Locke (Tom Hardy in a car)

Seen this by accident. It’s a doozy. It’s basically Tom Hardy as a Welsh construction foreman, driving to London overnight, calling people and fielding phone calls as his life falls apart. That’s it. Just Tom Hardy in a car. Extraordinary performances, great script - an absolute must-see.

Hardy in Bronson is one of the best performances on screen I’ve seen in ages. Looking forward to see what he does when his physical movements are limited.

It’s not the Tom Hardy In A Car movie I’m waiting for, but hey why not.

I caught this one a while back. Absolutely fantastic movie!
Tom Hardy is one of the most exciting actors working at the moment and he’s on top form in Locke.
Riveting: 9/10

Aww, that title is kind of a spoiler. Part of what’s special about the movie is how it unfolds as you watch it, and how you realize its limited scope. It’s basically All is Lost, Urban Edition. All is Locke.

But, yeah, I’d say it’s easily his best performance. He’s amazing in Bronson because it’s so crazy over-the-top. In Locke, he doesn’t have that luxury. Two of the voice actors – all of whom are really good – are 1) Tom Holland, the fantastic kid from The Impossible, as his oldest son and 2) Alice Lowe, of Garth Merenghi and Sightseers fame, as a nurse.

Also, he’s Welsh? I wondered if that was just a Midlands accent. Do all Welshmen sound like that? If so, why can’t we farm out all tech support to Wales? What an amazing calm reassuring competent lilting musical voice.


Yeah, it’s Welsh. Not Welsh myself so don’t know how authentic it is, but it sounds pretty good to my UK ears (Tom’s natural accent is upper middle class I gather, sort of semi-posh-but-not-quite).

Cerys Matthews (formerly of Catatonia) has a Radio 6 show here in the UK. Her accent is a husky, creamy-dreamy lilting Welsh, perfect for a radio show with cool, happening music.

Agree with preferring this to Bronson. Bronson is awesome, but I think playing a normal, working-class guy is probaby more of an actorly challenge for him (he is by nature a Bronson-ish sort of chap - i.e. despite a decent upper-middle-class upbringing he was a bit of a bad boy in his youth, and still has a bit of that in him by all accounts).

His eye-acting in TDKR is pretty hard to beat too, though :)

FYI, I hadn’t seen this, so was pleasantly surprised to see it’s now ‘freely’ available on Amazon Prime Instant video.

Oh lordy, Cerys. Yes. Dreamy indeed, but I’m not a huge fan of the accent for the most part. I was caught off guard by Hardy’s adoption of it.

It’s a really compelling watch and benefits greatly by being a shorter film. For me it really took off after we’d had the first round of phone calls.


The great unresolved question of the film surrounds Locke’s justification of abandoning his current family to be a father to an unexpected child, a decision he makes in reaction to his own dad walking out on him. The scenes of him railing against the ghost of his dad in the rear view mirror are just brilliant. Insert obvious analogy comment about back seat drivers trying to dictate the way you drive your car, operate your life etc

Great movie indeed, doing so much with so little is an amazing feat. SPOILERS AHEAD.

One thing though… He is making history at work with the biggest project of his life and his own wife knows nothing about it? So they are they definitely telling us that his marriage was already screwed? That he he may have slept around because he was actually quite unhappy himself? Or his the wife just a nagging bitch?

I do not think the movie is implying any of these things. The sense I get is that he had a good relationship with his wife, and I trust what he says to her about this happening one time. Furthermore, I don’t get the sense that she is a nagging bitch at all. She is suddenly thrust into an unbelievable crisis, that she hears about over the phone, and she cannot believe this is happening to her, that this is her life. If anything, she is in shock.

As for the idea that she knows nothing about this massive project, I don’t think that is the case. I think, for her, this crisis is paramount, and she sees the way he is attending to the pour as indicative of the fact that he does not give their personal crisis the weight it deserves in this dangerous moment. Perhaps when she looks back, months or years from the events of the movie, she will have a sort of perspective on what he was doing. She will never see the way he attends to the pour in the midst of the crisis as honorable, I don’t think, but she may understand his need to do so. I really don’t think the way she reacts is meant to imply that their marriage was already screwed, but it does perhaps point to his obsession with work. And yet, I’m not so sure about that either, since at the very beginning he is making a choice between turning one way to go to his family, and turning the other way to go to the hospital. He had plans to go and watch the game with his family, didn’t he? Even on this most momentous of all nights. I’m sure he intended to return to the pour later, but he had made plans to pause for a family event. I think that is a powerful detail.

Those of you who have seen this more recently, please let me know if I’m remembering things incorrectly. It’s been a few weeks since I saw it, and the movie was so emotionally affecting for me that I could very well have a lot of that wrong.

I have such a love for this movie. As I said during our best of podcast, it is a movie I cannot wait to see again, and that I simultaneously am afraid of seeing again.


“Yes I know I am the last person on Earth. But it happened.”

I am so happy you wrote this, way back when you saw it in July. And I’m so happy I missed this thread until now. Because in my viewing notes I wrote something similar (albeit without the cool “All is Locke” part…well done there). It definitely calls to mind All is Lost, and I’m happy to see that happened for you as well.


“You don’t trust God when it comes to concrete.”

