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Ivan Locke’s (Tom Hardy) hitherto rock solid life slowly falls apart during a drive to London.


  • Director-Screenwriter Steven Knight
  • Producers Paul Webster, Guy Heeley
  • With Tom Hardy
  • UK 2013
  • 85 mins
  • UK distribution Lionsgate UK

Charged with the responsibility of ensuring the sound foundations of huge architectural constructions, structural engineer Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is as solid as the concrete that he pours for a living. For ten years he has built a reputation as a highly respected professional and as a fiercely loved father and husband. On the eve of a career-crowning moment, we follow Ivan’s journey driving from Wales to London, and see how one mistake has caused his hitherto firmly focused and controlled life to slowly and completely fall apart. Both Ivan’s brute determination to regain control over his life and his stubborn refusal to engage fully with the emotional reality, are combined perfectly in Hardy’s taut performance. Steven Knight’s direction, too, is as resolutely spartan as his central character. Shot in its entirety over eight days, and never leaving the interior of the car, Knight’s film nevertheless succeeds in creating a gripping atmosphere of tightly wound tension.

Jemma Desai

Read the Time Out review.

Director biography

After graduating with a degree in English Literature from University College London, Steven Knight worked as a copywriter/producer for a Birmingham advertising agency and for Capital Radio. In 1988 he and Mike Whitehill began a freelance writing partnership providing material for television, providing material for Canned Carrott, Commercial Breakdown and The Detectives, among other programmes. They also devised game shows, including Who Wants to be a Millionaire? with David Briggs. Knight has written screenplays including Dirty Pretty Things, directed by Stephen Frears, and received Oscar, Bafta and European Film Award nominations for his screenplay and won a British Independent Film Award. His further screenplays, Amazing Grace, directed by Michael Apted, and Eastern Promises, directed by David Cronenberg, also picked up awards and nominations. Eastern Promises won the best screenplay at Canada’s Genie awards and was nominated for Best British Film at the Baftas. Hummingbird, Knight’s first film as a writer-director, starred Jason Statham and was released by Lionsgate in the UK in June 2013. Knight has also written a play, The President of an Empty Room, for the National Theatre and published four novels. His next screenplay to be made into a film is set to be The Hundred-Foot Journey, to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom for DreamWorks Studios.

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