Excerpts from reviews of Lawless (concerning Tom Hardy):
But you can’t do much when you’re acting opposite Tom Hardy. Just know that Hardy can’t help but steal every scene he’s in. Bulked up for his Dark Knight role, Hardy seethes, grunts and stalks around — reminiscent of Brando. It is no wonder that Jessica Chastain throws herself at him when he won’t make the first move.
Alongside him, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke play more obviously traditional Western characters – Hardy speaks only sparingly, preferring his presence and actions to do his talking with irresistible results, and Clarke is probably the best of the three as broken, boozed up Howard.
Jessica Chastain meanwhile continues to make acting look incredibly easy as one of only two female characters, adding heart and balance to the more barbaric sequences and giving Tom Hardy’s Forrest an additional facet that grows wonderfully thanks to Hardy’s own subtle, powerful performance.
There are few actors currently working who bring so much to roles with so little obvious action: the still river runs deep with him, and he brings a physical presence, and a silent but explosive animalistic element to this role that adds further expectations for his huge take on Bane.
Hardy is the leader of the group as Forrest Bondurant, simmering intensity and smarts as he keeps the business together. The always versatile physical actor is pre-Bane size here (he’s big, but not yet the monster he will later become) and carries the legend of the Bondurant’s family name that keeps them ruling their market through exaggerated myths, fear and the local enforcement being willing to look the other way as long as they can have greasy palms. They call Forrest indestructible, an immortal who cannot be killed and although a man of few words, he is a man who knows not how to surrender or how to throw in the towel. He is “a man of principle” as he says and his commitment to the family is why they have gone down in legend. Hardy gives the best performance of the brothers, knowing his physical frame and eyes can deliver much of the resonance he so easily captures.
This is a bad review of This Means War, but it’s also hilarious. I’ve highlighted the best bits. I have no idea what a ‘poetic stupor’ is, though…
The gut-whomping, high-concept romantic thriller This Means War is not a distinguished addition to director McG’s oeuvre. The puffy-lipped gay-bar pinups Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play best-bud CIA agents competing for Reese Witherspoon, who scrunches up her face, rolls her eyes, and shows off her curvy little twig of a body. (The most finely tuned calipers could find no adipose tissue on any of them.) On leave from his role as Captain Kirk, Pine loosens up his Shatner-esque mugging muscles, but Hardy uses his patented poetic stupor as a force field, as protection from jokes more bludgeoning than anything in Warrior.
David Edelstein does love him a bit of Hardy, though; he wrote this about him in TTSS:
[…]when Hardy wants something, you feel it: With his huge lips and tortured beauty, this young actor is among the most compelling of his generation […]
(Source: New York Magazine)