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YMMV / Lawless

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The film:

  • Angst? What Angst?: Maggie displays surprisingly little angst over being brutally gang raped. The next time we see her, she's calmly announcing that she's leaving town. But one quick conversation is all that convinces her to stay, and she doesn't seem to have been affected at all by the rape.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: It's known for the full-frontal nudity from Jessica Chastain, as Seth MacFarlane documented in his infamous "We Saw Your Boobs" Oscar song.
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  • Cliché Storm: Accused as such in this review.
  • Complete Monster: Charlie Rakes is an utterly corrupt Special Deputy of the commonwealth who demands a cut of the profits of the bootlegger heroes, The Bondurant Brothers Forrest and Jack. Rakes initiates brutal beatings and torture to get his way, and sends two mobsters to cut the eldest brother's throat and rape his girlfriend. After another conflict with the Bondurants, Rakes captures their friend Cricket and snaps his neck, simply because he's angry they called him a "nance."
  • Crazy Awesome: Howard howling before treating Rakes' shotgun-wielding goons to a Mook Horror Show and beating them up in melee combat is quite impressive.
  • Eight Deadly Words: Roger Ebert and AO Scott felt this way.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Jessica Chastain's Maggie and Shia Le Beouf's Jack are noted to be some of the best characters in the movie.
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  • He Really Can Act: Shia LaBeouf does not suck in this movie.
  • Memetic Badass: Forrest is one in-universe. Nobody seems particularly surprised when they heard he walked twenty miles to hospital with his throat cut. It turns out that Maggie drove him there, but the fact that he survived long enough for her to do that is still quite impressive, and he certainly lives up to his Made of Iron reputation at the climax.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Everyone in town considers Rakes to have crossed this when he murders Cricket, the friendly and harmless crippled boy.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Gary Oldman as mobster Floyd Banner. He only appears in a couple of scenes (and only directly interacts with one of the main characters) but damn, is he memorable.
  • Tear Jerker: Cricket's death.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Some reviewers noted that Jessica Chastain's Maggie was one of the most interesting characters in the film, yet got minimal screen time.
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    • Floyd Banner only appears in a couple of scenes, but Gary Oldman's performance left many annoyed that he's killed off so abruptly. It was noted that Floyd would have made a better villain than Rakes.


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