• Review Date: April 23, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Taut one-man drama explores faulty human relationships.
  • Review Date: April 23, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 84 minutes





What parents need to know

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

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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:April 25, 2014
DVD release date:August 12, 2014
Cast:Tom Hardy
Director:Steven Knight
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language throughout

This review of Locke was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent 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 more and more about Hardy's character and his situation is revealed. It's amazing to watch an actor's face for that long and see the range of emotions. Most kids and teens will find this boring, but discerning adults will appreciate this unique film. There is tons of profanity, but other than that this one is pretty tame. You could also call it a long commercial for BMW since he doesn't have to stop for gas. :)
What other families should know
Too much swearing
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. To non-frequent moviegoers, a guy talking on the phone in a car for an hour and a half sounds torturous, but with Steven Knight's tight direction and incredibly revealing script, you fully understand the character of Ivan Locke, his motivations, his insecurities, his good and his bad. The special features revealed Tom Hardy even put on a convincing Welsh accent THE ENTIRE MOVIE just so it would sound more comforting to the audience since they're basically in the car with him for 80 minutes listening to his voice, and watching his world disintegrate before our very eyes. This is a movie that begs to be seen, and should get tons of Oscar love, but my prediction is you won't even hear it mentioned. I loved "Locke," one of the best 2014 movies so far. Very strong language throughout, perfect for older teens.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byMaWalker66 August 15, 2014


Locke is one of the worst movies of all time, in my opinion. How anyone managed to like it, or why ew gave it an A, is beyond me. It is so boring, and I don't get why they made it into a film, because pretty much nothing happens, except a man making a couples of phone calls. Tom Hardy was great, but that was the only good thing about the film. You should also know that every character swears a lot, and it does not add anything to the film. The profanity is awful and ridiculous. Terrible, crappy, movie.
What other families should know
Too much swearing


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