Lawless Movie Review


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

Directed by John Hillcoat


Rated: R

Run Time: 115 mins

Genre: Crime/ Drama/ Based on a True Story


Opens Wednesday August 29, 2012


By Lisa Minzey


For this week’s midweek release, we have a film that is not only an adaptation of a book; it’s also based on a true story. Author Matt Bondurant, grandson of the Shia LeBeouf’s role Jack Bondurant, wrote the prohibition historical novel,” The Wettest County in the World” which Nick Cave adapted the screenplay from.


During the Prohibition Era  of the 1920’s & 1930’s, crime was out of control. In Franklin County,Virginia, the Bondurant brothers dominated the moonshine business. Eldest brother, Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy), was the ringleader of the operation; Middle Brother Howard (Jason Clarke), was the brawn and youngest brother Jack (Shia LaBeouf) was the driver. Jack always wanted to run his own operation and be able to spend the money they bring in, but Forrest saw him as weak. Even as a child, when Forrest when try to toughen Jack up, Jack would always back down, leaving Forrest to take the reigns and finish the job.


The Bondurants and the lawmen ofFranklinCountyhad an understanding, as long as they law got their share, they could operate. That all changed when Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) moved into town to cracking down on the bootleggers of the land. A recent transplant from Chicago, Rakes made a beeline to the Bondurant boys to show them who’s in charge.  Forrest does not yield to anyone and defiance is unacceptable to Rakes. The Bondurants have now moved to the number one spot on the crocked lawman’s most wanted list.


When Forrest is viciously attacked one night by some out of town thugs, Jack and Howard are left to keep the family business going. Will Jack be able to use this as an opportunity to prove himself to Forrest by working with mobster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman)?  Will Franklin County take back control from the mob that has invaded their area or will it fall into dangerous hands? Can the Bondurant family business survive the turf war between the mob/police and the bootleggers of the land?


Films that are based on a book are always tricky, as some people argue that the book is always better. This film, on its own, is a pretty enjoyable film, but it does get rather violent.

Check it out in a theater near you when it opens August 29th.