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Lawless (2012)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  29 August 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 168,618 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?


Actor Shia LaBeouf drank moonshine in order to gain as authentic an appearance as possible. By his own admission his drinking and over-aggressive attitude caused co-star Mia Wasikowska to try and leave the film. See more »


When Jack and Cricket are driving with the truck full of moonshine, the amount of crates in the back of the truck changes several times. See more »


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


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


Music by Bradshaw
Written by Philip Doddridge
Performed by Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Everything seemed to good to be true. And it was, but only a little bit.
12 September 2012 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Lawless has a great cast - Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce. - And a great story about three brother's growing up in Depression- era Virginia and based on a true story. The three brother's are bootleggers, but when a special deputy and other police figures want a cut of their action, their whole world turns upside down.

Everything seemed too good to be true. The cast, the story, everything. And it was, but only a little bit. The film was great, very enjoyable to watch, great acting from everyone involved. But the film, I felt, lacked something. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters, as in they felt too two-dimensional. I didn't really feel how they felt at certain points and it should have showed the brotherhood more instead of opting for blood and violence. I think the film needed to be more humorous, because it needed something to ease the tension between those bloody scenes and I think that was it.

Shia LaBeouf was very good and Tom Hardy was even better. Even the smaller roles like Gary Oldman's character were acted well. I think it spent too much time on the whole romance aspect of it and it should have laid off of that a bit more. But the acting was great from everyone and it was an enjoyable time at the cinema. It is a good film, but didn't live up to the expectations I had.

A solid 7/10.

36 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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