The LockSmith 2023 Movie Review: We’ve seen a lot of movies like this before. It’s not particularly unique, but it’s still entertaining

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The LockSmith 2023 Movie Review

Director: Nicolas Harvard

Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Kate Bosworth, Ving Rhames

Cinematography: Jeff Biebman

Music: Mariana Sheetz


An expert locksmith is released from prison and pulled back into a world of crooked cops and small-town gangsters, despite the future he hoped to build with his ex-girlfriend, a detective, and their daughter.

The LockSmith 2023 Movie Review:

The Locksmith is a modest and competent attempt at the neo-noir genre with a twist of sentimental redemption. Directed by Nicolas Harvard, the movie opens with a failed robbery that leads to the death of one of the robbers and the theft of the loot by a corrupt cop named Zwick, played by Jeffrey Nordling. The protagonist, Miller Graham, is a former locksmith who spends ten years in prison for keeping quiet about Zwick’s corruption.

Upon his release, Ryan Phillippe portrays Miller as a beaten-down man who tries to rebuild his life with the help of his old friend Frank and his former fiancé Beth, who is now a police detective. The story takes a twist when Miller is asked by his former friend’s daughter, April, to rob a local gambling party run by her abusive boss in exchange for starting a new life.

The LockSmith 2023 Movie Review
The LockSmith 2023 Movie Review

“The Locksmith” included an interesting set of characters, including Beth, the spouse of Miller, and their daughter, little Lindsay. Beth is a police detective, which means that she will be embroiled in the case where Miller pulls off a robbery to assist April, the widow of his best friend Kevin, who died in their failed heist a decade earlier. But Beth’s job is a lonely one, as she is about the only good cop in a sea of craven, greedy detectives.

Miller is given good advice by his devoted friend Frank, as well as a fresh start as a “handyman” in Frank’s lock business. There was a good ebb-and-flow to the action and solid performances from the cast. There was a nice touch in the dad teaching her daughter how to pick locks.

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Both brutal action and happy family scenes follow the usual patterns. Thankfully the actors deliver details and interaction to add vaguely realistic touches. This gives the movie a sheen of grittiness that’s easy to watch, largely because there isn’t a moment in this movie that we haven’t seen before, and there isn’t a question about who is good and who is evil personified.

Although the movie’s essential message is that everyone is nasty if they can get away with it. It was refreshing to watch an “old-style” drama that focused on the basics of well-conceived pacing, and well-developed characters.

But the real problem is The Script. The Screenplay was written by three writers but no one did their job, if they did it, we would have seen a better film and this film will be like Revenge (2017), Drive (2011), etc.. because the Cinematography is outstanding.

The LockSmith 2023 Review
The LockSmith 2023 Movie Review

The direction is mature and some powerful performance from the cast. Harvard who has worked with Taylor Sheridan several times as an assistant director — has a strong sense of how to use his New Mexico location, contrasting its barren landscapes and seedy motels with the decadent elegance of a drug lord’s mansion.

For a guy like Miller, with the tools and the know-how to steal whatever he wants, the temptation to cross lines is awfully great. Those dark impulses loom over this picture, giving a solid B-movie the striking shadows it needs.


While everything about this dramatic thriller feels familiar, it’s made watchable by a strong cast and an earthy filmmaking approach that hints at emotional depth.

Director Nicolas Harvard never tries to inject originality into the cliche-packed script, but he keeps things ticking along with an engaging pace and people who are sympathetic. And it’s so formulaic that we’re almost able to say the dialog along with the characters.


Arul S

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