Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Locke Movie Poster Image
Taut one-man drama explores faulty human relationships.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 84 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

You can't overstate the importance of righting a wrong, even if it means going to great lengths and undergoing great pain.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Locke is resolute and determined. He's also willing to step up to the plate after making a big mistake.


Some yelling during phone calls. While driving, a man hits the steering wheel out of frustration.


A man discusses his infidelity.


Frequent strong swearing, including "f--k," "bastard," "arse," "s--t," "hell," "Jesus," one use of "c--t," and lots of British slang.


The BMW logo is quite visible throughout the film.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character talks (on the phone) about having beers while working.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Locke is a tense, sleek, and deeply engrossing thriller that revolves around a construction manager (Tom Hardy) on the verge of professional and relationship suicide. There's no nudity or violence (except for a man hitting the steering wheel while driving) and virtually no drinking or drugs, save for a verbal reference. But there's plenty of strong swearing (including "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," and more), and the material is intense -- particularly a wrenching admission of infidelity and two boys' reaction to the discovery that all may not be well with their parents' marriage.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjohnswanson November 2, 2014

Taut thriller may not interest teens (tons of profanity).

This movie was 85 minutes of Tom Hardy in a car talking on the phone. I know this sounds boring, but it is not. There is tension and it builds and builds as m... Continue reading
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 August 20, 2014

A master class in minimal setting and maximum storytelling!

You could almost call this movie a surprise gem, but everybody should know by now that when Tom Hardy comes to bat he's going to knock it out of the park.... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 10, 2020

Interesting and mature Tom hardy drama

Locke is a taxi driver type drama of a man who gets a series of phones calls and his life quickly goes out of control. This movie starring Oscar nominee Tom har... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byHydroPlaysXband... March 27, 2020

Surprisingly interesting look at faulty relationships. Will bore kids.

Locke is a drama/thriller about a man who during a car ride, encounters many problematic situations. Tom Hardy is great in this film. The writing is fairly dece... Continue reading

What's the story?

A fateful phone call sends construction manager LOCKE (Tom Hardy) driving through the night to another city, leaving his wife and two sons bewildered at home and his boss displeased at his abandonment of a project. It's the night before the biggest concrete pour in the country, and Locke is in charge ... until he has to inform his boss of his detour, which will make him miss being on-site. Even worse, the call requires Locke to confess to his wife (AKA the doting mother of his two boys) about an indiscretion. Will Locke lose it all?

Is it any good?

Taut, tense, and terrific, Locke is a textbook example of fine acting by the very talented Hardy. Without his deft and nuanced heavy lifting, this move would sadly be over before it even begins. After all, a movie set in a car, featuring just one character talking on a hands-free phone the entire time, doesn't seem like enough to hang an entire production on. But thanks to Hardy, it's more than enough. 

He grips the audience throughout the entire ride and manages to find the complexities in a seemingly simple script. All at once, Locke's journey becomes a meditation on marriage, fatherhood, and morality. Viewers will feel like they're in the backseat of a vehicle being driven by a very interesting, and very pained, man, and they'll be fully invested by the end. The script does overplay some emotional moments -- especially as Locke deals with the fallout from his confession -- but thankfully, there aren't too many of these missteps. As Locke speeds toward his destination, physically and emotionally, you'll find yourself desperately wanting to be there when he arrives.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how different Locke is from other dramatic thrillers. What makes it thrilling? Does a film need to have action to fall into ghat category?

  • Is Locke a good man? What is he trying to prove about taking responsibility?

  • Do the characters -- and their reactions -- seem realistic and believable to you?

Movie details

  • In theaters: April 25, 2014
  • On DVD or streaming: August 12, 2014
  • Cast: Tom Hardy
  • Director: Steven Knight
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Topics: Cars and Trucks
  • Run time: 84 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language throughout
  • Last updated: May 28, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama and thrills

Themes & Topics

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