Locke (2013)

Original Large Theatrical Movie Poster Art Cinema Film 2013 Locke

Depending on the culture of your country and the management of your local cinema, intermissions are either the accepted norm or an atypical occurrence reserved for very long films. Depending on the subject matter, the viewer’s connection with a film may be negatively impacted by a break. For comedies, this is probably not an issue; but for films where the drama builds slowly, a sudden pause can change the viewer’s experience considerably.

Steven Knight’s Locke is a film which should be watched uninterrupted. If you are going to watch it at home, I strongly suggest you set yourself up with a viewing experience that is not going to involve the use of the pause button on your remote control. Most bladders should be able to cope with the 85-minute runtime.

Locke is a fascinating experience; probably like no other film you have seen. Steven Knight has written a superb screenplay which places one man in one car for the duration of the story; the ultimate chamber piece. I am not going to tell you how the film is formatted; whether it is one long soliloquy, monologue, or whatever. That is for you to discover; and I hope you do so without the help of a trailer. I promise you that the experience will be more than worth it.

The man in the car is played by Tom Hardy; a name which is still relatively unknown to mass audiences in so much as Locke is the vehicle (excuse the pun) that is probably going to propel him to stardom. However, Hardy has already played key roles in a number of high profile films: he was Eames in Inception (2010), Ricki Tarr in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and he played the lead role of Bronson (2008) in Nicolas Winding Refn’s superb biopic of the English criminal infamously labelled by the press as the most violent prison inmate in Britain.

In Locke, Hardy shows us his metal, delivering a captivating performance essential for the success of this minimalist one-man show. Steven Knight’s screenplay is immaculate; but it would have all been for nothing had Hardy’s performance not matched the director’s brilliance. The range of emotions Hardy displays are compelling. He is sure to be on many high-profile directors’ wish lists from now on.

Steven Knight has been – up until the release of Locke – a relatively unknown director. He has been writing for TV for a long time. As a screenplay writer he has enjoyed success with Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Amazing Grace (2006), and Eastern Promises (2007). Knight’s greatest commercial success to date, however, has been as one of the creators of the hit TV show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

Once again, I have left you with practically no idea what this film is about – and that’s how we like it here at Wonderful Cinema! Locke is a powerful drama: well written; well acted; well directed. See it.


You can find more information on this British drama on Wikipedia and IMDb.

As always, we recommend you don’t ruin any surprises by reading spoilers or watching trailers. Especially with a film as unique as Locke, I would keep your eagerness in check until you actually sit down to watch it.


Title: Locke

Language: English

Direction: Steven Knight

Screenplay: Steven Knight

Cinematography: Haris Zambarloukos

Editing: Justine Wright

Score: Dickon Hinchliffe

Stars: Tom Hardy


Full Acting Cast and Roles



  1. This is a really great piece of cinema. One that’s wholly engaging for the entirety of its runtime, which is a testament to Hardy’s performance. Great review!


  2. I absolutely love Tom Hardy. He is a brilliant actor but still one that is sort of under the radar even after being in quite successful films. I was considering this because he was in it but wasn’t so sure. I will definitely be adding this to my must watch list.

  3. Shimky, Shimky, you bad creature… why do you keep absconding?
    Locke was one that I passed on at the local film festival Revelation, just finished. Nothing against the movie itself, I just limit myself to 8-10 movies during Rev.
    I did hear some very positive comments about the movie and I’ll add it to the To See list.

  4. Another good review of this film, that makes four I have read now, all very positive. Hardy has given some standout performances, and he was wonderful on TV recently, in ‘Peaky Blinders’. (Second series)
    As for directorial and script-writing pedigree, ‘Eastern Promises ‘ is highly underrated, and in my opinion, very good.
    Thanks Shimky, keep going mate!
    best wishes, Pete.

      1. I knew it wasn’t Hardy, but I didn’t express it too well. He acted in Locke and Peaky Blinders. Wright wrote Locke and Eastern Promises, hence my comment about pedigree. I should have phrased my comment better. Where have you been? It took a while to follow up on that one. Hope all’s well mate. Pete.

        1. Ah! I forgot that Wright wrote Locke, so I failed to make the connection! My bad.

          I’m been very busy with a new job since last April but I’m dying to get started again…

          1. I’ve settled into it now mate. Don’t miss the big city at all. Plenty of time on my hands for blogging etc…

          2. That’s wonderful that you’ve found a comfortable environment. Even as a stranger, I’m very happy for you!

    1. Hola Katherine, hola Cristina

      Thanks for the link to your article. It’s true, there are some films that are much better than the books they were based on. I always regret reading the book first in such cases. For instance, ‘Gone Girl’. I love Fincher and I’m sure I would have enjoyed his film much more if I hadn’t read the mediocre novel first.

      Buenos, chicas. I wish you a lovely evening.

      Un abrazo

    1. Mr. Bobinksky, I love your ‘about’ page! “About me. 1989 edition.” Very funny!

      Yes, I love what they did with this film. It is unbelievable how gripping they made 85 minutes in the one confined space.

        1. Haha! What a great film that is. I recently bought the novel it is based on but I want to get the film’s images out of my head first because the novel is supposed to be extremely scary and I don’t want to lessen the impact by imagining the story with cartoon characters.

          1. Really? Now I am curious what you will say about the novel. The cartoon is quite creepy too, even with cartoon characters…

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