Based on the book The Wettest Country in the World by Matt Bondurant (a descendant of the real-life sibling bootleggers), the film follows the powerful brothers as they go to war with a new special agent from the big city seeking to take a significant portion of their bootlegging empire.
It's a tale of down and dirty criminality, with dangerous men testing the limits of their loyalty, as well as their capacity for violence. That means it's rated R on account of "strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity." Sample those qualities in the new red band trailer below.
Australian director John Hillcoat knows how to handle this kind of material, as evidenced by his outstanding 2005 western The Proposition. If you haven't seen it, seek it out. He also demonstrated his willingness to go bleak with The Road, his appropriately devastating adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy. On Lawless, he once again teams with Nick Cave, the gothic musician who composed the music for the latter and wrote the former. He adapted Bondurant's book into script form on Lawless.
This film has the kind of cast about which most movies can only dream. As the brothers, there's Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, and Jason Clarke, while supporting roles are filled by Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Noah Taylor, and Dane DeHaan.
Lawless starts out in a limited number of theaters next Wednesday, August 29th before expanding week by week.