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Lawless (2012)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  29 August 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 168,642 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 273 user | 350 critic | 38 from

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Tolin ...
Deputy Jeff Richards
Sheriff Hodges
Tizwell Minnix


In 1931, in Franklin County, Virginia, Forrest Bondurant is a legend as immortal after surviving the war. Together with his brothers Howard and the coward Jack, the Bondurant family has a distillery and bootlegging business. When the corrupt District Attorney Mason Wardell arrives in Franklin with the unscrupulous Special Deputy Charles Rakes, the Bondurant family refuses to pay the required bribe to the authorities. Rakes pursues the brothers and unsuccessfully tries to find their distillery. Meanwhile Forrest hires the waitress Maggie, a woman with a hidden past in Chicago, and they fall in love with each other. Jack courts the preacher's daughter Bertha Minnix and deals a great load of alcoholic liquor with the powerful gangster Floyd Banner. Jack shows off in Franklin attracting the attention of Rakes that finds the location of their distillery. When he kills the crippled Cricket Pete, the locals join forces to face the corrupt authorities. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When the law became corrupt, outlaws became heroes.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 August 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Promised Land  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,001,566 (USA) (31 August 2012)


$37,397,291 (USA) (21 November 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ryan Gosling, Scarlett Johansson, and Michael Shannon were originally slated to top line the project together with Shia LaBeouf. See more »


There was a sign for Grapette soda but according to, Grapette started in 1939. See more »


Jack Bondurant: Tell your daddy I said "hi".
See more »


Featured in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.129 (2012) See more »


He Is All
Written and performed by David Sardy and Jordan Tappis
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Prohibition time: the most interesting battles are not just in the cities...
13 October 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Hold it everyone! Don't be put off because this has Shia Le Beouf in it. Yes, some of you loath him for the Transformers movies, Indy 4 and plenty of other stuff. However, in this one he manages to find a good vehicle to change his tact.

We are in prohibition time, in the countryside in Virginia. The men are tough and they enforce their own law protecting their moonshine businesses. However they aren't the cringing redneck cliché of many other films; this isn't Deliverance. This is a dark movie where it seems those outwith of the religious community live and survive by force. In comes law enforcers from outside led by a sadistic sergeant, and we have an explosive mix.

Again, don't get the wrong impression. This film isn't about gung-ho good v evil. This is a lot more. Based on a true story (albeit likely taking big liberties with the truth), this is about the relationship of three brothers: two are ruthless whilst the third (Le Beouf) is weak. They look out for each other and that's the real nub.

Action comes generally in short sharp moments, but thankfully doesn't detract from the rest of the movie. Surprisingly some great acting and great camera work.

Personally, I enjoyed this very much. Ending was the only bit I was disappointed with but rest was very good. Give it a try, you may be surprised with what you find.

60 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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