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The average cinemagoer will know Tom Hardy as the handsome Brit from Inception, or as Batman’s ultra-ripped, marble-mouthed nemesis in The Dark Knight Rises. That Tom Hardy does not appear in Locke. Arthouse buffs will best remember Hardy as the gargantuan titular sociopath in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson or as the slack-jawed redneck bootlegger in the under-seen Prohibition drama Lawless. That Tom Hardy is also absent in Locke. For Locke’s entire 85-minute runtime, the camera is trained exclusively on Hardy as he makes a late-night drive from Birmingham to London for the birth of his illegitimate child. So he drives, fielding call after life-changing call on his Bluetooth. He tries to calm his wife. He comforts the stranger carrying the living symbol of his infidelity. A respected construction foreman, he walks a nerve-rattled underling through preparations for the project. That’s it. A man in his car. No madman on the other end of the line. No shadowy figures. No chases. Just one car, one phone, one man. Yet this is a perfect vehicle for Hardy’s staggering talents, and writer-director Steven Knight manages a strange level of tension. Many viewers will abhor Locke for precisely what makes it wonderful: It’s a movie about a guy in the car. This isn’t the story of anything but a proud man fending off shame and personal defeat. There are no special effects, save the brilliant special effect that is Hardy, who disappears into the role, driving headlong into the unknown.

Special Note

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  • Running Time:
  • Release Date: Monday, May 19, 2014
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Critic's Score: B+
  • Watch the trailer

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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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