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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

The Bikeriders (2024) - Gritty Roads, Gritty Lives

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 Stars)

Released 06-21-2024

Watched 06-22-2024

Reviewed 06-24-2024

Watched in the theater Using Cinemark Movie Club

"We don’t belong nowhere else, so we belong together."

Jeff Nichols’ “The Bikeriders” is a gritty and atmospheric dive into the fictional Vandals Motorcycle Club world, inspired by Danny Lyon’s iconic photo book. Set in the late 1960s, the film captures the raw essence of biker culture with a strong cast that includes Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, and Tom Hardy. However, despite its stellar performances and vivid depiction of a bygone era, the movie struggles to maintain a compelling narrative throughout its runtime.

At the heart of “The Bikeriders” is Kathy Bauer (Comer), a resilient member of the Vandals who shares her tumultuous journey with her reckless husband, Benny (Butler), and the club’s charismatic leader Johnny (Hardy). The film chronicles the Vandals' evolution from a group of fun-loving outcasts to a more menacing gang, forcing its characters to grapple with loyalty and identity.

The film excels in its portrayal of the biker lifestyle, with stunning cinematography that brings the 1960s Midwest to life. The performances are another highlight, particularly Comer, who brings depth and nuance to Kathy’s struggles. Hardy’s portrayal of Johnny is equally compelling, exuding both charm and danger.

However, “The Bikeriders” falters in its pacing. The story unfolds slowly, with several scenes feeling overly drawn out, which can test the viewer’s patience. While engaging in parts, the plot lacks the cohesion needed to keep the audience fully invested. The film picks up momentum towards the end, delivering a strong finish, but the journey there is uneven.

Fans of motorcycle culture and films like “Easy Rider” will find much to appreciate in “The Bikeriders.” Its authentic depiction of the era and the subculture is commendable. For the general audience, it may not be a must-see in theaters but could be a worthy watch on a streaming service at home.


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