Locke is a 2013 British-American drama film written and directed by Steven Knight. The film stars Tom Hardy in the title role, with Tom Holland, Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson, Ben Daniels, and Alice Lowe providing voices.
The film premiered at Broad Street in Westside, Birmingham the 70th Venice Film Festival on 2 September 2013. The film had a limited release in the United Kingdom beginning on 18 April 2014, and grossed $5 million worldwide. Locke received critical acclaim, particularly for Hardy's performance. Hardy won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor for his performance.
The day before he must supervise a large concrete pour in Birmingham, construction foreman Ivan Locke learns that Bethan, a colleague with whom he had a one-night stand seven months previously, has gone into premature labour. Despite his job responsibilities and although his wife and sons are eagerly awaiting his arrival home to watch an important football match, Locke decides to drive to London to be with Bethan during childbirth. Locke never forgave his father for abandoning him as a child, and he is determined not to make the same mistake.
Over the course of the two-hour drive from Birmingham to London, Locke holds a total of 36 phone calls with his boss and a colleague, Donal, to ensure the pour is successful, with his wife Katrina to confess his infidelity, his son, and with Bethan to reassure her during her labour. During these calls, he is fired from his job, kicked out of his house by his wife, and asked by his older son to return home. He coaches his assistant Donal through preparing the pour despite several major setbacks, and has imaginary conversations with his father, whom he envisions as a passenger in the back seat of his car. When he is close to the hospital, Locke learns of the successful birth of his new baby.Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke
Ruth Wilson as Katrina Locke
Olivia Colman as Bethan Maguire
Andrew Scott as Donal
Ben Daniels as Gareth
Tom Holland as Eddie Locke
Bill Milner as Sean Locke
Danny Webb as Cassidy
Alice Lowe as Sister Margaret
Silas Carson as Dr. Halil Gullu
Lee Ross as PC Davids
Kirsty Dillon as Gareth's wife
Almost the entire film takes place within a BMW X5, which was driven down the M6 motorway on a flatbed truck for most of the time. Shooting took place in real time, and the filmmakers only took breaks to change the cameras' memory cards. Ivan Locke is the only character to appear on screen, the others are only heard on the phone and their parts were also recorded in real time.
Locke was shown out of competition at the 70th Venice International Film Festival and then in the Spotlight program in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
It was released on 18 April 2014 in the United Kingdom, where it made $3,264,654. On 25 April 2014 it opened in the United States and made $1,375,769. The film was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on 12 August 2014.
Rotten Tomatoes reports that 91% of 195 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 7.7 out of 10. The critical consensus states: "A one-man show set in a single confined location, Locke demands a powerful performance – and gets it from a never-more-compelling Tom Hardy." The film has a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 37 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Olly Richards of Empire awarded the film 4/5 stars and said: "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 best performances of his career".
In his book How to Watch a Movie (2015), David Thomson singles out this film and says: "No film I've seen in recent years is more eloquent on where we are now, and on how alone we feel. There is little left but to watch and listen."
For his performance, Hardy won the Best Actor Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.