• Studio: A24
  • Release Date: Apr 25, 2014
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34

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  1. Apr 27, 2014
    10
    Locke may be a gritty, hard hitting movie, but it's real highlight is Tom Hardy. Director Steven Knight explores the life of Ivan Locke (played by Tom Hardy) gets a mysterious phone call, which changes his life. Knight never stops the thrills, non stop thrills, with excellent acting by Hardy and his amazing accent. Locke is a new movie, something other directors haven't tried before. It's a pulp, thrilling and gritty drama that is worth watching in theatres. Ignore Brick Mansions, The Quiet Ones, The Other Woman and A Haunted House 2 and watch Locke, a well directed and acted movie. Expand
  2. May 9, 2014
    9
    There comes a time, very rarely, where the term enlightened and delightful can be used in the context of a single film. Thankfully, Locke is that film. Being titled and awarding our main protagonist with the surname of one of the pioneers of the age of enlightenment, the father of classical liberalism and a philosopher who contributed endlessly to the notion of identity and that enigmatic term, ‘the self’, it seems only fitting to have one actor have the privilege to don John Locke’s prestigious name while manoeuvring the concrete highways of Birmingham, England, and that is one of our generation’s most promising talents, the one and only Tom Hardy.

    Navigating through what seems like an endless night of change, decision making and reflection, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) finds himself in his sturdy four-by-four BMW Sports utility vehicle, driving to London, England on what may be one of the biggest days of his career. Ivan is a project manager, in charge of one of the biggest upcoming pours to happen in London, outside of military operations. Ivan, who seems to be dedicated to his job and fascinated with the importance of concrete, abandons his position as a worker and his responsibilities as a man, a husband, and a father, for a deep and dark secret that haunts him from his past and lingers very well to the forefront of his future.

    Bumper-to-bumper with endless close-ups of Hardy and various voices that flood the speakers of his vehicle through his very busy telephone bluetooth, which dictates the narrative; including his wife, voiced by Ruth Wilson (The Lone Ranger), Eddie, his son (The Impossible), coworker Donal (Andrew Scott of Saving Private Ryan), no one seems to deliver quite an emotional collision quite like Hardy does.

    Hardy is an exceptional actor that is fully capable of dictating the pace and flow of any film, regardless of the setting. Taking cues from previous films like Buried starring Ryan Reynolds and 127 Hours, telling the incredible true story of relentless survivor and avid life believer Aron Ralston, brought to life by James Franco, Locke is singular character driver film capturing the motions and movements of Ivan Locke. With only the glares of the reds, yellows and greens of the city lights flooding the highway, the soft and harsh whitish hues off other cars headlights and the glow coming from his dashboard, Hardy holds a film together not with his body, flashbacks or premonitions, but his face, his dialogue, the occasional cracks in his voice and the powerful tears running down his cheeks. Tom Hardy may very well look rugged, may very well be tatted up and adopt a rough around the edges acting style, but his role in Locke secures his dedication to reviving the cinematic art form and the dedication of actors found only in the golden age of cinema. If nothing else, Hardy is cemented as a staple of the promise in talent that can be found in cinema today, and Locke is a testament to this promise.

    At a gentle and almost unnoticed eighty-five minutes, the drive of the film is undoubtedly Hardy, but the heart lies in the tight script and direction of its fearless leader behind the lens and on the page, the uncompromising Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Closed Circuit). Knight, who directs one of the most calm, reasonable and logically satisfying characters on film in recent memory, focuses less on spectacle and climax, and more on the reality of human beings and realistic, everyday domestic melodrama they face. Rarely are audiences’ engaged in a film where the inner thoughts of its character are amplified into louder words, without a single piece of overacted dialogue. Knight succeeds in allowing the unplanned comedy and tragedy of the everyman’s mundane life to entertain in Locke.

    Aesthetically, there is no other ‘trapped in one space’ film better than this one. Ironically enough, Ivan is never in one spot long enough, and implicitly, as well as explicitly, this is what drives Locke into overdrive and well beyond the expectations of its audience. Locke is a multifaceted examination of facing your demons, prioritizing your life and running as far and as fast away from the harsh realities of your past as you can. Without ever taking any easy detour from the unexpected comedy and moments that will have you chuckling your way to a swift resolution for our protagonist, Locke will amaze you despite the obstacles and many bumps along Ivan’s ride.
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  3. May 3, 2014
    9
    Locke is inspirational, tense, and unique... What more could you want. Hardy has sex with the camera, Steven Knight's script is a masterclass in writing. Creating tension and raising the stakes for a film about a guy in a car for 90 minutes is impossible, until now... GO SEE IT!!!!
  4. May 6, 2014
    8
    I really enjoyed 'Locke'. It's a great example of how good a minimalistic film can be if done properly with a solid core idea. Tom Hardy is the only character we see on screen, and he is great. There were a couple of occasions I felt he went a little bit over theatrical but he held the film together superbly and added another great performance to his work so far. The supporting cast were actually very convincing, despite only being heard and not seen.

