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Lawless Blu-ray Review

“Lawless” is a beautifully made, but severely flawed film.

Based on true events (and a book), “Lawless” follows brothers Howard, Jack and Forrest and their pal Cricket who operate a bootlegging business during the prohibition era. Their business doesn’t run as smoothly as they’d like, however, when a corrupt Deputy named Charles Rakes appears and begins to demand a cut of the profits. As you can imagine, the two factions clash which causes lots of macho talk and violence to ensue. Expect to see two romantic subplots and a key subplot about a gangster named Floyd Banner (played by Gary Oldman) as well.

It’s clear from the opening scene that a lot of work went into trying to capture the authenticity of the 1930’s time period. Unfortunately, as authentic and beautiful as the film may look, the whole movie feels inauthentic and phony.

While the true story of these brothers is certainly interesting material, it doesn’t quite translate well to this particular film. With clumsy dialogue, an overabundance of violence, a snail paced story, and a murky story structure, it’s really hard to care about anything or anyone going in this movie.

None of the blame should be put on the cast, however, as they all do the best with the material they are given. The all-star cast comprised of Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce and Shia LaBeouf all fully commit to their roles here making the film at least watchable. The only questionable performance here is from Guy Pearce surprisingly. Pearce, who has arguably put out some of the finest acting work of the past 15 years, goes completely bonkers as the hammy, whack-job Deputy Charles Rake. It’s nice to see him in a different sort of role, but you can’t help but laugh at some of his over-the-top scenes and mannerisms.


The one thing that everyone can agree on about “Lawless” is that the stylistic cinematography is flat-out stunning (especially in 2.35:1 1080p).

Likewise, the 5.1 DTS-HD audio track delivers the goods. Everything from the score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis to the shootouts sounds crystal clear here.

* DVD copy and Digital copy.
* Anchor Bay trailers.
* 7 deleted scenes.
* Willie Nelson’s “Midnight Run” music video.
* “Franklin County, Virginia: Then and Now”- A short featurette on the small town.
* “Lawless: The True Story Of The Wettest County In The World”- A fascinating featurette that delves into the true events that inspired the film.
* Commentary by director John Hillcoat and author Matt Bondurant. A pretty deep commentary that goes into everything about Bondurant’s book and tommy guns to Tom Hardy and character moments.

November 27, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review |

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