...Locke provides irrefutable proof that he is. Tom Hardy is absolutely captivating in this role, and he has to be. It's all about his character Ivan Locke driving in a car. That's the setting. All forms of dialogue are from Locke and from calls he gets ingoing and outgoing through the car. The weird thing is, you don't even notice it after a while. Everything flows so smoothly and Tom Hardy's performance completely captures everything you'd expect from this character as he's experiencing these dilemmas - you believe every word out of his mouth and every subtle nuance in his expressions. Tom Hardy owns this movie and Locke really is the perfect vehicle (literally) for showing off his barebones acting chops.
The story itself is that Ivan Locke is a construction worker who just got off his shift and is now driving back, but then gets some calls that give us insight into what he has going on in his personal life and his work life and how Locke responds to this information as it gets progressively more stressful. It's incredible that a movie at only 82 minutes can go through such a roller-coaster of emotions, and as short as it is the movie still flies by because you're so drawn to the character. One of the voices is Locke's coworker voiced by Andrew Scott (Moriarty from Sherlock) and even as a voice-over his performance is totally convincing and his back-and-forth with Hardy is electric and at times humorous. His wife and other parties bring drama into the equation and as things start falling apart for Locke it dips into psychological thriller territory.
Steven Knight deserves much credit as well for having written and directed the film. It's so smooth and sleek, from the highway shots to the few overhead shots of the city at night. It's beautiful and adds the ideal atmosphere for this one-man show to maneuver in. It's a wonderfully written movie, wonderfully directed, perfectly acted (seriously, this is the performance of Hardy's career), with a spot- on supporting cast of voices. Locke is a mesmerizing movie from beginning to end. If you're a Tom Hardy fan or a fan of good cinema in general, you're doing yourself a disservice by not watching Locke.