Locke - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Locke Reviews

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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.
November 13, 2016
interesting premise, great acting, lived a lifetime in a 2-hour car ride
October 31, 2016
Good Tom Hardy movie on the motorways from Birmingham to London via the M6 and M1.
October 23, 2016
This is a movie about damage control.
½ October 22, 2016
This movie was ok but nothing special it was based all in a car.
½ October 13, 2016
It's amazing how a movie with one actor onscreen in a tiny set can provide such a compelling story. Really excellent work from Tom Hardy here. The film makes you think of your own decisions, the roots of those choices and how their consequences are rarely how we envision.
October 4, 2016
Locke is HIGH NOON for the 21st century.

I've never felt closer to a protagonist as this, sitting with him for this real time journey as he rotates the diamond of his life and shows us every fractured facet of the damaged jewel, fractures which he refuses to see. This is a powerful movie about an optimist who is literally in his own little world ploughing ahead in a perfect state of pure denial as all those around him run around like panicking chickens. the real heroics, we finally realise, are not in any actions or even results, but in the steadfastness, faith and utter control that Locke drives himself to deliver. And all through the telephone. Locke is the best film I've seen for months, and the most original film I've seen for years. It's a HIGH NOON for our generation.
½ September 27, 2016
Never left a review before but feel it is my duty to save others from making the same mistake I did. The 91% critic review score is one of the most miss leading scores I have ever seen. Save your time and watching something else.
½ September 15, 2016
Not super entertaining, but dialogue and Tom Hardy make this one worth watching.
September 14, 2016
If you'd have told me that a story about a bloke in a car with a mobile phone could be this interesting I'd have called you a liar.
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