Lawless is a film based on the real life story of the Bondurant brothers and their bootlegging operation. The film stars Shia Lebeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Dane Dehaan and Guy Pierce. Gary Oldman is also in the film, but it is the biggest waste of Gary Oldman since Red Riding Hood, seeing how he is only in 3 or 4 scenes. The plot is relatively straight forward, the brothers are bootlegging and an enforcer from Chicago is trying to shut them down. The acting is top notch, the visual aspect is superb, and the pacing was fluid, but the main problem that the film has is that the supporting cast way outshines the lead. I'll say this now, I think Shia Lebeouf is a fine actor and has a bad reputation because he was apart of the Transformers franchise, but he is certainly not Guy Pierce or Tom Hardy. Every scene that Hardy or Pierce appear in, they dominate, without question. Forrest Bondurant (Hardy) is one of my favorite protagonists of 2012, while Charlie Rakes (Pierce) was one of the most devious villains of 2012, even though no character is actually a good guy in this film. The main draw to this film is Hardy. He is such a badass, and he just wouldn't fucking die!!!!!! Only because this was a true story was I not taken out of the film from Hardy's resilience. Hardy's recovery scenes are so entertaining, especially the scene at the very end of the film, and are among may favorite moments from films this year. There are 2 acceptable kinds of villains on screen, the love to hate them (The Joker, Ben Linus, Anton Chugarh) and the villains that you want to see lose (Brad Wesley, William Stryker and those asshole wolves from The Grey) and Rakes is exactly that kind of villain. He's cold, he's strict, he's sadistic, and he's pure evil. There isn't a likable quality about this man. I really wanted to see him pay, and boy did he pay.
Its really not one of the best films of the year, but it was one of the most overlooked. It didn't live up to its potential considering its astounding cast, but Hardy and Pierce are still worth the watch. I recommend it highly, even though there were better films this year, but I am afraid this one might end up fading into obscurity.