User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 74
  2. Negative: 0 out of 74

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  1. Aug 14, 2014
    8
    Tom Hardy nails it in this role, partially due to all of the prep work he did for it, the mustache from Charles "Bronson" Salvador actually shaved off his face for Hardy, and for just "lettin' it all hang out." Had Jason Statham taken this on, originally cast for the role, I don't think it would have had nearly the punch and effect Hardy exhibits.
  2. Jun 8, 2014
    7
    Well acted and gritty, Bronson is a good film. It goes over the most violent prisoner in Britain, Charles Bronson (a.k.a. Michael Peterson). The acting is very well done, and for the most part the film is enjoyable. This is a good film, but not a great or perfect film. If the prisoner Charles Bronson (player very well by Tom Hardy) interests you, then this is your film. If you likeWell acted and gritty, Bronson is a good film. It goes over the most violent prisoner in Britain, Charles Bronson (a.k.a. Michael Peterson). The acting is very well done, and for the most part the film is enjoyable. This is a good film, but not a great or perfect film. If the prisoner Charles Bronson (player very well by Tom Hardy) interests you, then this is your film. If you like crime/prison films or violent wrestling-like films then this is also for you. Expand
  3. Nov 30, 2013
    8
    Bronson is a great, extremely strange movie from the director of the fantastic Drive. The central performance from Tom Hardy is truly mesmerizing. Despite the fact that Charlie Bronson is a complete, unrepentant maniac, you can't help but feel sympathy for him. Which is a pretty amazing movie magic trick in itself. Compulsive viewing ahoy!
  4. Jul 4, 2013
    8
    One thing is for certain: Bronson invites you to admire its protagonist as a pure, muscular embodiment of anarchy. And perhaps you will, but you will also be glad that he is still behind bars. The film opens with a man on stage proclaiming, "My name is Charlie Bronson, and all my life I've wanted to be famous." The auditorium appears to be empty, but later, a still unseen audience providesOne thing is for certain: Bronson invites you to admire its protagonist as a pure, muscular embodiment of anarchy. And perhaps you will, but you will also be glad that he is still behind bars. The film opens with a man on stage proclaiming, "My name is Charlie Bronson, and all my life I've wanted to be famous." The auditorium appears to be empty, but later, a still unseen audience provides the approval he so desperately covets.

    Born Michael Peterson (Tom Hardy), in a British suburb in 1952, he first went to prison at the age of 22 for burglarizing a post office. He stole £26.18 and received seven years for the crime, but that sentence was quickly extended as Peterson's infractions inside began to pile up: insubordination, violence, blackmail, and multiple hostage situations. Michael is gradually swallowed up by the prison system, seemingly an environment that suits him best. It is during this time that Michael Petersen, the boy, fades, and 'Charles Bronson,' his superstar alter ego, takes over. Bronson occupies any territory in which he exists by sheer, brute, force. Bronson's first and only instinct is to fight, to capture, and to win. He never makes it to phase two of planning. He has now spent more than three decades in jail, with the majority of those years in solitary confinement, and has become a tabloid sensation as the "most violent prisoner in Britain."

    The film is impressively structured and edited, shot in dark tones--illustrating his theme that Bronson is "an artist looking for a canvas," whose search is frequently violent, crazy, and erratic. The director is Nicolas Winding Refn, most famous for the movie "Drive" (2011), and his "Pusher" trilogy of films about Copenhagen's violent, multi-ethnic underworld. Refn himself is something of a rebel, who brings a sharp, surreal, foreign eye to the film.

    The film solely rests upon the astonishing performance from an almost unrecognizable Tom Hardy. Bronson never asks for our sympathy for his situation, but somehow, at times, he is able to do just that. Hardy brings a raw physicality to the role, leaping naked about his cell, jumping from tables, and hurling himself into half a dozen guards. Unfortunately, the film never gets under the skin of Bronson and his motivations. It omits other facets of his life including the Muslim woman he married in jail, his conversion to Islam, and the subsequent renouncement of the awards he won for his art and poetry.