    All in all 'Locke' is a solid film, perhaps not a film for everyone as I expect some viewers will be put off by its simplicity. That said, it's running time is short so most should find it entertaining enough to hold their attention for an hour and a bit.
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  5. Apr 28, 2014
    9
    A24 has done it again! Simply an amazing film and all shot inside a car. Only a really talented director and actor could've pulled this off. I hope Tom Hardy gets some Award Season attention because he really is great playing off the 4 cell phone conversations he has throughout the movie. If I had one complaint, it would be the few scenes where Locke stopped the movie to detail his "daddy issues". Those parts just felt really awkward and kinda corny. Other than that, thumbs up! Expand
  6. Apr 25, 2014
    8
    Employing the risky premise of one person holding centre stage for an entire film, Locke does not go the way of similar enterprises like 'All is Lost' and ' Buried' and is, in fact, extremely hypnotic. A solid if slight story line is handed to lead actor Tom Hardy and he delivers in aces changing emotions as he would the gears in his car. His performance is a tour de force master class in acting. For 85 minutes, and from the confines of the afore mentioned vehicle, he runs an emotional gamut encompassing frustration, barely suppressed anger, sadness and even humour. It is a pertinent reminder, if one was necessary, of just how good an actor he is. Expand
  7. Apr 29, 2014
    9
    Locke is a film directed by Steven Knight, it is about a Welsh concrete enthusiast called Ivan Locke who, over the course of 85 minutes real time, watches his whole life crumble beneath his feet.

    The entire film sees Ivan Locke (portrayed by Tom Hardy) driving down a motorway towards London to reach a destination to ‘fix’ something (no specifics as I’m not giving out any spoilers). As
    Hardy is the only on-screen actor in the entire film it is very reliant on his acting skills to carry the story forward, as it is a purely story-driven experience.
    Throughout the film Ivan makes a series of phone calls to family members, co-workers and acquaintances, and as each phone call is carried out the situation for Ivan gets worse and worse.

    Hardy’s performance throughout the film is stunning, showing a range of emotions and actions when still restricted to his car seat alone. Hardy makes everything he says and all of the decisions he makes believable and very human. There was no point in the film in which I felt something that came from him didn’t feel genuine and all of his lines were delivered impeccably.

    The story was very solid and it shows a huge different array of things that can change in one man’s life over the course of just 85 minutes. I won’t go into details but his entire life goes from perfectly afloat to completely destroyed in about 45 minutes. The story is not wrapped up very well though, as at the end I had more questions about the story than answers, and this kind of film does not warrant a sequel, as it would not make any sense. He comes to an ultimate resolution but nothing about what happens after is explained. One thing that I did think is if he reached his destination and there was a sequence outside of his car it would disrupt the tone and style of the film, so that could be why Knight made the decision to stop it where he did.

    The way the film is presented is very dark in its visual style and tone. The film is set during the night time and never escapes that as the movie is completely real time from start to finish with no skips or gaps.
    The film is very unique in a way that it is essentially an 85 minute monologue of a man losing everything he has and holds dear to him. There is no action, and no other on-screen characters other than Locke in his car. It certainly is an acquired taste and I could only recommend it if you only want a good story and don’t mind if there’s nothing else to it.

