In Locke, a man drives a car for the 85-minute duration of the film. He is not being chased, nor is there a ticking bomb in the back seat. He isn’t headed for an international border with a suitcase packed with gold, or dying of radiation poisoning and trying to reach the antidote. He drives the car. He talks on the telephone. That’s it.
Why did I find this movie compelling? For one thing, I have a fondness for films in close quarters, like Rear Window. For another, the actor who occupies the driver’s seat is Tom Hardy.
We hear other peoples’ voices, but Hardy—as a building contractor named Ivan Locke—is the only person on screen. Having gotten a reputation for sculpting his physique for movies such as Inception, Warrior and The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy uses his body here almost not at all.