    Enduring the egotistical ramblings of a psychopath may not sound like a particularly entertaining prospect, but "Bronson" delivers on all fronts. Gripping, visceral, ugly, and beautiful, "Bronson" is quite brilliant.
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  5. May 27, 2013
    5
    Posted on 5/20/13 10:15 AM
    Tom hardy gives a brutally shocking performance that Refn films it beautifully,that being said I find Bronson too exploitive and bizarre to be a good film or even tolerable for a second view
  6. Apr 25, 2013
    8
    Many have dismissed this film for not exploring the character of Charlie Bronson. Saying this completely negates the focus of the film. Refn is only focused on exploring the idea of the man, not the man himself. The main theme of the picture is the fascination with fame, the other-worldly persona it brings and, the emotionally empty ramifications it has. Fame is without substance, soMany have dismissed this film for not exploring the character of Charlie Bronson. Saying this completely negates the focus of the film. Refn is only focused on exploring the idea of the man, not the man himself. The main theme of the picture is the fascination with fame, the other-worldly persona it brings and, the emotionally empty ramifications it has. Fame is without substance, so therefore the character is too. Expand
  7. Aug 10, 2012
    4
    If valhalla rising was a weak version of agguire the wrath of god then this is a weak version of A clockwork orange. The film's dark comedy falls flat and many scenes that are supposed to be horrific don't really draw the viewer in. Granted there were times where I felt bad for Charley Bronson but this is all because of Tom hardy's very good performance.
  8. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    Not sure what to think at this film at first. It came off as gritty 80's style of film making. Which almost seemed to be inspired by clockwork orange. Tom Hardy was excellent as the role of Charlie Bronson and the fact he did 2500 pushups a day before this role shows his dedication to this film. He was the only shining light in this film unfortunately  and though the film is about hisNot sure what to think at this film at first. It came off as gritty 80's style of film making. Which almost seemed to be inspired by clockwork orange. Tom Hardy was excellent as the role of Charlie Bronson and the fact he did 2500 pushups a day before this role shows his dedication to this film. He was the only shining light in this film unfortunately  and though the film is about his life, maybe was focused on him a little too much and not how he affected those around him. 
    6.1/10
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  9. Aug 19, 2011
    10
    http://mikesharkey.blogspot.com/2009/04/igizmo-review.html

    And throughout, Tom Hardy
  10. Jun 10, 2011
    8
    Sorry, machine translation. The "stage", by Nicolas Winding Refn. Violence and abuse, the victims left in a state of prolonged mental suffering, failure of institutions in understanding adolescent deviant behavior, violent arm of the law and to end the dreams of omnipotence megalomica. This is "Bronson," the film of Nicholas Winding Refn / director Tom Hardy and very good player in theSorry, machine translation. The "stage", by Nicolas Winding Refn. Violence and abuse, the victims left in a state of prolonged mental suffering, failure of institutions in understanding adolescent deviant behavior, violent arm of the law and to end the dreams of omnipotence megalomica. This is "Bronson," the film of Nicholas Winding Refn / director Tom Hardy and very good player in the role of Michael Peterson "aka" Charles Bronson /. That is a true story of Bronson. The convict thug, convict the most dangerous of England, has attracted public attention for his want artistic and literary production but also for their way of life accompanied by a personal code of honor. It is not a murderess, will not beat women or children. What is the strategy to tell Refn Bronson? The stage. Bronson is the protagonist on stage, as it is in many prisons turned from him. At that stage in those costumes and tells the general public. Ironically, the isolation becomes a friend and as such provides the necessary time to draft the "script" as the text of self-narration. Remember the scene with the convict in double face? This is Bronson, I understand, a man in extraordinary performance by Tom Hardy is presented to us a little 'jester but also very, very corrosive. Council to see the film, directed by brilliant quality, the history is not easy to tell and interpret it for the music, but ... Keep a safe distance. Good Click! ITALIAN VERSION Il "palco", di Nicolas Winding Refn. Violenza e sopraffazione; vittime lasciate in prolungato stato di sofferenza psichica, incapacità delle istituzioni nel comprendere comportamenti adolescenziali devianti, braccio violento della legge e per finire sogni di onnipotenza megalomica. Questo è "Bronson", il film di Nicholas Winding Refn regista / e Tom Hardy bravissimo protagonista, nel ruolo di Michael Peterson "in arte" Charles Bronson /. Quella di Bronson è una storia vera. Il galeotto picchiatore, il galeotto più pericoloso d'Inghilterra; ha attirato su di sé l'attenzione pubblica vuoi per la sua produzione artistico-letteraria ma anche per il proprio stile di vita accompagnato da un personalissimo codice d'onore. Infatti, non è un assassino, non picchia le donne né i bambini. Qual è la strategia di Refn per raccontarci di Bronson? Il palco. Sul palco Bronson è protagonista assoluto, così come lo è nelle tantissime carceri da lui girate. Sul quel palco ed in quei costumi si racconta al grande pubblico. Per assurdo, l'isolamento gli diventa amico e come tale fornisce il tempo necessario per la stesura del "copione" quale testo autonarrativo. Ricordate la scena con il galeotto in double face? Questo è Bronson, mi par di capire; un uomo che nella straordinaria interpretazione di Tom Hardy ci è presentato un po' giullare ma anche tanto, tanto corrosivo. Consiglio di vedere il film, per la regia qualitativamente brillante, per la storia non facile da raccontare ed interpretare; per le musiche; ma... tenetevi a debita distanza. Good Click! Expand
  11. Apr 22, 2011
    7
    Despite being flawed by a weak narrative structure and an overall awkward direction, Bronson is a very interesting film about antisociability in its most extreme form. Part prison drama, part slice of life with strong, absurd comedic overtones, the film tells the bizarre life story of Mike Peterson aka Charles Bronson, allegedly Britainâ
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    30
    Despite the artistic flourishes, this is still an utterly repellent look at a psychopath who does not deserve the attention of the filmmakers or the audience.
  2. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    60
    Too smart/arty for the slasher set, and too violent for high-brows, Bronson may have a tough time finding its niche, although it has "cult hit" written all over it.
  3. 30
    Bronson is essentially a faux-operatic, music hall turn--a larky, lumpen version of "Lola Montès."