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A one-man show set in a single confined location, Locke demands a powerful performance -- and gets it from a never-more-compelling Tom Hardy.
All Critics (204)
| Top Critics (50)
| Fresh (184)
| Rotten (20)
| DVD (2)
[Hardy's performance is] the reason you'd see Locke, and the reason you may remember it fondly, long after the ride ends.
Yes, it sounds like a gimmick. But Tom Hardy is so compelling, multilayered and terrific in the title role, this one-man show is never dull.
As you'd expect from a story that never leaves the confines of a car, Locke is intense and claustrophobic.
Hardy makes for a compelling psychological tour guide, utilizing much more than his right foot to add forward momentum.
If there has been a better cautionary tale for men since Fatal Attraction, I can't think of it, but Locke is about more than fidelity. It's a thriller about the horrors of modern life. All that technology, but who can save him?
"Locke" is one riveting film.
It is often that I comment about an actor carrying a film on their shoulders and standing apart from their co-stars. And Hardy certainly does that impeccably.
A breakout performance by Hardy and genius direction from Steve Knight make this film a must see for the artsy crowd.
Bottle films are always an interesting idea for a film even when they don't succeed, but Locke is probably one of the more unique examples of the concept in recent history.
What should be a gripping narrative is uninteresting to the point of tedium.
The ride may not be worth it unless you really love Tom Hardy.
Tom Hardy gives a bravura performance.
With an incredible rating of 90%, I feel the urge to put in my two cents's worth regarding Locke. It's the name of the major character -- like what you get when you get out of your car to secure it, in a mash up with the name of the 18th-Century British Empiricist philosopher John Locke? Lock + Locke? Maybe not. Just a wild guess.
Mr. Locke is a man who works with concrete. Loves concrete. Values concrete and what the resulting building is -- as he calls them "his" buildings -- more than his freaking family. Asshole. If he could screw a concrete pie, I bet he'd jump at the chance. Instead he screws a woman other than his wife.
The entire movie takes place inside Mr. Locke's car while he's driving into London to witness the birth of this other woman's baby. Obviously they saved a lot of money using just a car for the setting -- memories for me, and not good ones, of the nightmare that is My Dinner with Andre.
Oh, and by the way, he does not love this other woman, nor has he had, he says, extramarital sex other than this one time. Right, Mr. Locke, I wonder about that.
Anyway if you like concrete -- about half the picture heï¿ 1/2 1/2 1/2(TM)s answering and making phone calls about concrete -- and adultery, then you might enjoy this movie. I don't like either of those things, so for me the movie sucked hard, like dried concrete hard.
But as I say, concrete and adultery lovers might chance this one. I doubt if anyone will revel in this masterpiece, but try it if you like. It's your unrecoverable hour and a half of your life.
Whilst Hardy delivers a performance that draws you in, it's nothing more than a one man sitting in a car dealing with his life choices.
A strong character study with a fantastic performance by Tom Hardy, despite its excess of exposition and a director who doesn't seem to trust his own capacity to keep us involved with a minimalist story and so tries everything to create a sense of movement with his restless camera.
Despite appearing in many films beforehand, I think it's fair to say that Tom Hardy's breakout role was in Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson in 2009. Many (myself included) were instantly struck by his bravery and his ability to inhabit such an intense role. In that film he threw everything at us and since then he hasn't looked back. What's most encouraging, though, is that he isn't afraid to spread his talents. He's already done Hollywood: The Dark Knight Rises, Warrior and Inception, to name a few, but it's in this small independent project that Hardy delivers some career best work.
Successful construction manager, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a man of principals and a dedicated father and husband. However, on the eve of the biggest deal of his career he receives a phone call which forces him to assess some choices he has made in life and sets forth a series of (e)motions that threaten to undo everything he has been dedicated to.
Locke has a very simple premise. So simple, it would lead you to believe that it's a very dull and uninteresting affair. It basically consists of spending 1hr 25mins stuck in a car with a man who does nothing more than talk to people on his hands-free device while driving from Birmingham to London and talking through his personal problems. However, it's anything but dull. In fact, the very simplicity of writer/director Steven Knight's approach is what makes the film so compelling.
Hardy talks a lot. A lot about his work in concrete; building development and laying foundations but the real development and foundations are built from his emotionally charged character.
Set entirely within the confines of his moving vehicle, the real driving force behind the narrative is the dialogue. It methodically peels back the layers of one man's quest to right a wrong in his life and Hardy's expressive mannerisms completely own the screen. Granted, he's the only person who actually appears onscreen (Olivia Colman et al literally phone in their roles) but that's not to take away from his exceptional and spellbinding performance.
For a film that's constantly on the move, it's actually deeply rooted in character development. Ivan's goals, achievements and morals are teased out with every conversation he's involved in and Hardy's emotion and nuance lends a captivating intensity to the overall mood and atmosphere.
A claustrophobic chamber piece that defies the big spending studios by delivering something personal and intimate without digging too deeply into it's pockets. It's more like a one-man play than a film and a great example of how less can be more.
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