the locksmith 2023 review

The Locksmith (2023): Our Unlocked Film Review

The film “The Locksmith” misses the mark on lock picking just as much as it misses the mark on being a good film. 

If you have found this review because you are interested to see if the lock picking in The Locksmith is accurate I am sorry to disappoint you but the realism of lock picking in this movie is terrible.

If you are a lock picker like myself and thought about checking out this movie to see some good lock picking in a movie. Just don’t bother, the lock picking is terrible and the story is nothing amazing anyway.

They try to make the story interesting with a twist towards the end but it doesn’t really land and you are left wondering what the motivation for the characters really was in the end.

Accuracy of lockpicking in the Locksmith?

The accuracy of the lock picking in the film leaves a lot to be desired.

Like many films that include lockpicking the way they portray it is that once you have this magical skill you can simply open any lock on any door in seconds. 

Those of us that practice lock picking know that this is far from the truth.

Scene 1. Getting in some practice

Early in the film, we see our main character is practicing a bit of lock picking, merely days after being released from prison and on parole with explicit instructions not to work as a locksmith or pick locks.

The scene starts when he is standing in the shop and he has a door jig with 6 deadbolts installed. 

All various styles and he is seen opening them one at a time seemingly in about one second per lock. 

They show him opening all 6 locks in 15 seconds, we timed it…

This is so ridiculous that it is laughable and really gives a terrible impression of lock picking as something that takes mere seconds.

Scene 2. Father teaches daughter to pick a lock

While they do use the correct tools and a lot of it could be seen as convincing the lock picking shown in the film is far from what picking is like in real life.

I had some hope in one scene in the film where Miller played by Ryan Phillippe is teaching his daughter to pick a lock. 

history of locks

He starts off by explaining what the tools are that you need to pick a lock. Here is your tension lever and this is your pick. All good so far…

He then talks about the placement of the tension lever and the pick along with the pins inside the lock and that you need to feel for the pins inside the lock. While this is a bit of a fast explanation and there is some detail missing this is all correct so far.

Finally, the real picking commences and he says we are looking for “one of the pins that is harder to push up than the others”. 

Then like magic while pushing up on a single pin voila the lock is picked open. Unfortunately, this is where it all falls apart.

What happened to the other 4 pins? He picked one pin but there are still 4 more in the lock that remain in the locked position. 

So while the description is not bad the actual picking of the lock is completely wrong.

For realism, I would give this description a 4 out of 10.


While there are some locks that can be opened as quickly as the ones in this film they are extremely low security and the method for opening them that fast is not the method that they show used in the film.

While I understand the need to tell a story and focusing on the details of lock picking is not really going to help that. It would be nice to see a bit more accurate display of lock picking from Holywood.

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