The Locksmith (2023): Nicolas Harvard’s ‘The Locksmith’ is yet another movie about a white man trying to make amends for his past mistakes. Its screenplay combines family drama and crime thriller elements to present a fairly conventional set-up. Most of its dialogues are derivative, and they are occasionally unintentionally funny due to the evident cursory understanding of the world it is trying to present.
The characters speak like the idea of a writer based on the crime thrillers he has seen, and rarely like real people. Kate Bosworth, who is probably the only good aspect of the film, seems to be fated to work in such mediocre movies despite her mature acting skills.
Nevertheless, if you are interested in this particular genre of redemption arc films and want to watch a thriller that sells itself on its aesthetic grittiness, here is what happens during the film’s duration. And, of course, that means there are spoilers ahead!
The Locksmith (2023) Movie Summary & Plot Synopsis:
What does Miller want to redeem himself for?
Miller Graham (Ryan Phillippe) goes out with his friend Kevin to rob a cash house. Due to being well-known as a locksmith, a corrupt police detective named Zwick (Jeffrey Nordling) offer Miller the assignment. They reach the place in his car, and Miller enters to take out the cash. At the last moment, Kevin has a change of heart.
But Miller decides to proceed with their plan. Because of his expertise, he manages to get his work done in little to no time. However, by then, the police get notified about a possible robbery, which puts them in danger.
It turns out Zwick ratted them out so that he could get them convicted, and he gets a promotion. Hearing the sirens, Kevin gets out, thinking that Zwick is on their side. But by that time, Zwick shoots the car and then shoots him so that he would be perceived as a hero. Soon after, Miller gets out of the store and ends up getting arrested for stealing.
Then, ten years later, Miller is released from prison. He is conflicted with the thoughts of not being able to support his family – his wife, Beth (Kate Bosworth), and his daughter, Lindsay. Right outside, he gets a ride from Frank (Ving Rhames), who offers Miller work as a locksmith and a place to stay for the time being.
After looking at his workplace, he meets Beth & Lindsay for lunch. He tries to make amends for his wrongdoings and how his actions affected them. He mentions that he robbed to provide for their family.
However, during the time that passed, Beth has created a place for herself in the police department, which allows her to not depend on Miller for financial reasons. So, she is hesitant to invite him back into their lives. She also dreads the possibility that he might abandon them again.
Seeing him distraught over this, Frank offers him a piece of advice to stay patient and to be able to move on. Later, during one of his jobs, he meets Garret, who is in charge of rental properties from their block. He learned about Miller as an expert locksmith from April (Kevin’s sister).
What did Alice want from Miller after ten years?
Upon returning to Frank’s place, Alice meets Miller in person. Since she is in dire need of money, she asks Miller to help him get it. But since it is an illegal job, Frank advises him to stay away from it and to focus on making things right with his family instead. Sometime later, Miller is stopped by Zwick. He mentions his retirement as a lieutenant, which became possible because of the arrest. Moreover, Zwick tells Miller to keep mum about it; otherwise, he will be imprisoned again.
Upon seeing some tools in Miller’s car, Zwick and his subordinates (who are in on his misdeeds) take him back to the station. Since he wasn’t using them, the police chief let him go. Beth, however, witnesses him being taken to the police station and does not want their family to experience any stress as a result of his incarceration. So, to maintain a healthy relationship with his family, Miller agrees to do any work that can give him dignity in the eyes of Beth & Lindsay.
While Zwick is getting retired, he offers Beth his empty position. After giving it some thought, she accepts this offer. Since she has to attend Zwick’s retirement party, she asks Miller if he can look after Lindsay for the night, and he agrees to do so. Later, Beth mentions taking the position of Vice since she does not know what actually happened on the night of the robbery.
Zwick, who sees this interaction from a distance, tells her to depend on the subordinates while going to such dangerous areas. Through this interaction, it becomes clear that he wants to keep her away from the truth of his involvement in the crime.
Later, at his workshop, Alice meets Miller and mentions that she urgently needs money to get away from Garrett’s control. She notes that Garett uses his real estate business as a front for his escort service, where she also works. Miller refuses to do anything illegal. But April persuades him by guilt-tripping for Kevin’s death, which was his fault in her eyes. So, in accordance with her scheme, he consents to break into Garett’s poker game business and steal the cash from his office.
