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Lawless (2012)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  29 August 2012 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 148,634 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 261 user | 333 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Lawless (2012)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tim Tolin ...
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Deputy Jeff Richards
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Sheriff Hodges
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Tizwell Minnix
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Storyline

In 1931, in Franklyn 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 Franklyn with the unscrupulous Special Deputy Charles Rakes, the Bondurant family refuses to pay the required bribe to the authorities. Rakes pursuits 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 Franklyn attracting the attention of Rakes that finds the location of their distillery. When he kills the crippled Cricket Pate, the locals join forces to face the corrupt authorities. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the law became corrupt, outlaws became heroes.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Promised Land  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson were originally cast, but the movie was shut down, and Jessica Chastain eventually got the role. See more »

Goofs

Jack leaves his left shoe at the church and while walking to see Cricket his missing shoe is plainly visible. When Jack is assaulted by Special Deputy Rakes he is shown with both shoes on even though he doesn't get the shoe back until much later at Black Water station. See more »

Quotes

Forrest Bondurant: I thought I walked.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2012 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Fire and Brimstone
Written by Link Wray (as Fred Lincoln Wray, Jr.)
Performed by The Bootleggers
Featuring Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan appears courtesy of 4 AD Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A terrific (true?) story. 87.5+%
24 October 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This movie is based on a book written by a relative of some of the main characters depicted in this movie...just looked up Wikipedia, and the author was Matt Bondurant, whose grandfather, Jack Bondurant, is called "the runt of the litter" of the Bondurant brothers featured in this tale of moonshiners in the age of Prohibition in America. That book was called "The wettest county in the world" and the title refers to how much illegal alcohol was produced in that area. The novel was adapted for cinema by Australian alternative rock icon Nick Cave.

The story concerns how the Bondurant's once cozy relationship with sympathetic rural police is changed by the arrival of a corrupt Chicago law enforcement officer, Charlie Rakes (played by Australian Guy Pearce), who wants a cut of the Bondurant's illegal liquor business. Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy) is not one to cave in to these demands. Things get ugly, but there is some romance in this movie too.

Whilst being a terrific yarn, the quirky central performances won't garner any Oscar attention, I wouldn't think. Guy Pearce's dandy/fop take on Charlie Rakes is highly stylised and amusing before he just becomes a plain horrible character. Tom Hardy's take on Forrest Bondurant incorporates many big cat like purrs, which also amuse.

Set in America's South, you mostly hear Southern drawls, so if Cave's screenplay is any good, you will miss a chunk of it unless you can decipher the more unintelligible dialogue in this movie...which I couldn't, but I understood enough of it not to lose the plot. Early on in the film, the reality of life in the South is not elided...you will see signs of racial segregation...literally.

Even though this movie doesn't have a lot of violence in it, when it does occur, it is bloody and horrific...both in what you actually see happen and the horrific implied violence which you do not see...except for the aftermath. These moments can be very confronting...it's horror movie territory.

Since the movie is based on a book by a member of the Bondurant family, you have to wonder how much is fictionalised in order to paint the clan in a positive light. Watching the end of the movie, concerning a final confrontation with Charlie Rakes, you have to wonder if it really happened that way.

Whilst not a 'chick flick', there are some romantic moments. There's a little bit of comedy too...I'm not sure if Pearce's and Hardy's performances are deliberately amusing, but apart from that aspect, there are some other amusing moments in the movie. I also liked the singing you first hear when Jack enters a church to be close to a woman he fancies (Australian actress Mia Wasikowska. There is a big Australian contingent in this movie. I did see Noah Taylor in the credits but don't remember seeing him in the movie).

Apparently this movie has things in common with Cave's original screenplay for the Australian movie "The proposition". I haven't seen that movie but if you like either movie, it might pay to check out the other if you haven't seen it.

I could see this movie winning an Oscar for best picture or adapted screenplay.

A ripping yarn.


56 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Prohibition ended in 1930. This movie is set in 1931. DUMB! richard-j-wilson
what happend to maggie at that night? sanjoydevil
Tom Hardy's voice the_spiral
Hooked, Tom Hardy is awesome! jenola67
So much hate towards this great movie! trikee1
Did women drive back then??? jdelacruz07
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