“A Genuinely Distilled Cast And Performance But It Still Veers Out Of A Straight Line While Working On Their Quick Draw Stand-off!”
“Ain't It Just Like You, To Believe Your Own Damn Legend.”
“It Is Not The Violence That Sets Men Apart, All Right, It Is The Distance That He Is Prepared To Go.”
“Raw Is Just An Understatement”
“With Great Performances From Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Shia Labeouf, And Gary Oldman, Lawless Is Worth The Long Wait”
“With Some Of The Best Performances Of The Year To Date. Lawless Truly Shows The Wild Side Of That Classic Era. Violent, Hostile And Completely 100% Entertaining. Although Not Perfect It Still Proves Itself With Its Good Buildup & Outstanding Grand Finale”
“Lawless Has Its Moments With A Top Notch Cast, But Is Not Up To Par With Hillcoat's Previous Work.”
Lawless has its moments with a top notch cast, but is not up to par with Hillcoat's previous work.
Julian Roman - MovieWeb
Hardy's presence is compelling, but the film comes fully alive only when it turns bloody. At those moments, though, it has the kick of a mule.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Mr. Hardy mostly grunts, growls and ribbits, occasionally interrupting his angry bullfrog impersonation to deliver down-home bromides that make him sound like Toby Keith choking on a Cheeto.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Star-studded and violent yet empty as a broken whisky bottle.
Jason Solomons - Guardian [UK]
Nothing somehow seems to be at stake for anyone, and the brutality seems to be there simply to underline how tough and real it all is.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
The unflinching slicing and dicing is viscerally brutal, but without sufficient character development Lawless simply feels lifeless.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
An inescapable sense of "so what?" sets in early with "Lawless," almost as soon as Shia LaBeouf begins his lackluster opening narration.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Much of the action may be nearly as grim as in director John Hillcoat's previous feature, "The Road" - "Lawless" is very bloody - but the scenery and production design are a whole lot nicer.
Mark Feeney - Boston Globe
The narrative often seems at odds with the director's pictorialism, trudging when it should be striding toward the climax, isolating the performers on their marks when everything depends on taut blood-ties interconnection.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
The action is, overall, as exciting as the primary performances are impressive.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
You can sense the filth, and smell the rust, and feel the ingrained poverty that might well convince a family of survivors (of World War I and the Spanish flu) to make their fortune selling moonshine to their neighbors.
John Anderson - Wall Street Journal
Lawless turns the literary tone of its source novel into something faster, leaner and more populist.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
This isn't to say that there's not enough here, but just don't look for it all to add up.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
The center of narrative gravity is hard to locate; for whom are we rooting, and does anything really ripple outward from this nasty local fight?
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
I can only admire this film's craftsmanship and acting, and regret its failure to rise above them.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
This should've been a really good picture, especially with Hillcoat's crack ensemble. Instead it's a stilted battle waged between the material and the interpreters.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Fans of The Proposition will have to settle for sublimely evil performances by Gary Oldman (as a murderous rival) and Guy Pearce (as a government agent) and a large quotient of gut-wrenching violence.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
A story of entrepreneurship, of family, of fighting for one's rights - the right to make white lightning, and money. It's as American as apple pie.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Shia LaBeouf plays young Jack Bondurant with more conviction and skill than we have seen before.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Lawless" is a sprawling story of dirt road bloodlines and stubbornness, solid but a bit out of control.
Tom Long - Detroit News
At its core, this is a film about men doing violence to men. And they do plenty of it.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
At least a third of its two hours is devoted to "arty'' shots of landscapes.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
All slicked up but mostly firing blanks, John Hillcoat's Prohibition-era western Lawless looks and sounds great but fails to tell a compelling story.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
A great deal of rowdy, crowd-pleasing fun, and there ain't nothin' wrong with that.
Eric D. Snider - Film.com
"Lawless" offers a compelling, gruesome and instructive time-travel exercise.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
There's something at the movie's heart that remains flimsy and inauthentic, a kid in his older brother's ill-fitting shoes.
Dana Stevens - Slate
This is a well-made movie that deserves a higher profile than it is being accorded.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Fueled by a brooding sense of dread, visceral bursts of violence, potent atmosphere and some juicy character portraits from a robust cast.
David Rooney - Hollywood Reporter
Hillcoat's ultra-violent drama plays like a hot, sweaty, delusional fever dream and is similarly fitful. It can be visceral and operatic, beautiful and brutal but also slow and overlong.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Lawless tries to be flawless; as a movie, it's often listless - lifeless.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
With a dynamite cast, an iconic screenwriter in rocker Nick Cave and an Aussie director in John Hillcoat, you assume a new classic. What you get is an ambitious try.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Bad-ass from start to finish.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
Turns the Virginia hills of the early 1930s into just another backdrop for a clockwork succession of perfunctorily filmed showdowns and shootouts.
Robert Abele - Los Angeles Times
If only LAWLESS weren't such a superficial endeavor, these parts would add up to a very entertaining whole. As is, the movie is fun while it lasts but forgettable soon after.
Meredith Borders - Badass Digest
A pumped-up, Hollywood-flavoured neo-Gothic Western delivering knockout performances and raw, corporeal thrills.
Catherine Bray - Film4
An impressive Aussie line-up shines in this tale of Prohibition-era bootleggers.
Tom Glasson - Concrete Playground
Lawless features a unique villain and several great supporting actors, but none of them are able to rise above what is pretty standard crime movie material with nothing really new added to the mix.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Lawless is a compellingly nutty and uneven gangster film.
Chuck Bowen - Slant Magazine
Richard Knight - Knight at the Movies
Appropriately solemn and violent, yet strangely lifeless. I imagine a better film was lost in the editing room, and will hopefully be found on Blu-ray.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
Tale of bootleggers has genre kick
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
Just as he did in his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Hillcoat creates a very specific and unnerving sense of place in Lawless.
Perry Seibert - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Every time things heat up, the film down-shifts just long enough to keep you from getting too engaged in the characters, some of whom disappear for reels before popping up again.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
Director John Hillcoat's terrifically acted prohibition era thriller, inspired by the real-life story of the Bondurant brothers, shows how the American dream starting to go wrong - before it even existed.
Luke Buckmaster - Crikey
...[Hillcoat] has an ability to capture violence in a way that breaks through a century of cinematic desensitisation - when someone gets hurt in a John Hillcoat film you feel it.
Adam Ross - The Aristocrat
The strong narrative will keep you interested. The graphic depiction of the violence also gives Lawless a heavy dose of realism.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
Don't expect to be carried along by big action and cliched dialogue, Lawless expects you to do some of the work yourself by immersing yourself in this richly textured world.
Tim Martain - The Mercury
The film as a whole is no classic. Between sporadic bursts of very intense violence, there are often drifty, drowsy scenes that struggle to justify their relevance.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
A powerful story that packs a punch (plus a few stabbings and shootings).
Matt Neal - The Standard
This Prohibition-era crime drama boasts bravura performances, unforgettable characters, moments of shocking violence, and enough in-your-face entertainment for three films.
Erin Free - FILMINK (Australia)