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Above the Law 

Booze-bootlegging brothers turn up, and run from, the heat

The Depression-era period piece Lawless centers on the bootlegging Bondurant brothers and their run-ins with an overly zealous lawman played by Guy Pearce.

The ultra-violent movie features another standout performance by The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy, who plays the soft-spoken but fierce patriarch of the Bondurant clan.

Lawless is so masterfully directed by John Hillcoat (The Road) that even Shia LaBeouf turns in a solid performance as the arrogant brother with the most ambition and the least capacity to fight for himself.

Moody post-punk rocker Nick Cave wrote the terrific script and assembled a period-specific soundtrack featuring original tunes by vets like Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, and Ralph Stanley. --Jeff Niesel

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