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Bronson

Year: 2009
Production Co: Vertigo Films
Director: Nicholas Winding Refn
Writer: Nicholas Winding Refn
Cast: Tom Hardy

Now here's a dude you wouldn't want to meet in real life. Tom Hardy (I'd only seen him in nothing roles like the evil Romulan commander in Black Hawk Down) is given the screen and the script and he shines in the creepiest, meatiest portrayal an actor's given in a long time.

Based on the life of the real-life British career prisoner, Hardy talks to the camera and narrates the tale as we see Bronson (born Michael Peterson) turn infamous by destroying property and fighting anyone from other inmates to guards across the UK prison system.

There seems nothing wrong with Bronson apart from a pathological need for fame and attention, a complete inability to feel pain and bravado that borders on psychosis. He thinks nothing of strangling a fellow inmate to get moved out of a psychiatric ward, then takes every opportunity to be thrown in solitary confinement after starting brawls with guard - often without a weapon or even clothes, staging a rooftop protest or taking a teacher hostage for 40 hours.

It's as much a credit to Hardy as it is to writer/director Refn that the movie veers so suddenly between terrifying, funny, and a hundred other moods and emotions. Unmissable if you like to see actors doing what they do best.

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