Jeremy of The Daily Rotation wrote, "
Director John Hillcoat (The Road) returns to the unforgiving world of Hollywood with a prohibition-era crime drama titled Lawless, which features the likes of Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain and Guy Pearce. Hillcoat’s Lawless is a well-oiled machine of a film that benefits from Nick Cave‘s script (and music with frequent co-collaborator Warren Ellis) and the showy performances by the impressive ensemble cast that he managed to round up. What makes Lawless better than Hillcoat’s other projects are its violent spirit and general funny nature that might strike some as odd. Yet underneath all of the compliments Lawless remains a picture that is enjoyable to an extent, but something that never quite achieves perfection."