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Joe Brown

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This gripping, based-on-a-true-story movie has one major factor going in its favor—big-name actors who can actually act.

This based-on-a-true-story movie stars Shia Lebeouf (Transformers) as Jack Bondurant.

Lawless stars Shia Lebeouf (Transformers) as Jack Bondurant, the typical little brother who will do anything to impress and earn the respect of his big brother, Forrest Bondurant. Jack is a naïve young man, who wants nothing more than to get into the underground moonshine business.

Forrest is played by new media starlet, Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises). Hardy does a great job of portraying the moonshine kingpin of prohibition-era Franklin County, instead of just Bane in the 1930s. You cannot say enough about his performance. Hardy absolutely steals the show as the best character.

Forrest was the only man from his battalion to survive World War I, so he has a reputation as the man who cannot die. While watching the events unfold throughout the movie, you start to believe the legend. Hardy does a great job of making you love him as much as you are scared of him.

Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help) plays a sultry red-head who comes to Franklin County to escape the hard-knock life she’s living in Chicago. Maggie Beauford is a one-dimensional character, but Chastain still gives a brilliant performance.

The Bondurant’s moonshine business meets an unmatched force in Chicago Deputy Charlie Rakes—Guy Pearce— who always gets the job done. Although Pearce has the look of a no-nonsense Chicago city-slicker, his execution is not as great. Guy Pearce is an English actor, and the accent he makes for Rakes is not fluent or consistent. Pearce’s accent is the only major problem with this movie.

Director John Hillcoat (The Road) makes the audience feel for the outlaws and absolutely distain every corrupt lawman that tries to stop the invincible man, Forrest Bondurant. The story is compelling enough where you are drawn in because you build a connection with the characters and genuinely feel/root for them.

Overall, Lawless is definitely a good movie with an interesting take on the true events of the Bondurant brothers of Franklin County. I give it a 7.5 out of 10.


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