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Lawless (2012)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  29 August 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 168,874 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 »


Special Deputy Rake assaults Jack and repeatedly punches him on the left side of the face however later on for the rest of the time that the bruises are visible they are located on the right side of his face. See more »


[last lines]
Jack Bondurant: Nowadays we Bondurants abide by the law. People ain't tryin' to cut our throats, stab us, or shoot us no more. Them days are long gone. Sometimes when I'm out on the porch just sittin' around doin' nothin', hell, it sure does get real quite around here.
See more »


Referenced in Film 2015: Episode dated 12 November 2014 (2014) See more »


Midnight Run
Words and music by Marc Copely, James Bernard Dolan and Adam Levy
Performed by John Wesley Ryles
Produced by Buddy Cannon
Licensed courtesy of The Weinstein Company, LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

good but not memorable
4 August 2013 | by See all my reviews

Lawless was extremely well filmed, looked great and stayed true to year it was set in. The cast was strong and all delivered good performances, especially Tom Hardy, who once again showed how much of a versatile actor he is. Shia LaBeouf was also a stand out performer for me.

The plot is simple but easy to follow. There are some extremely gruesome scenes and some bits of good gun action. Apart from a few scenes, the film was pretty much just dialouge. There wasn't much going on really. It was a decent film but ultimately it is something that I won't remember in a few weeks. I can see why some have rated it so highly, I guess this just isn't the sort of thing I normally like. It was good but I wouldn't watch it again.


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