By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Taut one-man drama explores faulty human relationships.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
Locke is resolute and determined. He's also willing to step up to the plate after making a big mistake.
Violence & Scariness
Some yelling during phone calls. While driving, a man hits the steering wheel out of frustration.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man discusses his infidelity.
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Frequent strong swearing, including "f--k," "bastard," "arse," "s--t," "hell," "Jesus," one use of "c--t," and lots of British slang.
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Products & Purchases
The BMW logo is quite visible throughout the film.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character talks (on the phone) about having beers while working.
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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.
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Based on 2 parent reviews
Taut thriller may not interest teens (tons of profanity).
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A master class in minimal setting and maximum storytelling!
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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?
- 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: October 8, 2022
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