Some films delight in their globe-hopping adventures, but you don't need a bunch of fancy locales to tell a great story. In the spirit of this, let's take a look at some of the best single-location movies in the history of cinema. For decades, filmmakers have used a single location to tell some fascinating stories that have delighted generations of moviegoers. Alfred Hitchcock did so numerous times, in films like Rear Window and Lifeboat.
Current Hollywood superstars Tom Hardy and Ryan Reynolds put on one-man, one-location performances in Locke and Buried, respectively. Others, like Oxygen, Cube, and The Platform, use a solitary location to tell outrageous sci-fi stories. You don't need a second-unit director when everything happens in one place!
Vote up your favorite movies that stay in one place the entire time.
- Photo: A24
"Tom Hardy by himself in a car for an hour and a half." Yes, there is more to 2013's Locke than that elevator pitch of a sentence, but that's essentially the crux of it. As if we needed any further proof that Hardy is one of the greatest actors of his generation.
This drama, written and directed by British filmmaker Steven Knight, gives Hardy the chance to shine on the big screen like he's headlining a one-man show on stage. Sure, he gets to act against 30+ phone calls from fantastic actors like Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, and Tom Holland, but this is solely Hardy's show. Ivan Locke struggles with the demons of a fatherless childhood as he leaves his family alone at home to head out to a hospital where his child from a one-night affair is being born. And Hardy just knocks it out of the park.One-stop classic?
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
In what may be the most claustrophobic film ever put to celluloid, 2010's Buried sees a pre-superfame Ryan Reynolds stuck in a coffin with a Blackberry keeping him company for just over an hour and a half. This was the post-Van Wilder/Just Friends era of Reynolds's Hollywood career, when his superhero films were still a few years off and he was showing up in interesting, smaller projects like The Nines and Adventureland.
And Buried is nothing if not interesting. Watching Reynolds's Paul Conroy struggle to come to terms with his situation of being ransomed for $5 million is fascinating to behold. This is all Reynolds, all the time. Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés comes up with some fun camera angles and lighting tricks to keep the cinematography feeling fresh, but the entire film rests on the back of Reynolds's confident performance.One-stop classic?
- Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
David Fincher brings his trademark cold, methodical style to a single apartment in 2002's Panic Room. It isn't surprising that the man behind Zodiac and Se7en could wring such a huge amount of tension from one location. Dramatic tension is kind of what Fincher does. Panic Room sees a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the situation of three burglars breaking into their house, causing them to hole up in a "panic room." It's the name of the movie.
Though Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart serve as the main characters of the film, the production team couldn't have asked for a more memorable crew of robbers in Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam, and Jared Leto. The basic storyline of Panic Room might not be anything special, but with Fincher behind the camera and a cast as stacked as that, the film becomes a memorable experience.One-stop classic?
- Photo: United Artists
With a filmography that includes Network, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, and Dog Day Afternoon, it should come as no great shock Sidney Lumet is often considered one of the best film directors in the history of American filmmaking. And his illustrious, five-decade-long career began in 1957 with 12 Angry Men. The vast majority of the movie takes place in a New York County Courthouse jury room where 12 jury members must decide the fate of an 18-year-old who stabbed his father to death.
Those who find heated dialogue and arguments compelling look no further - 12 Angry Men is exactly the film for you.One-stop classic?