Lawless Boasting a fantastic cast and directed by John Hillcoat ( The Road, The Proposition ), Lawless is a gangster bio-pic set during American Prohibition. It tells the story of the Bondurant brothers who run an illicit trade in their own home-brew moonshine and export the product over county lines whilst exploiting local rumours that the head of their family, Forrest, appears to be indestructible. These dealings bring the family in to conflict with other local gangs and law enforcement officers, with brutal consequences. As events unfold, Forrest's younger brother Jack decides to up the stakes. With Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska all giving solid performances, it is surprising that the film doesn't manage to reach any dizzy heights. With nearly every scene shot in tight close up, lacking background detail, the film looks intense but has very little depth to it and in places, the choice of soundtrack is baffling, both factors that reduce the enjoyment of the film. The script, story and acting are all of a high standard but the characterisation, pacing and tone of the film seems a little off here and there. Reportedly based on true events, Lawless is a solid, gangster folk tale that could have been so much more. It is the sort of film that may benefit from a second watch.
7.5 out of 10
Cert 18 (uk)