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.

Director:

John Hillcoat

Writers:

Nick Cave (screenplay by), Matt Bondurant (based on the book by: "The Wettest County in the World")
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Popularity
1,000 ( 406)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shia LaBeouf ... Jack Bondurant
Tom Hardy ... Forrest Bondurant
Jason Clarke ... Howard Bondurant
Guy Pearce ... Charley Rakes
Jessica Chastain ... Maggie Beaufort
Mia Wasikowska ... Bertha Minnix
Dane DeHaan ... Cricket Pate
Chris McGarry ... Danny
Tim Tolin Tim Tolin ... Mason Wardell
Gary Oldman ... Floyd Banner
Lew Temple ... Deputy Henry Abshire
Marcus Hester ... Deputy Jeff Richards
Bill Camp ... Sheriff Hodges
Alex Van ... Tizwell Minnix
Noah Taylor ... Gummy Walsh
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Storyline

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

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shia LaBeouf gained 40 pounds for his role. See more »

Goofs

The film takes place in 1931. The ATU (Alcohol Tax Unit) is mentioned, even though that unit wasn't created until 1933. See more »

Quotes

Forrest Bondurant: I'm a Bondurant. We don't lay down for nobody.
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Alternate Versions

9 seconds of gory violence were removed for an R rating in the US. The film was released uncut internationally (including Canada). See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Lawmen in Westerns (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Night of Canakkale
Written and performed by David Sardy and Jordan Tappis
Featuring Wayne Bergeron
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User Reviews

 
Bondurant Family Values
2 April 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Lawless is the story of the three Bondurant brothers from Franklin County, Virginia, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, and the runt of the litter Shia LaBoeuf. Before World War I the Bondurants made a good living selling moonshine, but now Prohibition has arrived and there are new problems on the horizon for those in that business.

One of the most colossal pieces of stupidity that America ever indulged in was Prohibition. We actually amended our constitution so that we could regulate morals. A good lesson for those who think regulation of one's personal behavior is a desired thing. What the Bondurants have to deal with is law enforcement which is in the form of a corrupt District Attorney Tim Tolin.

An idea like Prohibition is sure to bring out the corruption in many who see it as a way to take bribes. Tolin is one of those and he has a special deputy in Guy Pearce ready to enforce the law and those who don't bribe. That would be the Bondurants and we have the makings of an old fashioned mountain feud brewing.

LaBoeuf has a lot of trouble living up to the legend his brothers have created. In fact his weakness is the cause of a lot of problems. But when a young mountain kid Dane DeHaan is murdered by Pearce that gets a war started.

Both LaBoeuf and Pearce deliver some standout performances in Lawless. This is based on a novelization of some real incidents by a descendant of the Bondurant family. The recreation of Prohbition era rural Virginia is well done. Definitely worth a look.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Promised Land See more »

Filming Locations:

Woodbury, Georgia USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,001,982, 2 September 2012

Gross USA:

$37,400,127

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,404,207
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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