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Bronson (2009)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 78
Fresh: 59 | Rotten: 19

Undeniably gripping, Bronson forces the viewer to make some hard decisions about where the line between art and exploitation lies.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 7

Undeniably gripping, Bronson forces the viewer to make some hard decisions about where the line between art and exploitation lies.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 14,698

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1974, a misguided 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to 7 years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. With an intelligent, provocative and stylized approach, "Bronson" (based on a true story) follows the metamorphosis of

Feb 9, 2010

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (80) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (19) | DVD (2)

This is psychotic behavior as performance art, and Hardy makes it irresistible.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Part literate black comedy, part surrealistic character study, part horror movie, Bronson is a sophisticated confection, rich and dark, sprinkled with bitter little jokes.

January 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Itâ(TM)s a meditation on the art of rage -- an action painting passing itself off as an action movie.

November 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Nuffin' wonky about my upbringing," Bronson says, early on. Nothing wonky about Hardy's performance, either.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A pointless exercise in morbidity.

October 30, 2009 | Comments (2)
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bronson is one of those "based on a true story" dramatizations where the theatrically staged drama only gets in the way of the more interesting truth.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie's giddy brio can leave you punch-drunk, and oddly unsatisfied.

March 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Stop Smiling
Stop Smiling

An overstylized mess, with a brave but pointless performance from Tom Hardy as a lifelong prisoner who just wants to destroy everything around him, most of all himself.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin anthropological study in human viciousness, like a nature film done by Stanley Kubrick.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Comment (1)

full review at Movies for the Masses

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Britain's Got Talent never looked so good.

April 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes

Bronson doesn't have much to say, but it's a very fun exercise in bad behavior that's neither glamorized nor bemoaned.

February 26, 2010 Full Review Source: The Simon
The Simon

It's content to be a kind of freak-show character study of a man who embraces anarchy, not for its own sake but for the fame and adrenaline that it brings him.

February 17, 2010 Full Review Source:

For such a potentially exciting subject matter, Bronson hits way too many lulls.

January 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

In the end, "Bronson" is a beautiful, intense film about a man that may or may not be insane, based on events that might actually have occurred in his life.

January 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Director and co-writer Nicolas Winding Refn strives mightily to match his star crescendo for crescendo, which can be exhausting. But the film is nimble and spare enough to absorb most of the director's outré inspirations.

November 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Done differently, the cat-and-mouse brawling could get tiresome, but Tom Hardy as Bronson -- with his shaved head, handlebar moustache, and glittering eyes -- is mesmerizing.

November 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

If you want to spend two hours with a psychopath who loves nothing more than getting naked and brawling with prison guards, this is for you. I prefer vintage Kurosawa.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comments (16)

A figure this luridly fascinating, a personality this ludicrously outsized, warrants something more than your typical biopic.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A stylized portrait of a criminal famous in his native Britain as perhaps the most violent man in Her Majesty's prison system, Bronson serves primarily as a showcase for Tom Hardy's undeniably brilliant performance.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Strap yourself in for a jaw-dropping performance from Tom Hardy as he completely inhabits the role of Britain's most notorious prisoner in this highly stylised piece of mischievous cinematic vaudeville.

November 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Screenwize

...not a great film but garners a strong performance from its star [Tom Hardy].

November 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Nicolas Winding Refn ("The Pusher" trilogy) takes an experimental approach to the biopic, letting his subject guide the way through his life so far as if it were a piece of performance art.

November 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Audience Reviews for Bronson

February 23, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

An ultra-stylish, visceral, electrifying and explosive thrill-ride that's an acid trip into one man's own personal chaos and brutal nature. A bold, beautifully crafted, provocative and intensely entertaining movie. It's an awesome slam of brutal violence, masculine ego and great music. A spectacular and amazing film that shines with mind-blowing velocity. It's explosively hilarious, pulse-pounding and utterly furious. A stunning work of art with great style and compelling storytelling. It's frequently funny and action-packed. A bare-knuckle and very brutal knockout. A dazzling tour de force from Tom Hardy, he gives a incredible and unforgettable movie star performance that shines of Oscar pedigree. Hardy is just flat-out brilliant who manages to be chilling, exhilarating and mind-blowing all at once, probably crafting one of the best screen performances I have ever seen. Director, Nicolas Winding Refn crafts a bold, bloody, enthusiastic and top-notch masterpiece. Movies like this should not be missed. A real instant classic.
May 3, 2013

Super Reviewer

Brilliant and eccentric drama film starring Tom Hardy as Charles Bronson born Michael Peterson who is Britain's most violent prisoner. This is a great film that is brilliantly acted by Hardy in the title role. The film is very similar to the Eric Bana film, Chopper. This is a well crafted film that is bold, gritty and in your face. Tom Hardy is terrific in the lead and he showcases his range as an actor with this film. Director Nicolas Winding Refn is a great director and his vision is uncompromising for this picture that showcases a psychotic Tom Hardy playing Britain's most violent prisoner. The performances alone make this one of the most memorable crime films in recent years. If you love stylish, evocative cinema, then you're sure to enjoy this film. Although quite brutal, there's a tone of dark humor throughout the picture that make it enjoyable. Tom Hardy is one of my favorite actors, and with every film he does, he solidifies his craft and delivers something totally unique, eccentric and overall brilliant. Along with his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, I'd have to say this is his second greatest performance. Along with Drive, this is Refn greatest work and he delivers a stunning piece of cinema that is brutal, eccentric and darkly humorous. This is the type of film that you can't tear yourself away from as you want to know how far the character will go into the darkest, most brutal side of Britain's most violent criminal. If you love well structured crime films, then give this film a shot. With brilliant performances by its cast, and near flawless directing, Bronson is a must see crime drama.
October 1, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

"Bronson" is brutal to say the least. Tom Hardy's acting is one reason to watch this film because he does such an amazing job. On the other hand, it's very, very violent. This is expected, considering the film is about a man who gains fame in prison by beating the shit out others. Sometimes it does get a little bizarre, but for the most part it's entertaining.
August 5, 2012
Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

    1. Michael Peterson/Charles Bronson: Now hang on to your feelings. Alright? 'Cause it's going to get fucking hairy.
    – Submitted by Miguel V (19 months ago)
    1. Michael Peterson/Charles Bronson: You don't want to be trapped inside with me sunshine. Inside, I'm somebody nobody wants to fuck with do you understand? I am Charlie Bronson, I am Britain's most violent prisoner.
    – Submitted by Miguel V (19 months ago)
    1. Michael Peterson/Charles Bronson: Come on! Come on you FUCKING cunts!
    – Submitted by Andy H (20 months ago)
    1. Michael Peterson/Charles Bronson: [singing] Please, release me, oh let me go! 'Cause I don't love you anymore!
    – Submitted by Marylou L (2 years ago)
    1. Michael Peterson/Charles Bronson: Alright...I've got a librarian in here and he's in a lot of trouble.
    – Submitted by Mike S (2 years ago)
    1. Michael Peterson/Charles Bronson: I said on my ass, not in my ass you homo!
    – Submitted by Mike S (2 years ago)
View all quotes (13)

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