again shows he's maybe just a slight step up on acting skills than Van Damme (why do they keep recasting this guy?). I could think of several B movie actors that would have done a better job than him. Jason Clarke did very well and Dane Deehan did a really good job as the character Cricket, but Tom Hardy is the one that made this film shine. SPOILER: My biggest qualm is the scenes where Jack is beaten REALLY badly by Charlie Rakes. Jack is thrown off the porch and lands on a hidden "fall pad" under the dirt and then Charlie follows after him stepping on the same pad; wow talk about amateur scene direction! You can actually see the ground bounce twice of what looks like a buried mattress. Then this scene is followed up with Jack sitting at the family station after he cleaned himself up and Forrest sees him. Jack looks almost no worse for wear and like he's been on the mend for 2 or more weeks. Hello MAKEUP, your fired. Story and acting (minus Guy) I give an 8. Directing I give a 5. Expand
  7. Sep 4, 2012
    0
    It was a horrible movie!The worst one I have seen so far. An absolutely meaningless plot with a tremendous amount of a brutal violence. IIt was a horrible movie!The worst one I have seen so far. An absolutely meaningless plot with a tremendous amount of a brutal violence. I honestly have no idea why there is a film about a bunch of criminals who were selling the moonshine. What is so special about it? In those days it was very popular in Russia. Almost in every village there were people who were involved in such activities as producing the moonshine why do we need to spend two hours of our life just to stare at this disaster? Expand

See all 51 User Reviews

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