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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is not the violence that sets men apart, alright, it is the distance that he is prepared to go., 20 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Lawless [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Lawless is directed by John Hillcoat and adapted to screenplay by Nick Cave from the novel The Wettest County in the World written by Mark Bondurant. It stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan and Gary Oldman. Music is by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis and cinematography by Benoit Delhomme.

Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, and a bootlegging gang of brothers is threatened by a sadistic new special deputy who will stop at nothing to smash their operation.

The directing and writing team behind 2005's excellent Aussie Western, The Proposition, gather again to produce this bloody tale of the real life Bondurant brothers who stood up and fought the law on their own terms. If that sounds like a call for us to side with the good ol' bad boys and their right to fight the bad copper guys, then it is. If you can get past that deliberately grey area, and why wouldn't you in this part of the entertainment medium? Then there is a mighty fine time to be had here.

What unravels is a intense character based story that is cloaked with sumptuous period flavours, and by turns it's violent, darkly funny and beating a true emotional heart. It's also exquisitely photographed (Georgia standing in for Virginia) and performed by the cast (Hardy and Pearce simply wonderful), while Cave's music score has the requisite blend of Moonshine Hillbilly twangs with Achy Breaky thrums. The girls (Chastain and Wasikowska) are a touch under written, but in a film primarily about three brothers flexing their muscles and sticking their chests out, it's a forgivable flaw. Oldman fans, however, should note that his role in the film, as gangster Floyd Banner, is nothing more than a trio of cameo appearances.

A strong stomach is required and you will need to accept the romanticisation of the Bondurant boys, because then you will get the most out of this impressively mounted film that deals in a time of American history that is under represented (particularly out of the city and into the hills) in the movies. 8.5/10
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Location: Birmingham, England.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 414