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Bronson (Widescreen Edition)

3.8 out of 5 stars 588 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1974, a misguided 19-year-old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself, and so with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams, he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to seven years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. Provocative and stylized, BRONSON follows the metamorphosis of Mickey Peterson, who gave himself the nickname Charles Bronson, from a petty thief into Britain's most dangerous prisoner.


Tom Hardy's performance in the lead role burns right through Bronson, the somewhat true tale of a real guy who, once the movie finishes, you'll be very glad is still locked up in an English jail. There's no obvious reason why Michael Peterson became what he proudly calls "Britain's most violent prisoner." His upbringing was normal, his parents meek but loving; he was even married with a child when, in 1974, he attempted a robbery that landed him in the slammer for the first time. Peterson saw this as "an opportunity to sharpen my tools" and make a name for himself; and that he did, eagerly taking on half a dozen guards at once and regularly spending time in solitary confinement (at one point for 69 straight days). A stint in "the loony bin," where he killed another patient, followed, as did incarceration in a hospital for the criminally insane, a brief period on the outside (having been "certified sane," he went to live in an uncle's whorehouse, found work as a prizefighter, and fell in love), and then a permanent return to prison, where he decided to change his name to Charlie Bronson (after the American actor) and, improbably, became a pretty decent painter (a climactic scene with his art teacher perversely invokes the Belgian artist René Magritte). Not all of this really happened, but director and cowriter Nicolas Winding Refn's film is hardly a documentary; with its saturated color palette, surreal framing devices (Bronson tells some of his tale to a rapt audience in a large theater), and frequent use of black humor, this is a highly stylized and often strange piece of work. Hardy, who has also been seen in Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla and will be in George Miller's fourth Road Warrior epic, delivers an extreme performance; sporting a shaved head and a John L. Sullivan handlebar mustache, he is a credible if occasionally cartoonish presence, a leering, profane, joyously violent cockney madman. Extras include interviews, a making-of documentary, and a featurette detailing the extremely buff Hardy's training for the role. --Sam Graham

Special Features

Charles Bronson Monologues
Making of Documentary
Training Tom Hardy
Interviews with Nicolas Winding Refn (Writer/Director), Tom Hardy (Actor - Charles Bronson), Matt King (Actor - Paul Daniels)
Behind-the-Scenes Footage

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Hardy
  • Directors: Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (588 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002XTXG1G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,383 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bronson (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 12, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Everyone has heard of Charles Bronson. Well, THAT Charles Bronson anyway, the title character here is definitely a far cry from the hardened film hero of the same name. This Charlie Bronson was originally born Michael Peterson, who despite having a decent upbringing, grew up to be a criminal, and much, much more surprisingly. Known as Britain's most notorious prisoner, Bronson manages to capture the ferocity of the man with tongue-in-cheek humor and sheer unpredictable moments. Tom Hardy, who has been in quite a bit ranging from Star Trek: Nemesis, Layer Cake, and Rocknrolla among others, gives a star-making performance that should be seen to be believed. Besides undergoing a physical transformation in bulking up, Hardy's performance may very well be akin to what Eric Bana managed to do some years ago with Chopper, in which he ironically enough, played famous prisoner Mark "Chopper" Read. All in all, though it definitely isn't for everybody, Bronson is wholeheartedly worth your time, mainly thanks to the ferocious performance of Tom Hardy, whose stardom should most definitely (and deservedly) be on the rise.
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Format: DVD
Charlie Bronson/Michael Peterson is quite a character. I'm told that the events and details in this film stray a little here and there from the truth, but all in all it makes for a quite entertaining look at one of the most violent prisoners in the UK's history. Actor Tom Hardy, who got amazingly buffed-up for this role, brings the right amount of humor, pathos, and dangerous zaniness to the title role.

You can't help but cheer for Charlie Bronson, though you will be glad you are doing it from a safe distance.

Bronson the man has quite a story. "Bronson" the movie is a tour-de-force of bravura and playful acting by Tom Hardy, and deserving of all its accolades. No one I have spoken with who saw this movie failed to be entertained by it.

Buy it, rent it, I don't care. Just watch it. [Big grin]
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Format: Amazon Video
I really wish I could do a split review for this movie. The story itself, about one of the most famous prisoners in the British penal system is really not very deep. Bronson is a guy that is more comfortable in prison than out in the world, that much is made clear, but it never really goes beyond that as to why that is the case. The movie is a little repetitive in that the basic story is that Bonson attacks guards and prison officials at almost every opportunity that he has. They move him from prison to prison and put him in solitary, but it is the same cycle. I realize that this is actually the truth and close to reality for 30 years in real life, but that repeated cycle does not make for an engaging story. 3 stars.

With all that being said, Tom Hardy is masterful in his portrayal of a clearly disturbed individual. Everything about him is almost unrecognizable. His expressions, movement, and gait are all transformative. What an outstanding performance, especially since there are many segments in which he is essentially doing a one man show in front of an imaginary audience. The closest thing that I can think of in relation to inhabiting a character would be Daniel Day Lewis as Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York (oddly enough, a character with a similar facial look). Hardy's performance is even more impressive in that he carries the entire movie, every scene and all the narration. 5 stars.
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Format: Amazon Video
"Bronson" is based on the real life of a man often referred to as "the most violent prisoner in Britain". "Charlie Bronson" is a moniker the prisoner (real name: Michael Peterson) assumed as a sort of stage name. According to the film, Peterson desired to be famous and went about garnering that fame by perpetuating heinously violent actions against other prisoners and prison guards.

The film is bloody, violent, disturbing, and incredibly effective. Tom Hardy is a powerhouse in the role in every sense of the word. He's an imposing figure to start. His powerfully built wrestler's physique makes the improbabilities of his physical altercations believable. He captures the audience's attention in a stranglehold of a performance, playing straight a role that could have easily turned into an insane human cartoon. Instead we watch a credibly complex sociopathic character unfold who is apparently choosy about upon whom he will wreck his carnage (primarily the heavily armed and numerous prison guards). His mirthless laughter at the beginning of the film puts the audience off-kilter, not quite able to regain balance until some time after the end credits roll. You're never quite sure what Hardy's Bronson is going to do next. He's so pitch perfect throughout the film, it's hard to take your eyes off this living disaster.

The film is essentially presented from Bronson's point of view, which lends itself to some strange storytelling considering his sociopathic bent. Some self-narrated fantasy asides are at first quite bizarre as they're occurring with Bronson telling his story on stage in full makeup. There is a heavy dose of
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