Movie Review: LAWLESS (2012)

Shah Shahid

Cinephile. Bollywood Connoisseur. Attempted Writer & Editor at Host of Split Screen Podcast (@splitscreen_pod). Member of the Twitterati @theshahshahid. Diagnosed w ADH-- look a dust bunny!

18 Responses

  1. Abbi says:

    Wow! Harsh!!! I loved Lawless and thought Shia LeBoeuf was better than he normally is… which is TERRIBLE.

    • Shah Shahid says:

      I don’t think I noticed LeBoeuf’s horrible-ness until this movie. I think his other bad performances compounded for me, and caused me to explode on this one.

      It’s surprising how bad he can be, in contrast to how good Hardy & Chastain were. In the same movie. 😐

      • Abbi says:

        I can imagine how that could happen when you compare his performance with theirs, because I thought Hardy in particular was outstanding.

        • Shah Shahid says:

          He didn’t do as much as I thought he was going to… but every scene he was in had impact. Same with Chastain. Didn’t know much about her before this… now I’m a fan.

  2. Hardy was the best thing about this film. I thought Shia was watchable in this, if he does get his ass handed to him by Guy Pearce. Good film I thought.

    • Shah Shahid says:

      We’ll disagree here of course. Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman were wasted. And I just felt Shia did the same routine as usual.

      Personally, I disliked that the story centered around his character. If the story focused more on Tom Hardy’s character, with Shia’s immature shenangins being a sub plot that threatened the brothers’, I would’ve been a different movie.

  3. a bit harsh on Shia here man. haha.

    i mean, with as riveting and intriguing as the film’s story and look was, he solely brings the film all the way down to a 1 out of 5 stars?

    He really played the part of the younger and overshadowed brother looking to come into his own very well and it was one time that I felt that his personality fit his character the best since Even Stevens.

    Thought it was interesting that you mention Gary Oldman first in the “great cast” segment of your review when they used him the least…

    I dunno man. Perhaps we both should watch it again and reconsider, but I can’t roll with you on this one, I liked Lawless. Far better than the travesty of “style without substance” that was Gangster Squad.

    • Shah Shahid says:

      Should come as no surprise if you read my Movie Jail Blogathon. lol.
      You know, the rating is due to my prejudice. Some parts of the film were brilliant. But LeBeouf didn’t do anything different, despite the opportunity.
      I don’t disagree that he played the part well. He should, since he’s had a lot of practise with similar characters. But it didn’t make me feel any sympathy for him, when he went around screwing up… everything. To top it all off, he never did come into his own. There was no redemption or growth for the character. Until the last scene, he remained the impulsive and immature younger brother. This can be blamed more on the writing over LeBeouf… but he irks. me. :p

      The cast aspect was another thing that raised my expectations. Oldman & Pearce didn’t do much. Pearce had some ferocious moments, but nothing memorable. And to make the story revolve around LeBeouf even more given these talents, irked me further.

      I’m down to watch it again. I feel like a jilted lover with LAWLESS. I wanted to like it. I went in wanting to LOVE it. But afterwards, I feel spurned… like she lied to me about her number of exes. 😐

  4. Geez, that’s a bit rough lol. It’s fair to say that I enjoyed this a lot more than you. I love Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, and The Beef! To each his own!

  5. ruth says:

    I’d watch this for Hardy and Chastain. Not really a big fan of La Beouf, though he was all right in Disturbia.

    • Shah Shahid says:

      Hardy & Chastain are worth it. Their on screen moments feel like the quiet and subtle romance that is expected of that era. Fan of Chastain after this.

  6. CMrok93 says:

    Good review Shah. It was surprisingly very good. Yes, also very slow, but when it wanted to rank-up the tension, it did so and it kicked me into next week.

    • Shah Shahid says:

      It had a lot of tense moments. My favourite being the initial scene with Tom Hardy and… that incident. 😐
      I was left with a pounding heart and completely breathless.

      Thanks for the comment Dan.

  7. Even if you hadn’t have given a different score, I still very much applaud the fact that you were open to watch it again and give it a second try. I’ve watched it 4 times now and still enjoy it. Yes, as you state, it is not without its flaws, but I def had a blast going back and forth about it with you on fb and twitter and here.

    An unexpected modified change of view. one that I thought was real cool to see from ya. In the end, there’s no one opinion that is right and absolute but thanks for considering mine.

    I look forward to further dissonance in our views and discoverings of different aspects of film with you! 🙂

    • Shah Shahid says:

      I’m nothing if not flexible. 😐 lol.

      This is kind of why I refused to have a rating system for the longest time on my site. I find so many variables influences the ‘likeability’ of a movie, that there can never be an ‘absolute’. In this case, my frustration with LeBeouf & prior high expectations from the story overshadowed my objectivity. So I revisited and realized that it was an unfair assessment. I still didn’t like the movie as a whole, but there were aspects that didn’t make it as horrible as an experience as I initially thought.

      I’m still getting the hang of this rating system, and in the meantime, definitely looking forward to more discord with you. 😉

  1. October 1, 2013

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