    I would seriously recommend that you go out and see this if you haven’t already, it’s a great experience with amazing performances and a solid story.
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  8. Apr 25, 2014
    10
    Awesome, that's all, i love that movie, i love the lead of Tom Hardy. Thank you Steven knight for that incredible movie. Since the start to the end of the movie you'r watching like a child watching an animated movie, electric. Watch it.
  9. May 10, 2014
    10
    This movie blew my wife and I away. Tom Hardy draws you into his character's complex work and personal lives while sitting in the driver's seat of his SUV. If he doesn't get an Academy Award nomination for this engrossing film, I'll be shocked.
    Think of this film as a one man play; it could be staged as a multimedia event on stage. All the characters he interacts with as telephone
    voices. The effect is astounding. The difference would be that if you didn't have Hardy playing the protagonist, it wouldn't have as sympathetic or powerful a character.
    Do yourself a favor and track down this film. It's a performance you won't soon forget.
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  10. May 31, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. And for 90 minutes, we try to understand - why Locke is risking everything, destroying his happy existence, when he doesn't actually have to. Very frustrating to watch this. He throws everything away so that he can try to keep a promise, that he doesn't even keep. Complete fail in all areas . . family, job and love child. Expand
  11. Apr 26, 2014
    7
    I thought there would be more at stake here. There's simply not. Not a ton happens. Sure, Hardy is solid, but I'm not sure about that accent. It was a little dry for my liking.
  12. May 19, 2014
    7
    The entire movie focuses on Tom Hardy, driving on a journey that affects his career, marriage and life in permanent and ruinous ways. The artistic cinematography and active editing keeps the limited setting from being a hindrance, but it's Hardy's controlled performance that makes the film work. On the down side, even when the situation gets more acute, the emotion never escalates. Sure, he cries a bit, but the intensity starts out and continues at a constant rate. Instead of being an involving drama, this is more a compelling character study and cinematic curiosity. Expand
  13. May 10, 2014
    7
    This film is more interesting for meeting the cinematic and acting challenges of focusing on one man in a car for 85 minutes without boring you to death than for its story and insights. I enjoyed the film and was never bored, but some of the sentimentality and contrivances were a bit unimaginative – I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t list them. Suffice it to say that the sentimental ending disappointed me, and perhaps the writer-director came to love and admire his "hero" just a little too much. But I have to congratulate the actor Tom Hardy who held my attention throughout, even when the script was not helping him. Expand
  14. Apr 29, 2014
    9
    Not only does 'Locke' demonstrate masterful storytelling and flawless performances, more importantly it shows up unnecessary spectacles such as Avatar and their mistaken notion that bigger is better. An important film in a disappointing time.
  15. May 1, 2014
    10
    locke is best movie I ever watch in year, the story line is almost make me crying, the character of locke is so fully responsibility, and the movie duration is 85 minutes, is short but is a long story, i salute to the director of this movie steven knight to make a magnificent movie and outstanding story, i give my thumbs up to this movie
  16. May 24, 2014
    9
    Ivan Locke , played by Tom Hardy, drives one night from Birmingham to London. During his trip we hear him making phone calls to his colleagues, family, and his mistress. The story never leaves the car and we see nobody else , which makes the movie dragging every now and then.

    The film explores many aspect of modern life, humanity and even up to a certain point, ideas such as free will
    and fate.

    Ivan Locke is a professional civil engineer who is working on a big construction project. He had an affair with a woman in the past who is giving birth to his baby on the night that the story of the movie takes off. Locke is driving to London to be with his mistress and his newborn baby.

    Locke's struggle to fix things is a symbolic representation of what we, human beings, struggle with in life: the desire to have control over what happens around us and to us, the desire to fix and compensate for our mistakes in the past, the desire to have a happy family, the anger that we carry with us from our parents because they weren't responsible enough or because they made terrible decisions that immediately and significantly affected us and it seems they do not care.

    Locke is talking to his dad—or to his own past—in the rear mirror of his car. He is constantly instructing and lecturing his dad that he will and fix everything. Locke is self driven, firm, and assiduous. Nothing can stop him, neither his boss, nor the long ride, nor the drama of his family. He chooses where to go and how to go and forces everything follow.

    Locke's story and his journey in the end, is also the story and journey is the story and journey of his father, and why his father did what he did. The movie leaves you with the this question that “How the Ivan's father was like?” Was the a reckless irresponsible man who didn't care what would happen to his family and kids. Or was he really self driven yet mired in troubles---like Ivan who has to make wrong decisions despite what his will.

    Locke's drive and his adventure also raises this question that, as humans, how much should we fight to determine our destiny, or should we let it go, should we just give up and kneel to the merciless forces of destiny and fate, which are not under our control. And if yet, to what extend should we fight back and sacrifice?
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Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 27, 2014
    60
    Sometimes the nuts-and-bolts of the story threaten to snag, most often on conversations about the very specific details of Locke's largely humdrum job. It's those moments in particular that keep Locke from ever quite shaking the feeling that it's a gimmick film.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 15, 2014
    91
    It's a fascinating instance of a filmmaker working with self-imposed rules, but never forgetting that those restrictions are only worthwhile to the extent that they serve character and story. It's a ride well worth taking.
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 15, 2014
    50
    As intriguing as Hardy is to watch, the picture can’t overcome its cinematic-stunt vibe.