Movie Review: The Bikeriders (Nichols, 2024)

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Movie: The Bikeriders
Production Companies: Regency Enterprises, New Regency, Tri-State Pictures
Director: Jeff Nichols
Producers: Sarah Green, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Arnon Milchan
Scriptwriter: Jeff Nichols
Main Cast: Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy
Release Date: June 21st 2024 (US)
Running Time: 116 minutes
Certificate: 15


Let thy bike start and splutter as 2024 continues the immense rise of Austin Butler. After a phenomenal performance in Dune Part Two, he once again shines in The Bikeriders alongside Jodie Comer, who is just as incredible to watch. And don’t forget Tom Hardy too as well as a stacked supporting cast. Whilst calling it Goodfellas on motorcycles might be too simplistic a take, it’s truly praise of the highest order as whilst the film splutters towards the finish line it’s still a great watch which is a testament to its lead stars. So without further ado, let’s get into our review of the film now.


The Bikeriders is based on the book of the same name by Danny Lyon and follows a photographer interviewing Kathy Bauer (Comer) about her time associating with her husband’s Benny (Butler) motorcycle gang: The Vandals. The film charts the highs of the gang under leader Johnny (Hardy) before tragedy starts to beset the organisation with Johnny’s closest associates all dying. Can Kathy convince Benny to leave the motorcycle gang life before he meets the same unfortunate fate as Johnny’s other allies?


Jodie Comer and Austin Butler’s Performances in the Bikeriders

Simply put, The Bikeriders would not be nearly as good as it is if not for the performances of Jodie Comer and Austin Butler. Firstly, Comer’s performance is fantastic as it’s through her eyes that the film’s events, thus the audience’s view, take place. This technique is very reminiscent of films like Goodfellas as Kathy provides narration over the film’s events as she speaks to Danny about her time associating with the group. Also, if you want an example of Comer’s phenomenal performance look at the scene where she implores Benny to quit the Vandals for good. Here, she’s incredibly emotive as she tries to reason with Benny only for him to dodge the question and her concerns with very little emotion.

That point neatly segues into Austin Butler’s performance as he’s just as good as Benny. Whilst his scenes with Kathy are definitely a highlight of the film, such as the scene where he’s recuperating from a broken leg and Johnny tries to convince him to head out, some of his more physical scenes are where he shines. Just look at the fight scene where everyone is brawling and we see Benny break a truck window. Here, we see the darker underside to Benny’s more reserved exterior which contrasts very well with both Kathy and Johnny. Overall, two very good performances and a potential awards shout for Jodie Comer.

The Narration in the Bikeriders

Now another huge positive for the film is how it utilises Kathy as the narrator for the film’s events. It also raises questions for the audience about how reliable she could possibly be when the film breaks into hearsay by the end. However, one of the best examples of the film taking advantage of this narration is how she lays out the evolution of the Vandals, and motorcycle culture, to the audience. This is seen through her disdain for the newer, younger members of the club and their more violent approach, especially at a party where they attempt to assault her.

This part of the narration then foreshadows and plays into that great scene between Kathy and Benny where she implores him to quit the Vandals. Another parallel between the Bikeriders and Goodfellas can be seen in when narration is most used: in describing the fates of characters. For example, it’s seen when both Cockroach and Johnny die, the latter one definitely signals the end of the golden era of motorcycle gangs as the Vandals slowly turn more criminal.


To summarise The Bikeriders, this is a great film which tackles motorcycle gangs and culture in 1960s America. It’s got some great performances, especially from Austin Butler and Jodie Comer, as well as utilising Comer’s role as the narrator well when it comes to letting the audience into the world of the film. Now, like Kathy and Benny let’s hope Jodie Comer can ride this wave of greatness to a couple of awards nominations and wins.

Overall Rating: 7/10 – Respectable
Target Audience:
Content Warning:
Mild Sex and Nudity, Moderate Violence and Gore, Severe Profanity, Moderate Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes

Recommendation: Yes