Locke: reviews of Tom Hardy's 'riveting' road movie

Apr 18, 2014

Hardy wows critics as a construction foreman facing a dark night of the soul on the road to London

What you need to know

British drama Locke opens in UK cinemas today. The film is written and directed by Steven Knight, best known for his films Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises

Locke stars Tom Hardy as construction foreman Ivan Locke, who leaves a worksite in Birmingham to drive to London. Along the way, he tries to settle the major personal and professional crises in his life via a series of phonecalls. With Olivia Coleman and Ruth Wilson.

What the critics like 

This daring British film is "very exciting" - a moral quandary played out like a thriller, says Antonia Quirke in the Financial Times. It is a glorious example of "what crazy stuff can we pull off in as little time as possible?", with brilliance on the page and behind the camera.

"This ingeniously executed study in cinematic minimalism has depth, beauty and poise," says in Leslie Felperin in Variety. As Locke tracks a dark night of the soul for a construction-site manager it makes a finely tuned showcase for Hardy's exceptional acting skills. 

 "It's a daring experiment brilliantly executed," says Olly Richards in Empire. Hardy is riveting but economical, giving one of the performances of his career.

What they don't like 

This bold, well-acted yet ultimately exasperating movie, is "a nearly decent drama choked by the knotweed of its clunky conversations", says Xan Brooks in The Guardian. Having stripped it down to the bare necessities – a car and a man – they make a classic error of overcompensation, with garrulous dialogue that ploughs ever onward, complete with grinding emotional gear-changes and great squeals of exposition.              

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