*The last paragraph expresses short analysis for those who don't want to sit through the long read* There is spoilers in this film from the get go, so this synopsis is going to be short. All you need know is this film involves Tom Hardy, a car, and a life changing event (Much like the night of my younger brother's conception. . . Ok, that was a joke Mom. Calm down.)
Not convinced yet on this film? Well, for the rest of this review it is my job to convince you, because for bloody sake (pardon my British) this film is worth watching.
What truly needs to be discussed here is Tom Hardy. His performance truly is a tour de force. This is, without a doubt, an Oscar contender. His decided upon Welsh accent fits in perfectly with his captivating on screen persona. He lulls you in with his authority and calmness; and pierces you with his rage and diversity of emotion. In terms of 2014 US releases, it's not on the level of James McAvoy's performance in Filth. Though, to be fair, there are few performances that I have ever seen - in my limited view of cinema - that I believe are better than what McAvoy just did in Filth.
For all of Hardy's talent, quite a bit of the film's life hangs on the script. Without good writing and direction this film could have easily fallen into the dumpster. Instead this film rises above its potential pitfall of having, for all intents and purposes, one man in one environment. Its richly thought out, conflicting, and emotionally rewarding scenes are shown in the character interactions via the phone in the car. All the voice work, especially from Andrew Scott who we've seen as the chillingly entertaining rendition of Moriarty in BBC's Sherlock, is superb and provide conversations and interactions that feel authentic and spontaneous. Every line to every fluctuation of tone in voice are realized in such a way that carry Locke from start to finish.
I may be little overzealous from the excitement of just seeing the film, but Locke really has no flaws. Yes, it could appear more like an exercise in acting than an actually important story; but there is no misstep or anything that brings this movie down in anyway. This film is seamlessly paced and astounding in scope. It is even more astounding when you realize that Locke was filmed in just a few days on less than a two million dollar budget. While, it may lack the replay value of other films, it truly is one of the best films to come out of this year. Locke showcases a completely compelling situation on top of an utterly brilliant performance by one of the top actors working from his generation. Seek it out.
Personal Preference 4/5
How Well It Was Made: 5/5