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Bronson

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Released 2009

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9.2
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Movie Summary

Director:
Unknown
Released:
2009
Rating:
R

Bronson is a 2009 film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Tom Hardy as Charles Bronson. The film is a disturbing glimpse into the madness of the most notorious British convict and inmate of all time, Michael Peterson Ð later to take the name of Charles Bronson. The film flashes forwards and backwards throughout his life showing him as a troubled boy and then a young father sentenced to seven years in prison. But Bronson loves prison. He relates it to a hotel room. He feels comfortable in prison and creates a reputation for himself there. He beats on guards for no reason, takes hostages, and starts inmate riots. They try to sedate him, beat him, and even rehabilitate him through art classes. Yet, nothing seems to work. He's like a caged animal, lashing out for pure sport. Prison after prison, almost his entire life is spent behind steel bars, locked away from civilization. Enjoying his confined celebrity status, Peterson takes the name of the famous actor, Charles ÒCharlieÓ Bronson, as if his misconduct is a performance for all to see. The film leaves us with a sense of dread and the notion that Bronson to this day is still reeking havoc in a British prison somewhere.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Bronson invites you to admire its protagonist as a pure, muscular embodiment of anarchy. And perhaps you will, but you may also be glad that he's still behind bars.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times

    Whether it's Peterson/Bronson's more theatrical bits or his untamable character's many blood-spitting, knuckle-beating, explosions, Hardy chomps down on his once-in-a-career role w...

  • 60

    Variety

    Too smart/arty for the slasher set, and too violent for high-brows, Bronson may have a tough time finding its niche, although it has "cult hit" written all over it.

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    Themes

    Historical, Crime