Online Film Critics Society

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Reviews: Lawless (2012)

Reviews for this film from our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Lawless, tratto dal romanzo di Matt Bondurant, The wettest County in the world, e’ un modesto incrocio tra la classicita’ ieratica dei western rurali e la scalata ambiziosa dei gangster movie, ambientati ai tempi del proibizionismo.
  • Dragan Antulov @ Draxblog VI
  • Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan
  • Jason Bailey @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: ‘Lawless’ is loosely funny, drippingly atmospheric, and utterly savage–in other words, it’s a helluva good time.”
  • Luke Bonanno @
    • Excerpt: What might have been an unremarkable crime drama about modern urban bootleggers is instead a fascinating tale about real historical outlaws.
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
    • Excerpt: There isn’t really any legitimate reason for Lawless not to be a great movie; but it isn’t. It’s a good movie… but not a great one.
  • Joshua Brunsting @ CriterionCast
    • Excerpt: An odd blend of tones both narratively and directorially, Lawless is a film with, on paper, the potential to be a classic. However, it is neither great, nor a failure, which in turn, may be all one needs to know.
  • Daniel Carlson @ Pajiba
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: When a movie tries to do something different, then stumbles back into the rut of cliches, that can be a real problem. And these are the problems with “Lawless.”
  • Stephen Carty @ Flix Capacitor
  • Stephen Carty @ Flix Capacitor
  • Samuel Castro @ [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: John Hillcoat vuelve a usar, como hizo en The proposition, la fórmula de jugar con el género en un entorno no muy común: un condado perdido de Virginia
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: With his animalistic grunts, low key approach and later, stitched neckline, Tom Hardy plays Forest like Frankenstein, well meaning and protective but also dangerous and pretty indestructible, and he’s got a great adversary in Pearce’s fussy dandy of a villain…
  • Edwin Davies @ A Mighty Fine Blog
    • Excerpt: Shia LaBeouf is a much-maligned actor, largely due to his involvement in the Transformers franchise, but here he makes a good case that he was bad in those films because the films themselves were terrible, not because he is an inherently awful actor. Put simply, Shia LeBeouf is the best he has ever been in Lawless, which sounds like faint praise but resolutely is not.
  • Jim Dixon @
    • Excerpt: Director John Hillcoat (“The Road”) shows us two roosters butting chests in a barnyard early on in “Lawless.” That one shot sums up the movie and could have saved us a lot of time.
  • Clark Douglas @ DVD Verdict
  • Dustin Freeley @ Movies About
    • Excerpt: A former January release that looks at the city folk and the country folk.
  • Cynthia Fuchs @ PopMatters
    • Excerpt: Guy Pearce without eyebrows.
  • Kimberly Gadette @ doddle
    • Excerpt: Blue Ridge Mountain veracity aside, the story’s got to have more kick than some two-bit swill that even Ma Barker’s Ma wouldn’t swallow.
  • Susan Granger @
    • Excerpt: Uneven yet vividly stylish, filled with brutal bloodshed.
  • Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod
    • Excerpt: Of the movies of 2012 I’ve seen so far, few have put together such a surplus of promising raw materials as ‘Lawless’, nor wasted them as egregiously.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @
    • Excerpt: An outsider’s look at a unique moment in American history, the gigantic failed social experiment of Prohibition: withering yet hugely engaging and ringing with unspoken critical parallels with today’s “war on drugs.”
  • Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film
    • Excerpt: Running a small business always takes determination. That goes double if you’re in 1920s America and your business is distilling alcohol. Based on a true story, this is Nick Cave’s second tale of a trio of troubled brothers, and it’ll keep you guessing just like the first. As in that film, there are corrupt lawmen aplenty, but here the corruption itself (turning a blind eye to the shipping of liquor) isn’t the issue – rather, it’s the viciousness of imported special agent Rakes, a foppishly dressed and, we’re told, dubiously perfumed Guy Pearce. Ruthless in his pursuit of a cut of the action, Rakes is out to destroy the brothers, and the violence he brings to their backwoods Virginia community spirals out of control in classic western style.
  • Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
  • Glenn Lovell @
  • Peter Martin @ Twitch
    • Excerpt: Lawless stands as a showcase for several excellent performances and a chilling portrait of a very violent time in a very specific place.
  • Ryan McNeil @ The Matinee
    • Excerpt: Behind every great fortune, there sits a great crime.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: Lawless is, like director John Hillcoat’s other films, the story of people shaped (or mirrored) by their harsh and unforgiving surroundings. A prohibition crime thriller, Lawless feels more like the story of local people fighting fiercely to resist the taming influence of more “civilised” outsiders who believe themselves inherently superior to the “dumb hicks” who have made this terrain livable.
  • Tiago Ramos @ Split Screen [Portuguese]
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: Lawless is the latest in a long line of motion pictures set during American Prohibition, reinforcing our country’s love of outlaws and the mythological tradition of anti-heroes who did bad things because caving in to “the Man” would be a whole lot worse.
  • Marcio Sallem @ Cinema com Crítica [Portuguese]
  • Tom Santilli @
    • Excerpt: As far as a mindless trip to the theater, Lawless is entertaining enough, and keeps moving at a pretty fast click. It just seems like it could have been much more.
  • [New – 5/17] | Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
  • Cole Smithey @
    • Excerpt: Inflected with the same gritty appreciation for brutal violence that director John Hillcoat applied to his Australian-set period Western “The Proposition,” “Lawless” is a Depression-era bootleg gangster fantasy baked in booze, blood, and grime.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guy’s Opinion
  • Phil Villarreal @ OK Magazine
    • Excerpt: The movie pretty much a win, especially for LaBeouf, since there are no CGI sentient robots swiping all the best lines and no sacred franchises or Walgreens destroyed.
  • Ron Wilkinson @
    • Excerpt: A moderately crafted assemblage of violent rural American stereotypes. Falls far short of the high bar set by “The Proposition.”
  • George Zervopoulos @ Movies Ltd [Greek]
Updated: July 10, 2015 — 11:14 am

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