Jeff Nichols is back behind the cameras after 2016 film Loving with period drama The Bikeriders, a story inspired in the photo book of the same name by Danny Lyon, starring an amazing cast lead by Jodie Comer, Austin Butler and Tom Hardy.Distributed by 20th Century Studios, the film is set to hit theaters on December 1st, but it has already premiered at the 50th Telluride Film Festival, with first reviews highly praising it. The story centers on Kathy, member of the Vandals and married to another reckless bike rider named Benny. The movie follows the evolution of the group during a decade, starting as a local gang united by the love for bikes and led by a man named Johnny.
As the time passes, Kathy feels like she has to compete with Johnny and the group for Benny’s attention, while the activities of the Vandals become more and more dangerous, pushing Johnny, Benny and Kathy to reconsider the life each of them wants and where’s their loyalty. Joining Comer, Butler and Hardy are Michael Shanon, Mike Faist, Boyd Holbrook, Damon Herriman, Beau Knapp, Emory Cohen, Karl Glusman, Toby Wallace, Norman Reedus, and Happy Anderson.
The Bikeriders Brings Back the Motorcycle Gang Genre
Hollywood has had a long history with motorcycle gangs, and The Bikeriders is one of the most recent to tap into the genre. While there have been seveal movies and TV shows that have featured biker gangs, this movie seems to be harking back to the golden age of the genre. The early reviews seem to allude to that too.
Gregory Ellwood from The Playlist wrote:
“Despite a varied resume that includes art-house Sci-Fi, a classic coming-of-age tale, and a haunting drama on racial injustice, we weren’t sure Jeff Nichols had it in him to make a movie such as The Bikeriders. After its world premiere at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival, we’ll likely never doubt him again. Nichols has crafted a highly entertaining period piece on a legendary biker club that is at times sexy, funny, and filled with fisticuffs. But when the movie is at its best it’s often because of yet another top-tier performance by the one and only Jodie Comer. ”
Deadline’s Pete Hammond said:
“It has been awhile since we have seen a major big-screen return to the world of biker culture, but with Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders, which had its world premiere Thursday at the Telluride Film Festival, this long-lost era is back. But its filmmaker has distinctly different ideas and motives in reviving it. Basically, Nichols tells a period story set in the ’60s and ’70s world of the earlier efforts but applies contemporary themes of identity and loyalty and the need to belong in a world increasingly isolating us as individuals.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg wrote:
“A well-made and engaging period piece that has the feel of David Chase’s forays into cinema, 2012’s Not Fade Away and 2021’s The Many Saints of Newark, with in-your-face accents, violence and a “family” of men at its center, it seems to me that its primary awards prospect is Comer’s performance, which could plausibly compete for a nomination in either the leading or supporting actress category.”