Meanwhile, Beth goes through the case files of prostitution cases on properties owned by Garett. She is surprised to see this man getting away with something insidious and getting some help from the authorities. On the other hand, Miller looks through the poker place with April, who plans to disappear with the stolen half million dollars.
That night, Miller enters the place with a mask on his face while April distracts Zwick from noticing him get in. Meanwhile, Miller opens the lock to the office and gets hold of the cash. But by that time, Zwick enters the room and tries to stop him. When Miller overpowers Zwick and points his gun at him, he threatens that shooting him will endanger his life. So, Miller runs out and evades the security to run with the money.
At his workshop, Miller keeps trying to get in touch with April, but the call goes straight to the voice note. He goes to her place to find her stuff scattered all over the place. Back at Beth’s place, she gets a visit from Tanya, who mentions having worked with April as an escort for Garett. She mentions that April has now run away and that she saw Miller at her place. Beth’s suspicions about Garett’s involvement in shady businesses are also affirmed through this dialogue.
Meanwhile, after seeing a bag full of cash, Frank questions Miller about his job for April. Miller notes doing it out of concern for April’s safety. Frank finds it absurd that Miller went ahead with this task despite it not being his responsibility. Later, Beth visits him to get a clue about his possible involvement in criminal activity. But the dialogue takes usual turns to let them reminisce their mutual feelings of adoration.
At the office, Beth takes her research to chief Stern regarding Garett’s involvement in April’s case. While Stern initially refuses to go through it since it came from Tanya, who is a prostitute, he pushes her to pursue it. Later that night, Miller goes to Garett’s house to ask where he has kept April.
After several attempts to torture this businessman, he learns about Zwick’s involvement in it. Meanwhile, April sees their fight with Zwick from his car. So, April seems to be working for Zwick to seek revenge for her brother’s murder. Right after Miller leaves, Zwick enters the house and shoots Garett dead.
On the other hand, Beth is now beyond frustrated by Miller’s refusal to share any details from the night of the crime. He finally opens up about Zwick being the mastermind behind it and the reason for Kevin’s death. Alice wants it to be taken further as evidence.
Meanwhile, Zwick orders his subordinates to get back their money from Garett. However, by that time, their department has procured enough evidence to implicate him in the crime. So, Zwick gets on alert mode about his safety and refuses to help April with the money, which makes her furious.
The Locksmith (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:
What happens to Miller? Does April get revenge for her brother’s death?
April calls Miller at his workshop, and a man shoots their windows through his car during that call. Zwick’s subordinates enter the place and start shooting him to get the money, which he mentions that he doesn’t have. Amidst all the confusion, Frank gets shot by one of the corrupt officers, who take Lindsay to his gunpoint. That’s when Miller is also shot in the leg. While his daughter is taken away, Beth gets emotional about her getting caught in this dangerous world.
Lindsay is handcuffed and taken to April’s room. Seeing that, April gets angry and confronts Zwick about it. But he ruthlessly rejects any feelings of guilt. She texts Miller a room from a motel room. Miller reaches there and points a gun at Zwick’s head to get his daughter back in exchange for money.
Zwick makes fun of him for thinking of returning the cash too late. Meanwhile, Lindsay uses the technique taught by Miller to get out of handcuffs. By the time Zwick is distracted with silencing Miller, Beth manages to get hold of Lindsay and keeps her safe.
When Zwick is about to shoot Miller, April shoots this corrupt officer from the back. Perhaps seeing his flippant nature, she decides to get revenge on this man, who was actually the reason behind her brother’s death. She still reaches Miller to shoot him as well. Miller tries to save himself, while April keeps giving a monologue to make him feel guilty before actually shooting with her gun.
By that time, Beth reaches there and tries to talk some sense into her. Then, Miller professes his guilt for Kevin’s murder, which makes April emotional. So, she decides not to kill Miller in the end. Beth gets promoted as a lieutenant because of this case, and their family finally gets together after all the ordeal.