Movie Review – Lawless (2012)

Director: John Hillcoat

Stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan

Based on a true story, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities, as well as enemies they make in their general day to day lives.

Forrest (Hardy) and Howard (Clarke) are the elder brothers and are strong and ruthless, whereas Jack (LaBeouf) is the runt of the litter, and not entirely trusted by his other siblings. I liked the relationship between the three of them, and how Jack was trying to go bigger and better to show his elder brothers that he could be of use to them. Hardy is such a charismatic actor and can do so much with his body that he truly embodies his character, and I found his parts of the film captivating. The main story with him is that he has a reputation for being invincible, and even starts to believe it. I love this examination of reputation and myth.

The film suitably evoked the feelings of the period. At times it was slow paced but then exploded with a short burst of action. Guy Pearce was fantastic as the creepy, unsettling antagonist and there was a lot of tension as he came close to catching the brothers.

I was greatly impressed by this film, although I feel the ending felt a little disjointed and it would have perhaps been better served by staying in one time period rather than jumping forward a few years. Aside from that I enjoyed it a lot and it’s definitely one people should check out.

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