Thirty seconds in, and Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) gets into his fancy BMW, and won't get out again for the rest of the movie. He's driving non-stop and alone to London, to meet up with Bethan (Olivia Colman), a woman he had a one-night stand with and is currently in a hospital, about to have his baby. This leaves a massive construction site without a foreman on the eve of the work beginning, and in the capable but panicking hands of Donal (Andrew Scott). Plus he's about to break the news of his infidelity to his wife Katrina (Ruth Wilson), who’s at home with their sons (Tom Holland, Bill Milner).
espite the hugely impressive cast-list, Hardy is the only face we see for the entire duration, delivering an acting tour-de-force behind an impressive Welsh accent and running the entire gamut of emotions. Like a shark, he can't stop to think about his actions or their consequences, he's set his mind on this goal, and he needs to see it through to prove that he is not going to turn out to be the absentee dad that his own father was.

nterspersed throughout the increasingly emotional and claustrophobic phone calls, we get little soliloquies of Ivan ranting at his imagined (and invisible) father in the back seat, and while these moments do feed more into our understanding of the character, they take entirely away from the tense and present set-up the rest of the movie possesses. Plus, Ivan is a little too heavy-handed with the construction-work-as-life metaphors ("If there's one crack in the foundation, the whole thing can come crumbling down."), which are about as subtle as a pneumatic drill.
till though, between Hardy's faultless performance and the fantastic direction from Steven Knight - a huge jump up from his Jason Statham-starring directorial debut last year Redemption - who manages to make the interiors of a car and the passing of a motor-way never less than visually arresting, Locke manages to be a constantly tense and taut ride.