Lawless (2012)

Lawless (2012)

Lawless: A Gritty Crime Drama Set in the Prohibition Era

“Lawless” (2012) is a gripping crime drama that takes viewers back to the Prohibition era in the United States. Directed by John Hillcoat and based on the novel “The Wettest County in the World” by Matt Bondurant, the film offers a visceral and atmospheric portrayal of bootlegging, violence, and survival.

Plot and Content

The film is set in Franklin County, Virginia, during the 1930s. It follows the Bondurant brothers—Forrest (Tom Hardy), Howard (Jason Clarke), and Jack (Shia LaBeouf)—who run a successful bootlegging business, producing and distributing illegal moonshine.

As the Bondurant brothers clash with corrupt law enforcement officials and rival gangs, including the menacing Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce), they must protect their family and their operation. The film explores the bonds of brotherhood, the consequences of violence, and the struggle to maintain their independence in a world of corruption and lawlessness.

Style and Reception

“Lawless” is characterized by its gritty and atmospheric style, capturing the lawless and dangerous atmosphere of the Prohibition era. The film features intense action sequences, compelling performances, and a dark and brooding tone.

The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the strong performances, particularly Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Forrest Bondurant, and the film’s authentic period setting. Audiences appreciated the film’s depiction of a tumultuous and violent era in American history and its exploration of themes such as family loyalty, honor, and the pursuit of the American Dream.


“Lawless” is a gripping crime drama that immerses viewers in the world of Prohibition-era bootlegging, capturing the danger, violence, and resilience of its characters. If you enjoy atmospheric crime films with strong performances, intense action, and a historical backdrop, this movie offers a visceral and compelling cinematic experience.

Ratings: R (for strong bloody violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity)

Running time: 116 minutes

Director: John Hillcoat

Screenplay: Nick Cave (based on the novel “The Wettest County in the World” by Matt Bondurant)

Release Date: August 29, 2012

Genre: Crime, Drama

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