DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
Locke is a single location film that takes place in real time. If ever there was a recipe for disaster it is with this type of film. It is unbelievably difficult to get right. More often than not films like this fail because of the constraints their own setting enforces upon them.
Locke understands this very well and does what it should do. Keep it simple. The plot is straightforward and related to us through phone calls and internal conversations Locke has with his dead father. We are presented with a calm and collected man who, at the beginning of the film, after some consideration decides to go right instead of left. He is going on a long drive and his character and personality are exposed to us via the work related phone calls and the calls he makes to his family and with that the simple plot about a life that is on the verge of unhinging with a protagonist desperately trying to stay in control from the confines of his car.
And it works beautifully. Paced perfectly, it never outstays its welcome. But it is within the authentic and clever dialogue and and absolutely stellar performance by Hardy where the real strength lies. Hardy is nothing but phenomenal here. He cannot use his impressive physique, he only has his face and his voice to work with. At first I was a bit distracted by his accent as it felt a bit like he was 'doing a voice'. But after a while the cadence of his intonation and the increasing woe and panic in his eyes sucked me into this man's 90 minute drive with the greatest of ease.
Locke is one of those films that transcends its own gimmick because of clever writing and directing and a career best performance by its leading man.