While there aren't any one liners or breathtaking monologues by Hardy, the intimidation and uneasiness that he evokes onscreen is an amazing thing to see. While the same can be said of his stellar performance in Dark Knight, the methods that Hardy uses to accomplish this feeling are completely different. In Dark Knight, he was much more animated, theatric if you will, often using his hands, raising his voice, etc. In Lawless, he is much more quiet and reserved.
Most of Hardy's dialogue is merely a grunt, groan, or a remark, that if not listened to carefully could easily pass for the former. Not only does he deliver his lines with an amazing since of conviction, but his ability use of silence to convey implied dialogue is uncanny. With each movie that I see Tom Hardy in, he gets that much closer to becoming my favorite actor.
As for the rest of the cast, everyone plays their part to a tee. I really enjoyed mix of veteran heavy hitters and young rising stars. Actors like Dane DeHaan (Most notably of Chronicle), Jessica Chastain (The Help, Tree of Life), and Mia Wasikowska (Alice and Wonderland) seemed right at home in the midst of actors like Guy Pearce (Promethius, Memento, LA Confidential) and Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Series, Harry Potter, The Book of Eli). That balance of old and new really gives life to a film that could've easily been average.
Lawless is definitely a must-see for anyone who enjoys movies. It's easily one of the best movies of 2012, and a movie that has instantly become one of my favorites.