Rated R 115 minutes 2012

Has its heart basically in the right place, but it’s not a very good movie. Director John Hillcoat (The Proposition) wastes a lot of time in telling the true-ish, violent story of the moonshine-cooking Bondurant Bros. of Franklin County, Virginia , circa 1931. Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke are tough as nails as hillbilly hellions Forrest and Howard Bondurant, but it’s Shia LaBeouf as their insecure younger brother Jack who’s the more carefully drawn character, especially when he’s with the preacher’s daughter, Bertha (Mia Wasikowska). It’s probably impossible to make period movies like this without anachronisms – hence the high-lonesome versions of the Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat” by bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley and singer Mark Lanegan on the music track. Acting scorecard is mixed: Guy Pearce is corny and obvious as chief bad guy Charlie Rakes; Gary Oldman is okay as local hood Floyd Banner; and Jessica Chastain is a bit short-changed as hard-luck gal Maggie. The screenplay, by rocker Nick Cave, is a grisly pudding, and Hillcoat never knows when to pull away from the gratuitous carnage. (115 min.)

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: John Hillcoat

Producer: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Megan Ellison, Michael Benaroya, Dany Wolf, Rachel Shane, Jason Blum, Scott Hanson, Cassian Elwes, Laura Rister, Robert Barnum, Ted Schipper, Randy Manis and Ben Sachs

Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan, Chris McGarry, Tim Tolin, Gary Oldman, Lew Temple, Marcus Hester, Bill Camp, Alex Van and Noah Taylor



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