Locke (15)

‘MAN driving on M6 and M1’ hardly sounds like the premise of a great thriller.

But Locke is a tense and emotionally wrought journey in more ways than one.

Academy Award nominee Steven Knight’s film sees Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) receive a call which compels him to drive in the opposite direction of home towards St Mary’s Hospital in London.

Locke has the perfect family, a top job in construction and tomorrow will be the biggest moment of his career. But a past mistake and his choice to drive from Birmingham to London could see his carefully crafted life fall apart.

One of the most intriguing elements is that it is all set in real time as Locke makes his motorway journey and takes and receives calls. All the other actors are just detached voices on the end of a line.

Meanwhile, Locke’s wife has bought him a six-pack of beer and is cooking sausages for him and his sons for the evening football match.

It might seem trivial but it just hooks you in as it makes the scenario seem disconcertingly real.

As things become desperate, Locke begins to question everything from his professionalism to his honour.

Knight’s story could do with a bit more closure and Hardy’s Welsh accent has been criticised.

But Locke is one of the year’s most original thrillers, a study in choices and consequences and a showcase for Hardy’s talent, versatility and charisma as a leading man.