Excerpt: 2012’s Lawless assembles not only a large cast of well-known actors, but also, a very talented one. It’s set during the during the early 1930’s during the prohibition era. It focuses on three brothers and their efforts to make moonshine and sell it illegally. Tom Hardy (still bulked up from his role as Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises”) stars as Forrest Bondurant. Forrest is the oldest brother who also keeps everyone in line.
Excerpt: Cinematically speaking, good ol’ boys living in the backwoods during the Prohibition era means plenty of fiddle music, chewin’ tobacky, and Tommy guns. And when Old Bessie runs out of gas, just pour some of that pure grain alcohol in the tank, and you’re off like blazes. Moonshine, Pop Skull, Everclear, White Lightning, or whatever you want to call it, if what you’re drinking is flammable and can double as gasoline, it might not be fit for human consumption.
Excerpt: The prohibition era of America may have dried up the land, but that period of temperance also produced myriad stories of the conflicts between rival bootleggers, crooked cops, not-crooked cops, and gangsters looking to score massive windfalls. The subject has been a hot property lately thanks to the success of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” (2010-present), so I was hoping that director John Hillcoat ’s latest effort, “Lawless” (2012), would satisfy my curiosity as to what was...
Excerpt: Back in 1931, moonshiners were on the run from prohibition. Today, moonshiners have reality TV shows . We’ve matured, clearly. Leading the Bondurant clan is Forrest (Tom Hardy), soft spoken with a penchant for brass knuckles. His makeshift booze territory is soon to collapse under the weight of pressure from outsiders. Politicians are moving in on the trade, the rich seeing money in the product and demanding money to access trade routes.
Conclusion: 'Lawless' has a great pedigree, but fails to come together into a cohesive whole. Still, Shia LeBeouf and Guy Pearce both turn in excellent performances, and the film meticulously recreates the Prohibition period. The audio and video on this Blu-ray are fantastic, and the special features are for the most part interesting and informative. 'Lawless' has its problems, but is still intriguing enough to warrant a viewing or two.
Summary: The film loses a bit of steam toward the end thanks to a messy shootout and a coda that felt slightly tacked on. Fortunately, Lawless also boasts a terrific ensemble cast guided by a talented director telling a story dealing with a chapter of American history that’s been curiously underserved on the big screen.
Excerpt: The third collaboration between director John Hillcoat and writer Nick Cave (their first being Ghosts Of The Civil Dead and the second being the better known The Proposition), 2012’s Lawless leaves the duo’s homeland of Australia for prohibition era Virginia – Franklin County, to be exact. Here we meet a bootlegger named Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy), the strong silent type who isn’t messed with – the local law knows better.
Conclusion: Lawless seems to nail its period recreation, and not just through sets and costumes. The actors live the time and violence with striking precision. The story doesn't necessarily make for the end-all, be-all of Gangster/Prohibition period films, but it does everything very well and nothing poorly. The movie feels a hair overlong but at the same time it never drags too much.