• Studio:
  • Release Date:
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 137 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring:
  • Summary: Ivan Locke has worked hard to craft a good life for himself. With one phone call, that life will collapse around him.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 9, 2014
    100
    That is the sum of writer/director Steven Knight's movie: a man, a car, a hands-free mobile device. And it is extraordinary.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 24, 2014
    100
    Tom Hardy, the actor who plays him, is by turns spellbinding, seductive, heartbreaking, explosive and flat-out thrilling. At a time when the studios are spending vast sums of money on a bigger-is-better aesthetic, here's a chamber piece with the impact of high drama.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 1, 2014
    90
    It is exceptional acting, and Locke is a tremendous piece of filmmaking.
  4. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Sep 17, 2013
    80
    This ingeniously executed study in cinematic minimalism has depth, beauty and poise.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 24, 2014
    80
    Mr. Knight keeps a fairly steady distance from Ivan — underscoring certain tense passages with tighter close-ups — but moment by moment, with a twitch, a shudder, a look, it’s Mr. Hardy who movingly draws you in, turning a stranger’s face into a life.
  6. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 1, 2014
    75
    Cinema is not about special effects, but about human emotion and a face in close-up. For those in doubt, Locke is the proof.
  7. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Sep 17, 2013
    40
    Full credit to Hardy and Knight for making a film such as Locke. Low-budget film-makers could learn a lot from their method. And yet – having stripped away all but the bare necessities, having reduced the components to a car and a man – they make a classic error of overcompensation.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 42
  2. Negative: 8 out of 42
  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 LockeLocke 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. Nov 24, 2014
    9
    The reviewers claiming this movie is boring are missing its point. Locke is a construction manager in charge of a large, important buildingThe reviewers claiming this movie is boring are missing its point. Locke is a construction manager in charge of a large, important building being constructed. 7 months prior, in his only indiscretion, he had a one night stand and got a woman pregnant. Tonight she is having the baby in London. Locke's own father abandoned him when he was an infant and only showed up in his life when he was 23 years old. In reaction to this, Locke has chosen to live his life differently, ie not to run away from pressure or disaster or difficulty.. This movie focuses on the consequences of the principles he lives by: he will not lie, he will not run away, he will take responsibility and do what he feels is the right thing even though other people will hate him for it. Whether or not you agree with how he handles his marriage, his family, his job, under the circumstances is not as important as witnessing his absolute steadfastness to his principles and his commitment to living his life in a way so that he can respect himself. He firmly believes that all problems can be worked through. He doesn't convince his wife or his bosses of that though. But he does take the consequences of his decision. He holds it together under enormous pressure. This was a character study and Knight did a great job of rendering a particularly British idea about what makes a solid man.
    The acting was remarkable considering Hardy had to hold our attention without any of the tricks of the typical action flick. Cinematography was beautiful. The music was superbly chosen and has stayed with me. If you want a film that makes you think about what it means to live your life well, whether or not you agree with Locke this film is thought provoking.
    Expand
  3. 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 isThere 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.
    Expand
  4. Aug 27, 2014
    8
    Locke is a surprisingly engaging movie. I've seen movies that span years that are far more boring. The screenplay was good, Tom Hardy didLocke is a surprisingly engaging movie. I've seen movies that span years that are far more boring. The screenplay was good, Tom Hardy did great, and the camerawork was beautiful. It's definitely not for everyone though. Its premise is extremely stripped down, which in many ways does limit it, but it also proves that a movie doesn't need a huge budget, or hundreds of locations to be good. Locke makes the best of an extremely compact concept. Does that make it perfect? No. It's too small a film to become truly enthralling, but it's not boring either. It's an insanely risky idea that's proven to actually work through impeccable craftsmanship. Expand
  5. Dec 14, 2014
    7
    Locke is a movie with a memorable performance of Tom Hardy and some interesting plots. This movie deserves more than one award of theLocke is a movie with a memorable performance of Tom Hardy and some interesting plots. This movie deserves more than one award of the independent movies. (70 - 100) Expand
  6. Aug 21, 2014
    5
    I don't think this movie deserves this good of a rating! You only see this dude in the car, calling people and talking **** it's allI don't think this movie deserves this good of a rating! You only see this dude in the car, calling people and talking **** it's all meaningless **** about his precious little life, like how much everything matters SO much and it's just annoying... 5 points is quite generous still... Expand
  7. 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

See all 42 User Reviews

Trailers