Review – Lawless (2012)


Violence, Violence And Yet More Violence…..Helluva Movie Though.

If you like your movies violent as hell and completely bloodsoaked, then this is going to be right up your street.

Set in Franklin County, Virginia in 1931, it’s the era of prohibition. Apparently based on a true story, it follows a trio of bootlegging brothers, the Bondurant’s, played by Shia LeBouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke who basically make a living out of moonshine, which they make in illegal stills and sell to the local yokels. Just a family trying to make a living anyway they know how, they fiercely protect their tiny empire violently when necessary, desperately trying to make ends meet on the wrong side of the law…. Sounds perfectly simple right ???

Enter Guy Pearce as Special Deputy Charley Rakes, who’s been drafted in by the local law enforcement officers to help smash the local bootlegging industry, and all those involved. He’s a thoroughly nasty piece of work, a truly vile human being, who uses any means possible, lawful or more often than not, unlawful, to achieve his goal of destroying every illegal still in the area, and taking down the Bondurant brothers. Oh yeah, I forgot we have Gary Oldman as local mobster Floyd Banner thrown into the mix. He only has a few minutes of screen time but he absolutely makes the most of them.

What follows is a series of events that culminates in a violent showdown at the County Line between the law and the Bondurants. There are bullets flying everywhere throughout the two hour running time, not to mention some really nasty stuff going on inbetween, which include a rape, stabbings, and a castration, thankfully performed off screen, to mention but a few. It’s all superbly done and has a slight feel of Bonnie And Clyde to it, with a smattering of Deliverance thrown in. The stand out performance for me though has to be Guy Pearce, who totally relishes every horrendous, evil, mean spirited moment he’s on screen. I can honestly say that for pure nastiness he easily matches Leonardo De Caprio’s plantation owner in Django Unchained. To sum up, I loved this movie, and will almost certainly give it a second viewing sometime in the future….BUT BE WARNED, the violence flows freely. It’s extremely graphic and very unpleasant at times. That being said I completely and 100% recommend this film……







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I am passionate about movies and cinema generally. I love talking about them and writing about them.

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