The Bikeriders

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Inspired by Danny Lyon’s photographs and interviews from the 1960s, Jeff Nichols’ film charts the rise and fall of an outlaw motorcycle gang. The gang’s founder and leader Johnny (Tom Hardy) struggles to enforce the rules he’s creating; Benny (Austin Butler) is his charismatic but dangerously unpredictable follower; Kathy (Jodie Comer), a no-nonsense outsider to the gang, is alternately fascinated and horrified by the biker lifestyle. The magnificent ensemble includes Boyd Holbrook, Norman Reedus, Mike Faist and frequent Nichols collaborator Michael Shannon. Nichols blends comedy, violence and tenderness with astonishing control, simultaneously celebrating the biker code of loyalty, courage and independence while providing a cleareyed if sometimes ironic perspective on how their “freedom” threatens other ways of being in the world. Though Nichols’ storytelling summons the golden age of Westerns and gangster films, his sensibility is fully modern. John Ford would approve. (Telluride Film Festival)

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