If you belong to the “Boardwalk Empire” society, then how about a trip to the country? “Lawless” also takes place during Prohibition and has plenty of gangsters and gunfire. Sit back. Take your shoes off.
Tom Hardy leads a great ensemble cast in this story of a rural family reaching out for the American dream by giving America what it wanted most in 1931. Booze.
Hardy plays Forrest Bondurant. Shia LaBeouf is younger brother, Jack. Jason Clarke is drunkard brother, Howard. Together they are the leading suppliers of moonshine in Franklin County, Virginia.
It’s easy to root for the brotherly trio, because the local officials are such dirt bags. Special Deputy Charley Rakes (Guy Pearce) is as strange as he is corrupt. Pearce convincingly gets behind his oddball role. He’s the guy that really makes this film interesting.
I am rapidly joining the Tom Hardy fan club. There’s nothing particularly outstanding about this role. Yet, he’s great as the stoic patriarch who practices restraint as much as he can. When he does let loose, get out of the way.
“Lawless” is not a great film. But, it’s a competent well-directed effort by John Hillcoat with a better-than-average story and screenplay. Nick Cave wrote the words and the music for the film. It’s based on the book “The Wettest County in the World.” Grade: B+
Opened: August 29, 2012
Runtime: 115 minutes
Released by The Weinstein Company