May 20, 2012
“Lawless” Reviews from Cannes
In Lawless

The Bondurant Boys Deal Moonshine & Violence And the casting in the supporting and smaller roles by Hillcoat also gives “Lawless” a weight and stakes it might otherwise not possess. Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain both shine as the love interests for Jack and Forrest respectively, allowing those characters to have something beyond their business to be fighting for, with the skill of both performers allowing them to be more than just window dressing. (The Playlist)

‘Lawless’ makes great use of Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf “Lawless” probably isn’t going to send anyone to any awards shows this year, but it is a nice indication that Hillcoat can play more than the one note that he’s hammered so hard so far in his work. (Hitfix)

As the violence wears on, only the film’s attempt for a climactic ending, deviating from the source material’s true conclusion, goes a bit against the film’s authentic nature up to that point. I would have preferred things were kept simple rather than the idea the ending needs to be something big to be appreciated. Otherwise, Lawless is a great film and its great to see Hillcoat back in territory more along the lines of The Proposition rather than his disappointing and somewhat empty adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. (Rope of Silicon)

‘Lawless’ Draws Great Performances From Prohibition Violence Two women touch the lives of the Bondurant boys. Chastain plays a runaway stripper trying to remake her life — she doesn’t get a lot to do but makes the most of her screen time. Wasikowska plays a preacher’s daughter pursued by LaBeouf. Her face, lovely without a stitch of makeup, has the look and feel of the time, but she doesn’t have much to do either except bat her eyelashes at LaBeouf. Both of these actresses deserve better — the writing fails them, stuffing them into easy archetypes. (The Wrap)

If Lawless doesn’t achieve the mythic dimensions of the truly great outlaw and gangster movies, it is a highly entertaining tale set in a vivid milieu, told with great style and populated by a terrific ensemble. (The Hollywood Reporter)