This drive is a split decision by Locke but it is guided by his strong conviction to be a better man than his father. His honor will not allow him to let this woman and his child just dangle out there on their own. It is really amazing to watch him juggle all of these balls, well past the point of them having any positive impact for him. This is a guy who needs to see things through. My favorite part is when he gets the favor from the local politician. Lots of good will chits are spent on something he has clearly been removed from, but it is still “his” in Locke’s mind.

Seeing it again might be neat from a logical standpoint (watch the pieces of the puzzle fall into place), but my thinking would be that it would lose a lot of the emotional tension of the initial viewing. Who knows, though. Wages of Fear and Sorcerer are pretty darn rewatchable, but they are much more visceral in their tension.

I’m an odd bird in that I can see a given movie multiple times and it continues to impact me emotionally (I cry at the same moments in Midnight Run, to give a silly example, every single time I see it). So I’m not really going to view it again to watch the pieces of the puzzle fall into place so much as to watch what Tom Hardy is doing more closely, because his performance in this movie is fucking phenomenal. I can’t get his voice out of my head, and I’m not just talking about the accent he’s doing, but the whole vocal performance. Especially his cadence. I mean it. I can’t get the way he talks, as if the character is singing to those he is talking to in a lullaby sort of way, out of my head. I was, and am, mesmerized by the vocal choices he makes in this movie.

But I’m also looking forward to keeping an eye on what is going on with the editing, because I think the movie is so freaking well put together (and maybe this is adjacent to your point about puzzle pieces) and I didn’t attend to that aspect of the movie enough first time around.

Regardless, it will impact me emotionally no matter how many times I see it. And I both dread and look forward to that.


I just don’t buy a happy marriage with poor communication. And she immediately throws bottled up stuff at him such as the “concrete drying on the kitchen floor”. They’ve been together for 10 or 15 years, I don’t remember, but he makes one mistake, owns up to it and she gets to instantly take the moral high ground and shut it all down and she does? That’s not a wife I would want.

I had no problem with the distance some have perceived between Locke and his wife. I know of many relatively happy couples where one knows what their partner’s job is, but doesn’t care to really understand the ins-and-outs of it, and the importance of it to their partner. This is usually down division of responsibility: a role as primary care-giver gives them different “mindspace” priorities. It’s money in the bank for them.

To each their own but if I imagine having a life partner that knows next to nothing about what I do and what my passion is AND has no interest in knowing more… that sounds just awful. Imagine completing some year long, highly successful project and then coming home to a wife that says; “that’s nice honey, did you pick up the milk?”

Anyways, that part surely didn’t work for me.

I am an extremely happily married man. My wife and I have great communication and an ability to support each other through all manner of things and to resolve differences quickly.

If I were to tell my wife over the phone that I was not coming home because I had gotten another woman pregnant and had to go be with her in the hospital and also that I wanted to talk things out with her but that it would have to wait because there was a critical situation at work that required my attention, I’m pretty sure that she would react pretty much exactly the way Locke’s wife does. This is frankly the only human reaction that someone could have in such a situation. Frankly, I would not want to be in a relationship with someone who didn’t get upset under those circumstances.

That’s the tragedy of this movie. Locke is trying so hard to do the right thing but it is a no win situation. The part at the end where the polish contractor says how Locke is the best man he knows is heartbreaking. Locke likely is a great man but he fucked up and taking responsibility for that fuck up means destroying his life and hurting the people closest to him.

Happily married people don’t fuck other people. Shit happens over the course of a marriage and people change. Petty stuff comes out when people argue. Take this from a guy who recently ended a “happy” marriage after 22 years.

I found the conversation between Locke and his wife to be very real. She was blindsided by his infidelity and shocked that he was going to fix that problem before coming home to fix their problem.

As I was watching the movie, one of my favorite feelings was the one that dawned on me as the movie progressed: Is this entire movie seriously going to have the chops to take place ENTIRELY INSIDE A CAR and the script consist almost exclusively of PHONE CALLS and will the only face we see really be THIS ONE GUY? I just couldn’t believe it, and I loved it. I’m super glad that I knew none of those things before I watched, so I’m glad I didn’t see the thread title, too.

I love your point, Tom, about Tom Hardy’s voice, and how you want every technical support person in the world to have that voice. I can’t think of any other actor who has gone with that vocal intonation. It totally appealed to me.

There wasn’t a single moment in this movie where I felt like the script or pacing mis-stepped. And I can’t say enough about the editing and the sound. Didn’t it just feel like the entire movie really did take place during its exact run time? Hardy’s acting along with the editing/sound made that happen, I think, at least for me. I never once even considered how the film was shot or how many takes it took or anything distracting.

I think this film is so close to perfect. I didn’t totally buy some of the voice acting, but it wasn’t a huge deal to me either. Hardy’s presence overwhelmed any such objections. I was happy to overlook any voice acting flaws just so I could spend time with him.

Thank you, Qt3 movie podcasters, for telling me about Locke. I was super bummed when I learned that there is no Qt3 podcast about Locke. I watched Ex Machina and The Rover recently (and loved them, too) and then when I listened to your podcasts, I loved each one even more. I was hoping for the same re: Locke. Curses!

Yeah, it’s really something special if you can go in without knowing that the movie isn’t going to leave the car.

So which of the voice actors did you not like? It better not be Alice Lowe as the nurse or Tom Holland as the son! I was also partial to his cider-drinking co-worker.

Hey, everyone watch Locke before going to the new Mad Max movie. It’s the Tom Hardy in a Car Double Feature!