Locke - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Locke Reviews

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May 24, 2017
OMG! That is terrific. Tense, one-man show - you seriously do not have ANY other actors on the screen. And the guy barely moves - he is just driving and talking all the time. An outstanding drama! Tom Hardy - my respect!
April 17, 2017
Would be easy to write this off as a technical experiment in film making - 90 minutes of a man driving to Croydon whilst making a series of (hands free) phone calls in which his professional and personal life unravels. No one else appears on screen other than Tom Hardy, the camera is rarely off him and after he gets in the car he doesn't leave the driving seat, so camera angles are limited. However, a remarkably absorbing performance from Tom Hardy makes this tense emotional film well worth watching. Who knew pouring concrete could be so engrossing? Don't expect car chases, shootouts or explosions - just well-acted intelligent drama.

April 1, 2017
It doesn't matter how simple the concept is kept, great direction, an invested script and a fantastic performance by Tom Hardy makes this small drama worth the viewing.
Super Reviewer
½ March 25, 2017
Tom Hardy, one of the most in-demand actors of this generation, stars in Locke, a movie about one man in a single car, for 85 minutes. Every aspect of Locke's life is in turmoil: his job, his relationship with his wife, and even his home. It's about as interesting as it can get, and Tom Hardy's performance makes it watchable. Not to mention the supporting voice actors he speaks with on the phone throughout the movie, all of whom turn in realistic performances. His character, however, is unlikable: we're given no reason to pity him, and most of the circumstances he finds himself in feel deserved. Maybe this is what makes the movie interesting. It's an ambitious concept, which I have immense respect for, but I did feel a little underwhelmed by the time the credits rolled.
March 18, 2017
Here's a good example of how far minimalistic films can go. You don't really need a bunch of characters on screen, too many locations and a mind-blowing and life-changing argument, in order to create a good movie. "Locke" shows us how a man deals with his family, job and the fuck-ups he made in the past, all of this in 90 minutes or less. But wait... I've heard this before. Because it's the story of most of the people nowadays. It's that real, that you even feel everything Ivan Locke's getting through. And how, in the beginning, we are introduced to a successful guy who has it all, but at the end, loses almost everything, with a little hope on the new life that is born in the last 15 minutes.

There's no human antagonist in here. The bad guy is Ivan's past, who is making consequences threading his personal and professional relationships. We don't know what's coming next, of course in the last shot we saw him driving ahead, probably to meet his new kid, but will he get his job back? Is he coming back home? Will his wife forgive him? That's the cliffhanger of this film.

As I mentioned before, there's no need of a big argument to make a good film out of it. A normal person's life is a different movie every single day.
March 5, 2017
For the occasional faults in its substance, Locke is an inventive one-man show experiment that works in its technical prowess and impressive performance from its leading man. The film, simply 85 minutes of phone calls and introspective character moments in one single location, is something unique, but it often jumps back and forth from being profound in its subtlety to feeling a bit tedious. Even as a whole, there's not a lot of closure to each arc presented, but as a character study about an average man, it's understandable that a film about life is so meandering. Our meandering lead is Ivan Locke; as Mr. Locke, Tom Hardy, as well as writer/director Steven Knight, has crafted a hard hitting character, one who never has to scream or get physical to show anger, or bawl to show sadness. As he always seems to do, Hardy infuses this character, and this film as a whole. with such a quiet sense of raw power and emotion that makes for a stunning cinematic experience.
Super Reviewer
½ March 5, 2017
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.
March 1, 2017
This is unlike any movie I have seen before. For 90 minutes you take a ride in a car with Ivan Locke (played by Tom Hardy)
90 minutes.... with Tom Hardy...enough said.
February 28, 2017
Tom Hardy is great but for me this just isn't a cinematic experience. Feels like an Actor's workshop for most of the duration and at 85mins I was checking my watch. As a one off hour long drama I probably would have loved this but it just ins't a film.
February 23, 2017
Excellent performance by Tom Hardy. Very moving.
½ February 5, 2017
"Fifteen Phone Calls In a Car While Driving". There you have it, a proper title. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun, does it? Well, it isn't. What a fucking, preposterous joke of a movie.
½ January 14, 2017
"[Hardy's performance is] the reason you'd see Locke, and the reason you may remember it fondly, long after the ride ends." - TIME
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2017
Hardy has to do all of his acting while pretending to be in a car and answering telephone messages from all the people in his life. Thankfully it works well.
½ January 5, 2017
One-man show. Riveting performance.
½ December 30, 2016
"I want to know that I'm not driving in one direction."

