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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

This eccentric and often unsavoury biopic charts the rise to infamy of a small-time Luton crook who changed his name and bulked his frame in the mid-1980s to become Britain's most violent and feared prisoner. Tom Hardy gives a stunning performance as moustached reprobate Charles Bronson, who has spent two-thirds of his life in jail, and most of that in solitary confinement. As there's little in the way of biographical fact to contend with, director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) attempts instead to poke around in his subject's psyche. Scenes from Bronson's life are presented as hallucinatory, stylised episodes that owe a great debt to Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, not just in their look but also through their jarring use of classical music. The violence may be too extreme and message too non-judgemental for mainstream viewers, but Hardy does an admirable job of making this monster human, which he achieves with surprising wit and a visceral, attention-grabbing passion.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Charles Bronson / Michael Peterson Tom Hardy
Paul DanielsMatt King
NurseTerry Stone
Charlie's mumAmanda Burton
Uncle JackHugh Ross
IreneKelly Adams
BrianEdward Bennett-Coles
John WhiteJoe Tucker
PhilJames Lance
Prison governorJonathan Phillips
AlisonJuliet Oldfield

Crew

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DirectorNicolas Winding Refn

Details

Theatrical distributor
Vertigo Films
Released on
2015-09-04
Languages
English | Spanish
Guidance
violence, swearing
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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