Lawless Reviews

  • 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

  • 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

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