Director: John Hillcoat. Cast: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman.116 min. Rated R. Crime/Drama.
Had difficulty making a decision on this one. On one hand, Lawless delivers a good number of terrific performances, most prominently from Hardy and Pearce (amazing how Hardy has suddenly exploded into our lives during the past two years), and the brutal violence is captivating - the same feelings I experienced on previous Hillcoat works, The Proposition and The Road. On the other hand, there isn't much of a take-home message, possibly because character development is not strong enough (Wasikowska's role is a complete throwaway), and sympathizing with the heroes takes an effort. I feel bad giving this a So-so.