‘Lawless': 4 out of 5 stars
Sep. 11, 2012
“When the law becomes corrupt, outlaws become heroes.” This quote sums up the plotline for the characters in John Hillcoat’s new movie, "Lawless."
Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Va., "Lawless" tells the true story of the three Bondurant brothers and their moonshine and bootlegging business that would soon become a local legend.
Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy), the eldest of the brothers, leads the bootlegging business with an iron fist. Forrest, along with the other Bondurant brothers, has a reputation in Franklin County for being invincible. The brothers believe this as well, which is eventually what gets Jack Bondurant into trouble.
Shia LaBeouf portrays the youngest brother, Jack Bondurant. After complications arise in the business, Jack takes it under his wing. Originally the timid brother, he is forced to muster up the courage his elder brothers tried to instill in him throughout the years.
Complications continue when Special Agent Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) comes to Franklin. Rakes’ goal is to cut off all production of bootleggers in Franklin County. After the Bondurants refuse to comply, Rakes makes ending the Bondurants’ reign his mission.
LaBeouf’s portrayal of Jack Bondurant is mesmerizing, and his emotional range is incredible as he transforms from the timid brother who was afraid to raise a fist against anyone to the shotgun-wielding man with the vision of success and power.
Hardy’s performance is intimidating to say the least. He never raises his voice above a monotone, unwavering manner, but this disposition makes him so intimidating and powerful.
"Lawless" is one of those movies that keep audience members on the edges of their seats from the first scene to the rolling credits. Don’t miss it.