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Lawless

Recommended by Paul McCabe

SET in prohibition-era Virginia, this tale from director John Hillcoat, tells of the Bondurant Brothers who set out to make a fortune as bootleggers. All goes well and soon the cash rolls. But trouble begins with the arrival of a slimy cop sent from Chicago to shut the operation. Instead he tries to get in on the racket and very soon a split develops between the three siblings.

What emerges is a bloody and violent battle. Be warned, the violence is exceptionally graphic throughout and rarely lets up as the film charges towards a powerful and ultimately extremely satisfying climax.

Based on true story, Hillcoat drafted in Nick Cave, whom he previously worked with on ‘The Proposition’, to write the screenplay as well as supply the film’s superb and haunting soundtrack and visually the film is stunning and beautifully shot.

True, you could argue that it’s merely another gangster shoot-’em-up, but this is a shoot-’em-up with an edge and a strong narrative moves the film along nicely. There’s also a stellar cast which includes Shia Lebouf, Guy Pearce, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman all of whom put in terrific performances.