Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan, Jason Clarke, Noah Taylor
Release date: August 31

Is this going to be the summer of Tom Hardy? Considering that he’s playing the hulking villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, that doesn’t seem like a stretch. But it takes more than one project for a new actor to truly catapult onto Hollywood’s A-list—notice how Michael I’m-the-man-now Fassbender starred in not one but four critically acclaimed flicks last year. In Hardy’s case, his other movie not based on a DC Comics character is also one that could very well sneak its way into late-2012 awards lists.

Directed by the underrated John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road), Lawless finds Hardy starring alongside Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke as three brothers who collect dollars through bootlegging in Prohibition-era Virginia, and whose illegal alcohol-pushing hustles get violently interrupted by both the fuzz and rival moonshine distributors. Sounds like the perfectly gritty, bullet-to-the-head way to cap off a summer overflowing with CGI excess and pricey major studio tentpoles.