Bronson Review

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Biopic of Britain's most notorious prisoner and his rise to infamy.


What appears on the surface to be yet another nasty-minded British gangster hagiography is actually anything but, thanks to an engaging, muscular and even funny performance by Tom Hardy as Michael Peterson, a small-time crim who morphed behind bars to become the tabloid-famous prison irritant Charles Bronson.

A biopic in the broadest sense, it dispenses with straight narrative and takes a few random but chronologically correct details from Bronson’s life: an inept thief, declared insane, then perfectly sane, spending his final 34 years in solitary, and all without a single life lost. Riffing along the lines of A Clockwork Orange, its future as a darkly hilarious cult item is assured.

Destined to be a darkly hilarious cult item.