(2013)

Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Yes, Locke is a bit of a storytelling stunt: For the entirety of the movie, Ivan is the only character on screen. But even with nothing to cut away to and no flashbacks to offer context, the film manages to stay as tight as a vise.
100
Hardy might be past needing a star-making performance, but this is the kind of work that raises him to highest echelon of actors working in film today. He and Knight remind us that artists can astonish with the simplest of methods.
100
Wall Street Journal
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.
100
In writer-director Steven Knight's mesmerizing jewel of film titled Locke, Tom Hardy is so brilliant we readily watch him drive a car and talk on the hands-free phone for virtually the entirety of the film - and it's one of the more effortlessly intense and fascinating performances I've seen any actor give in recent memory.
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.
90
No less impressive than the narrative mastery here, however, is the technical execution of this bold minimalist experiment.
88
It's a powerhouse of claustrophobic suspense and fierce emotion, mostly because Tom Hardy, best known as Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises," is a blazing wonder as Locke.
88
In the end, Locke is a cinematic stunt that engrosses as it unspools, and pays dividends after it's been accomplished.
88
In the end, Locke is a cinematic stunt that engrosses as it unspools, and pays dividends after it's been accomplished.
88
The real wreckage in Locke is to the main character's old life, and the manner in which it is depicted makes this one of the year's most intriguing motion pictures.
88
The seductively gripping cinematic stunt that calls itself Locke bears a slight resemblance to the recent “All Is Lost.”
83
A very impressive film, one that can only increase the esteem in which both Knight and Hardy are held.
80
There are films to see on huge screens, but this is one that almost cries out for a small cinema, surrounded by total blackness. It's a daring experiment brilliantly executed, with Tom Hardy giving one of the performances of his career.
80
Locke never shies away from from thrusting 21st concepts of masculinity into the full glare of the high beams, exposing its morally complex protagonist at his most vulnerable before triumphantly rebuilding him from the foundations upwards. Don't miss it.
80
If you are asking an audience to listen to one man talking for an hour and a half, you had better make sure he is worth listening to, and minute-by-minute, Hardy has you spellbound.
80
This ingeniously executed study in cinematic minimalism has depth, beauty and poise.
80
A masterclass in how the most local, most hemmed-in stories can reverberate with the power of big, universal themes.
75
Heading toward his destination as a decent man facing ruin by doing the right thing, Mr. Hardy does a great job acting out the phases of anxiety frustration, confusion, exasperation and ultimate resolve - while working overtime to save a movie that takes place entirely on a cell phone from getting boring.
75
A captivating Tom Hardy is in the driver's seat for the one-man show Locke, but like many experimental films, this one suffers from its self-imposed constraints.
75
Locke will hold your interest as it presents a side of the burly, bluff “Dark Knight” villain we have never seen before on screen.
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.
75
Twenty minutes in, Hardy notwithstanding, you might be tempted to bail on Locke. Don't.
63
The literalizing of Ivan Locke's hidden self and his inability to master it ultimately exposes the film as the squarest kind of theater: drama therapy.
60
What director Knight excels at is continually inventive framing and composition, at suggesting, through layers of window and reflected traffic, the mental state of Locke, the hero.
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.

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