Apparently in the early days of the century farm boys made a game out of shooting a pig in its peg. In prohibition-era Virginia three brothers, played by Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke pretty much run the moonshine business. The law knows who they are and what they do, but since they like drinking too, they turn a blind eye and allow the brothers to continue working. Gary Oldman, as a mob boss takes a shine to the brothers as they are being pursued by one of his enemies, the eyebrow-less corrupt Chicago cop played creepily by Guy Pierce.
Jack (LaBeouf) is the runt of the family, always trying to prove his worth to his brothers usually means that he goes off half cocked and fucks things up even more. Forrest (Hardy) is in charge of everything, he’s soft spoken often times seeming like a young Clint Eastwood with his grunts. While Howard (Clarke) drinks a lot and leads the cleanup crew with Forrest.
Lawless has very few flaws. 1931 Virginia was dirty and had little respect for authority. Everybody is on their own, but family sticks together and fights when they are wronged. Each action Forrest and Jack take are true to how they are portrayed. No action is without motivation and most of the time its revenged based. In this time, the lawbreakers are the good guys, even if it means blowing up a small shed from time to time.
Based on Matt Bondurant’s book on the lives of his grandfather and granduncles and adapted by Nick Cave, yes THAT Nick Cave, Lawless is an intriguing look into the lives of Virginian bootleggers and how the law, ironically drunk on their own power, were unable to stop them. How even in the early years of the 20th century that men saw something unjust and tried to change it back. Even at the expense of their lives.
3.5 bottles of moonshine out of 5