top of page


This autobiographical drama brings a welcome change of pace during the summer blockbuster season.

It chronicles the escapades of a Chicago-based motorcycle club known as the Vandals – influenced by the Outlaws club from Danny Lyon’s much-lauded photo book called The Bikeriders.

Acclaimed director Jeff Nichols (Mud) read the book as far back as 2003 – wanting to turn it into a film ever since – and a great ensemble cast brings his Harley Davidson-inspired vision impressively to life.

The story pivots back and forth between Kathy Bauer’s (Jodie Comer) first experiences with the gang in 1965 – and her regaling her interactions in an interview with Lyons (played here by Mike Faist) in the early Seventies.

After a chance encounter, she gets swept off her feet by handsome – and sometimes ‘unhinged’ – young biker Benny (Elvis’ Austin Butler) and gets entangled in the exploits of the group of bikers, led by Tom Hardy’s Johnny.

Five weeks later she is married to Benny.

The club then starts to gain notoriety by expanding its membership to other territories such as California – as vast alcohol and drug consumption increases by the day across all groups associated with them. With Lyons constantly taking photos as he accompanies them on their road trips.

Bar the terrific main three leads, the crew also includes the likes of Michael Shannon (Man of Steel), Boyd Holbrook (Logan) and Norman Reedus (American Gangster), who add their own elements to proceedings – but the stand-out scenes usually revolve around Benny’s necessity to start a fight. And Hardy’s magnetic presence.

The fighting then becomes a more frequent occurrence as the group expands, bringing with it more violent encounters, and more ‘off shoot’ groups looking to align themselves with the Vandals name – including a dangerous younger Milwaukee chapter headed by ‘The Kid’ (Toby Wallace).

Unless you’re happy with the slow methodical burn and have somewhat of an interest in the source material or Nichols’ exceptional storytelling, this still might not be to everyone’s tastes.

But if you do put the effort in, you’ll see three distinctively compelling performances from Comer, Butler, and (in particular) the magnetic Hardy, to expertly headline Nichols’ stellar piece of filmmaking.

Which makes this well worth the ride for any fan of cinema.


Rating: 4/5


Gavin Miller

Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, Boyd Holbrook, Mike Faist, Damon Herriman, Toby Wallace & Norman Reedus

Running Time: 1 Hr 56 Mins

Director: Jeff Nichols


Go to for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page