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‘Lawless’ falls fhort of exceptional

Lawless, a movie based on Matt Bondurant novel, “The Wettest County in the World,” is simple but seems over the top at times.

The movie’s cast brings to life the story the, “Bondurant Brothers,” moonshiners who smuggle alcohol during the Prohibition era in Franklin, Virginia.

Tom Hardy, who also plays Bane in the Dark Knight Rises, proves again that he can act. Hardy does a great job lamenting his past and being violent with a hint of wisdom.

Shia LaBeouf gives one of his best performances as the timid young brother who desperately wants to follow in his brother’s footsteps.

 Guy Pearce, who plays as the slimy, vicious and unrelenting deputy, gives an amazing performance.

 Pearce does pinpoint how his role should be played and that makes you hate his character.

The settings in the movie are nice.

 From the small town to the run down houses where they make the moonshine, everything makes you believe that they are actually in 1931 Virginia.

The music lends a helping hand to the setting. It helps push the idea that these people are simple “country folk.”

The cinematography is very good. The contrast of violence and innocence between the characters is well done.

 One minute they are smiling and taking pictures together the next Tom Hardy is beating someone to death.

LaBeouf narrates the prologue and the epilogue of the movie giving it a little more character.

One scene in particular stands out as LaBeouf walks into a church intoxicated. The music overwhelms him and you can feel the fear surging through him as everything slows and his head begins to spin.

The only complaint about the film is that on occasion you cannot quite understand what characters are saying because of their thick country accents, it takes you out of the experience a little bit.

Lawless aims big, yet falls short of exceptional. It is an ambitious movie that just does not have the epic quality it is trying to achieve.

With the summer movie rush declining, Lawless is better than most movies. Give it a shot you might be surprised by these moonshine wars.

 

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