The official red-band trailer has been released for Lawless, the upcoming film directed by John Hillcoat. This prohibition-era film stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke as the Bondurant brothers, whose bootlegging business practices are interfered with by Special Agent Charlie Rakes, played by Guy Pearce. The all-star cast also includes Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska. Lawless was written by Nick Cave, and based on the book The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant.

This restricted label at the beginning of the trailer warns of strong bloody violence, and the preview delivers on this promise. LaBeouf, as Jack Bondurant, delivers a foreboding monologue over the trailer’s opening series of images that are both haunting and serene: a body soaked in tar and covered in feathers, sun bouncing off a calm lake, children picking up a machine gun from a dead body surrounded by a pool of blood. The trailer’s second half picks up the music and splices short sequences of gunfights and drinking and lovemaking, all of which leads us to believe that this is sure to be graphic rise-and-fall tale that will be very good, and very hard, to stomach.

Hardy delivers his lines in a thick Virginian accent, and this small footage of him as Forrest Bondurant, pacing and punching and glaring, signals that this will be another strong physical performance akin to his turn as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. While Pearce, with his greased black hair parted down the middle and thin-lipped sinister smile, looks to be an eerie lawman and possible scene-stealer.

Hillcoat is known for delivering violent fare with a taste for the critic’s eye, as his two previous films, 2009’s The Road and 2005’s The Proposition, were both well-received. Lawless, a Weinstein Company production, hits theaters on August 29. –Hal Sundt

Watch the trailer here:

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