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Lawless [Blu-ray] (Get Three Selected Blu-ray Titles for £17*)

Tom Hardy , Shia LaBeouf , John Hillcoat    Suitable for 18 years and over   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
Price: £5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Lawless [Blu-ray] + Gangster Squad [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain
  • Directors: John Hillcoat
  • Writers: John Hillcoat
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Jan 2013
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008OPZD8C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,972 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

John Hillcoat ('The Road') directs this crime thriller set in rural Virginia in the early 1930s, adapted by musician-screenwriter Nick Cave from the biographical novel by Matt Bondurant, the grandson of one of the main characters. Brothers Jack and Forrest Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy) set up as bootleggers, but soon find themselves under threat from the authorities who want a cut of their profits in the form of 'security money'. A vicious turf war ensues as the brothers fight tooth and nail to retain their hard-won livelihood. The supporting cast includes Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Noah Taylor and Jessica Chastain.


There's an awful lot to like about Lawless. In front of the camera, it boasts a far stronger than you might expect leading performance from Shia LaBeouf, for instance. Playing alongside him is the screen-dominating Tom Hardy, taking the role of his brother. They're two of the three Bondurant brothers, living out in Virginia during the time of prohibition, and trying to keep a supply of alcohol running. This means there's also room for Gary Oldman's brief appearance as a mobster you wouldn't want to mess with, and Guy Pearce's scene-stealing federal agent.

It's a bit of a muddled film at times in truth, but Lawless, at its best, is gripping entertainment. Stylishly put together by director John Hillcoat, whose earlier The Proposition is an excellent companion piece, Lawless also boasts excellent music from Nick Cave. Cave also penned the screenplay.

Interspersed with excellent acting, humour and sudden violence, Lawless is very much worth a watch. The disc's package of extras doesn't make as much of the source material as you'd hope, though. It's a decent selection that you get, it's just there's room for a far more forensic look at the period, and the particular characters that inspired the film.

Still, it's a strong movie, that overcomes a few problems to more than justify the investment in it. Recommended, and do check out The Proposition if you've not seen it, too. --Jon Foster

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bootlegging brilliant. 7 July 2013
Lawless nearly gets 5 stars from me. Based on true events, it tells the story of the Bondurant brothers - Jack, Howard and Forrest; a family of notorious bootleggers during the prohibition years.

The acting is top-notch from everyone involved, with Guy Pearce giving a sterling performance as a particularly nasty and creepy bad guy. Surprising, Shia LeBeouf put in a good performance too.

The scenery is stunning and the film is shot beautifully. The props, costumes and setting all do a great job of making you believe you're back in that era.

The violence is sparse but shocking when it happens. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, the ending was a slight disappointment but real life is rarely as dramatic as cinema... Although it still managed to come close.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5/5 3 Oct 2012
By Sam
Bursts of savage violence, fine acting from a top class cast and atmospheric direction grace "Lawless" a semi-biographical crime drama set in at the height of prohibition Virginia. Reuniting director John Hillcoat and writer Nick Cave, the creative team behind the excellent Australian drama "The Proposition", Lawless" follows the travails of the Bondurant brothers (Forrest, Jack and Howard played respectively by Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke) a family of bootleggers who clash with a sadistic Chicago law enforcer by the name of Rakes (Guy Pearce) sent to Franklin County demanding payment from bootleggers for the privilege of supplying moonshine without reprisal from the law. Headed by the thoughtful but when necessary violent Forrest, the Bondurant brothers refuse to comply and war ensues between the outlaws and lawmen. Thrown into the mix is a pair of romantic subplots involving Forrest and a runaway Chicago dancer named Maggie (Jessica Chastain) and the youngest Bondurant Jack with a preacher's daughter played by Mia Wasikowski.

Quickly establishing the outlaws as heroes and lawmen as villains "Lawless" occupies a middle ground between mainstream gangster action and art house drama. When the inevitable violence comes it's quick and suitably horrific. Characters are tarred and feathered, there's a graphic throat slitting and a particularly nasty beating dished out by Rakes to Jack. Yet this is not a gratuitously violent picture and as vicious as Forrest and Howard (a shell-shocked, often drunken war veteran who operates largely as additional muscle) can be to protect their livelihood there is never any question of which side we're rooting for. Sleazy, cruel and foppish almost to the point of caricature Rakes is a pantomime but effective movie villain through and through.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A waste of talent 20 Feb 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Three stars? With this cast? Sadly yes.

The problem is the script.... I liked Cave's The Proposition but this was second rate stuff. Not bad but it had apaint by numbers
feel to it. Which is a shame really as with Jason Clarke and Tom Hardy it has a lot going for it but both are given too little
to do.

Shia LeBeouf is... poor. Ok his character is thinly written but even so he is just plain poor. I dont beleive him or his actions
for one second.

Gary Oldman is wasted here.
Jessica Chastain's talents are totally wasted in this film.
Mia Wasikowska is also sadly wasted.

All of their parts are underwritten to the point of being mere sketches.

Guy Pearce is so over the top he may as well be in pantomime but that's not his fault... there is menace there but its frittered
away because he has no depth or shade.

Its a bloody shame as Clarke and Hardy provide a backbone the script lacks, the rest of the cast is excellent, good direction and
sometimes a great atmospheric feel to the movie and that is when it really succeeds. The music, locations and set peices - in the church, the black funeral, the local dance - all of that really really worked and THAT is what they should have really concentrated on and bult upon but sadly it was all too often relegated to being a backdrop against which a not too well written story gets played out in a too predictible fashion

Poor script though... no where near to the quality that this cast deserved.
A lost opportunity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Law Unto Itself 31 July 2014
As the owner of one or two myself, I already know that the cardigan is a sexy piece of outerwear. It did not take Tom Hardy in ‘Lawless’ to wear one for almost the entire running time for me to see this. The cardigan may be sexy, but it can also be a little boring. Unfortunately, it appears that director John Hillcoat wanted to show me this aspect too in ‘Lawless’, a plodding film that entertains only in sporadic moments.

Based on true events it tells the story of a country based family called Bondurant who managed to carve their own reputation during the American Prohibition era with their distilling and selling of powerful moonshine. Like Hillcoat’s earlier film ‘The Proposition’, ‘Lawless’ is essentially a western in slight disguise. However, seeing as this is a serious director making a serious film he leaves the characters ambiguous. This is all well and good, but it is really hard to like any of the characters, especially when one of them is played by the human annoyance that is Shia LeBeouf. Also, there is little point in being highbrow and intellectual in terms of character when Guy Pearce rocks up with a performance straight from a Dick Tracey cartoon.

Although the characters may be hard to root for, this should not stop the film from being entertaining. The reason that the film is boring is because the pacing lags. Hillcoat loves to linger on shots and create mood, but he does this too often and the film slows to a crawl. When you do get moments of action they are extreme to the point where it feels once more than Hillcoat is being intentionally arty and provocative for no real reason than his own satisfaction. It is a shame that the film is so plodding as some of the acting is very good; Hardy as the coiled spring and Gary Oldman in an extended cameo do a great job.

If you are planning to watch ‘Lawless’, Hillcoat’s shots linger, but at least they look good doing so; therefore BluRay is the option to go for.
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