Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: 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 Mickey Peterson into Britain's most dangerous prisoner, Charles Bronson. [Magnet Releasing] Expand
  • Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Genre(s): Action, Biography, Drama, Thriller, Crime
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 92 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. 100
    Bronson owes a little or a lot to Kubrick's "Clockwork Orange," but if that's a crime I wish more people would commit it.
  2. 90
    Bronson invites you to admire its protagonist as a pure, muscular embodiment of anarchy. And perhaps you will, but you may also be glad that he’s still behind bars.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    He's neither victim nor hero, but a man who, in every conceivable sense, belongs behind bars.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Bronson isn’t a story in the traditional sense at all. It’s a meditation on the art of rage - an action painting passing itself off as an action movie.
  5. 75
    Tom Hardy gives an amazing performance as Peterson, who took on the nickname Charlie Bronson, after the "Death Wish" actor.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    With an intelligent, provocative and stylized approach, Bronson (based on a true story) follows the metamorphosis of Mickey Peterson into Britain's most dangerous prisoner, Charles Bronson.
  7. It's an assaultive work about an assaultive fellow.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Jul 19, 2012
    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 his life, maybe was focused on him a little too much and not how he affected those around him. 
  2. Aug 19, 2011

    And throughout, Tom Hardy
  3. Jun 10, 2011
    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 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! Collapse
  4. Jul 4, 2013
    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 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.
  5. Apr 25, 2013
    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, so therefore the character is too. Expand
  6. Apr 22, 2011
    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 Expand
  7. Aug 10, 2012
    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. Expand

See all 12 User Reviews