Movies offer a unique opportunity to display the struggles of characters or people in different yet familiar settings like a car. This look on the struggle in a familiar setting is the main focus of the 2013 film Locke. On the eve of the fallout from one mistake many months ago, construction foreman Ivan Locke drives to what he believes is what is right while having to deal with problems in his family and his workplace. This film being a character study and having only one character actually appearing on screen allows for an opportunity for a strong performance, which is given by Tom Hardy. Tom Hardy is the only actor in the film that appears onscreen since the rest of the characters talk to him on the car phone. Hardy is able to juggle a variety of emotions, expressions, and stories with equal skill. He conveys how Locke is trying to do the right and honorable thing but keeps making things worse despite his attempts. He is able to deliver the necessary exposition in an effective fashion. While his accent is sometimes off or his actions or words make him unlikable, he still is engaging as a character. The film delivers a message on the ramifications of a single mistake and the problems with trying to please everyone in a dissimilar fashion. This is accomplished though the interesting setting of a car on the highway. The message is also developed alongside the other characters and their stories despite only hearing their emotional voices through the car phone. The "voice acting" is effective at transmitting what each character is feeling. There are a few particularly effective scenes where Locke talks to his deadbeat father like he is in the backseat of the car despite the seat being empty. These scenes are the best of the film with an impressive combination of directing, editing, music, and the performance by Hardy. Unfortunately, concerning the rest of the film, the editing, directing and music is lacking. The camera shots and editing get incredibly repetitive with the pattern of wide shot, blurred light, closeup on Hardy, exterior of the car, a shot of the road, and a dissolve between the traffic and Hardy's face. With a few exceptions and despite some beautiful shots of the highway, this pattern is continued throughout most of the film. When the pattern is broken, it is for a technique such has a handheld camera shot which does not fit. In addition, the music, while sometimes fitting, feels generic or out of place at times. Also there is much symbolism in this film through how Hardy drives and the signs and cars he passes. While I am a fan of symbolism in film, this symbolism is extremely obvious and therefore distracting at times. Finally, the dialogue between Hardy and those he calls is engaging but can conflict with each other or become unclear at times. For instance, many of the characters Hardy talks to claim that he has changed, but the audience never sees him prior to this supposed change so we have no frame of reference in which to view this change. Locke is an interesting film that is still engaging despite its entire story being a guy on the phone while driving a car. There are some impressive elements in this film, particularly concerning the acting, but there are also some missed opportunities. I would recommend Locke to fans of Tom Hardy or solo character movies.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2016
clearly just literally a vehicle for tom hardy. never thought i'd see a film set wholly in a car seat. i figured the most minimalist movies would ever get would be reservoir dogs being pretty much set in a room. the atmosphere of the filming and isolationism as well as the only actors performance werent dull or boring at any point but it still remains just a monologue. to achieve the same effect i could've read a short book. could've done with another half hour runtime on the end.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2016
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.
December 14, 2016
Quite intriguing, these very, very different reviews! I found the movie absolutely rivetting; yet I can readily see the point of those who called it utterly boring. I wonder what the difference is between them and me.
For any dramatic movie a precondition to appreciate it is to be willing to step into the shoes of, at least, the main character - and in this case these shoes are mighty uncomfortable. For me, it was even scary. But the value of the movie was precisely in the confrontation with that scare: how easy it is for my comfortable and happy life to completely fall apart - and how would I survive?
The great thing about this movie is that the human drama of Ivan Locke does not involve dramatic events. No war-time atrocities, no children dying, not even one criminal pointing a gun. That is what makes this picture of a life falling apart so scary.
Or is it indeed a 'life falling apart'? The ending isn't hopeless - not at all. At one point I found myself wondering how the scriptwriter could possibly provide a fitting end to this movie and dreading some unexpected turn of events, but instead the ending is absolutely great in its modesty and subtlety and realism. It is, therefore, even more scary as it keeps me thinking 'yes, this could happen to me'.
½ November 22, 2016
So, if you see yourself as a cinema connoisseur, then this one should definitely be on your list; in fact you've probably already seen it. If you like well done, well acted, beautifully shot films, then by all means, check it out. If you want an enjoyable movie experience, this is not it. It is not very long and ultimately, I'm glad I finally saw it, but no fun was had.
½ November 21, 2016
Combining an amazing and spectacular performance from Tom Hardy with an extremely genius script and direction from Steven Knight, Locke is a compelling and absorbing narrative with a well-built lead character and the great confined setting, even if it is a little predictable.
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