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Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce

Director: John Hillcoat

Genre: Action/Crime

Year: 2012

Rating: R

They were brothers who became outlaws, and outlaws who became heroes...

The three Bondurant boys (Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke), along with their sultry new hire (Jessica Chastain), command the most lucrative bootlegging operation in Franklin County, Virginia. The locals consider them “indestructible.” But the law—in the form of a corrupt special deputy (Guy Pearce)—wants a cut of their action, at any cost. When youngest brother Jack (LaBeouf) gets a taste of power with a deadly gangster (Gary Oldman) the whole business blows sky high. Based on the astonishing true story, the Bondurant brotherhood is the stuff of legend.

"Lawless" is the true story of the Bondurant brothers, Forrest, Howard and Jack in the early 1930s. The brothers run a bootlegging business in Franklin County, VA, during the Prohibition era. But of course anytime the authorities see someone making money that they're cut out of there's always trouble. That trouble is in the form of Special Deputy, Charlie Rakes. To be honest if I were to talk about the story anymore here I would ruin the film for those waiting to see it but I will say this is a fast moving film and it's almost two hour run time flies by.

"Lawless" is at times a brutal crime story but there's more going on than just that. The story at times has a certain innocence to it and there's a few humorous moments as well. Along with the moonshine story there is also two romances going on as well and they fit in perfectly with the story and never bog it down. I already mentioned that the film is based on true events but I have to say that parts of it are a bit hard to believe for this reviewer but still I thought it was a well-written and extremely well acted film, much better than I expected.

The Bondurant brothers, Forrest, Howard and Jack are a close knit family and that is a big part of what the story is about. Forrest is the leader, strong yet a bit quiet. Howard is the crazy, more violent one and Jack is the runt of the litter, He wants to be like his brothers but he just doesn't have the size or demeanor to do so. One things Jack did have that his brothers lacked was business sense.

One of the film's biggest strengths is it's cast, I'm not going to point out any one actor here but I thought the entire cast did a great job including Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke and Guy Pearce as well as Gary Oldman. I can't forget the two females either, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska who were both terrific as the love interests.

"Lawless" is a well done crime film that seemed to get lost among some of this summer's bigger films but don't be fooled by any of that because this was better than most films I seen during that time. If you like a good crime story be sure to pick this one up.

Available on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Three-Disc Set. The DVD and Blu-ray come with Special Features that include:

Feature Commentary with Director John Hillcoat and Author Matt Bondurant

Deleted Scenes

The True Story of the Wettest County in the World

Franklin County, VA: Then and Now

“Midnight Run” Willie Nelson Music Video

You can order the DVD HERE and the Blu-ray HERE.

Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

**** Out Of *****