» On the Job (2013, Philippines)

On the Job - Gerald Anderson as Daniel Benitez and Joel Torre as Mario 'Tatang' Maghari

Two contract killers and two honest cops in pursuit of them. Sounds simple, but this is anything but. The two killers are prisoners, briefly let out of prison and then sequestered away again after each hit. And the two cops find that they are looking for bigger fish to fry. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 30th, 2015 at 9:22 am. Updated on August 30th, 2015 at 9:23 am.

» The Wounded (2002, USA)

The Wounded - Sammi Rotibi as Noa cradling Andrew Johnston as Danny

“You haven’t grown up on our streets and dealt with our pain,” sneers one prisoner when the prison counsellor challenges his class about dealing with conflict other than by violence. “You just don’t get it,” says another. “Who really just doesn’t get it?” snaps the counsellor, and storms out of the class. It’s the sort of low budget movie where you brace yourself for the whole wall wobbling when he slams the door on the way out. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 28th, 2015 at 10:34 pm. Updated on August 28th, 2015 at 10:34 pm.

» Sleepers (1996, USA)

Sleepers - Michael Tommy Lorenzo and John, made by Nokes to eat luch off the floor

Four unremarkable boys from Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood. It’s the late ’60s. All four are sent to juvenile detention in upstate New York after a prank gone wrong (a hot dog trolley allowed to career down subway steps) nearly kills a man. At the juvenile centre, the Wilkinson Home for Boys, they are repeatedly beaten, raped and tortured by several guards. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 22nd, 2015 at 5:27 pm. Updated on August 22nd, 2015 at 5:27 pm.

» We are Monster (2014, UK)

We are Monster - Leeshon Alexander as Robert Stewart (with Shazat Latif as Officer Shah in the background)

The murder of 19-year-old Zahid Mubarek at London’s Feltham Young Offender Institution on 21 March 2000 posed some large, uncomfortable questions. The first-time offender from a Pakistani family was bludgeoned with a table leg wielded by 20-year-old Robert Stewart, a violent racist who had been placed in his cell some six weeks earlier. Whether it was deliberate, malicious act to place the two young men together, and why the prison failed to separate them despite many warning signs and as many as 15 opportunities to do so, became the focus of a belated official inquiry. Mubarek had been serving a 90-day sentence for the theft of £6 worth of razor blades, and had been due to be released just hours after he was attacked. He died in hospital a week later. We are Monster retells that story, largely from the perspective of the disturbed Stewart.

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Posted on August 9th, 2015 at 8:32 pm. Updated on August 9th, 2015 at 8:32 pm.

» Blackbird (2012, Canada)

Blackbird - Connor Jessup as Sean Randall

It might not be perfectly sensible to liken a person unable to escape bullying to a person trapped in prison. The bullied Sean Randall chose the one way he thought he could fight his way out of feeling that trapped. Then he went to prison and was bullied there, too. So he wanted out, desperately, but on being released was subject to restrictions that made him feel he was back in prison. Tricky.

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Posted on August 4th, 2015 at 9:16 pm. Updated on August 4th, 2015 at 9:16 pm.

» Bad Girls: The Musical (2009, UK)

Bad Girls: The Musical - Caroline Head as Nikki Wade and Laura Rogers as Helen Stewart

OK, OK… like the odd filmed play or opera about prison on DVD, this might not strictly fit the definition of a prison movie. But it’s not so different to many movies that are filmed in studios with disjointed plots, shoddy sets and stagy dialogue. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 2nd, 2015 at 8:18 pm. Updated on August 2nd, 2015 at 8:18 pm.

» The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015, USA)

The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) - Laurence R Harvey as Dwight Butler and Dieter Laser as Warden Bill Boss

In the third part of this crass trilogy, writer and director Tom Six sets out again to provoke outrage and disgust. And in that, and pretty much that alone, he succeeds. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 25th, 2015 at 1:15 pm. Updated on July 25th, 2015 at 1:19 pm.

» Rise (2014, Australia)

Rise - Nathan Wilson as Will McIntyre and Martin Sacks as Jimmy Cove

You know how sometimes one scene or one line in a movie just loses you, and you can’t find a way back in? Early in Rise nurse Will McIntyre (Nathan Wilson) is falsely accused of spiking the drink of and then raping a girl with whom he has had a one night stand. At his trial, the prosecutor asks the victim to tell the court what happened next. Falteringly, she begins with, “He had my arms pressed under…” and McIntyre’s barrister jumps up and interjects, “Your Honour, this is all hearsay evidence!” Eh? Really? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 19th, 2015 at 1:38 pm. Updated on July 19th, 2015 at 1:42 pm.

» Cadence (1990, USA)

Cadence - Charlie Sheen as Franklin Bean and, behind him, Harry Stewart as x 'Sweetbread' Crane

You look at this film and The Brig (1964) and it’s hard to imagine two more different approaches to managing military miscreants. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 9th, 2015 at 9:54 pm. Updated on July 9th, 2015 at 9:54 pm.

» Chain Gang Girls - Nami: Shared Cell 42 (2007, Japan)

Chain Gang Girls - Yuka Kosaka as Nami Mizushima and Junichi Kawamoto as Warden Aihara

Nami Mizushima (Yuka Kosaka) is a determined young woman, intent on revenge. Innocent and framed by her prosecutor boyfriend over his killing of his lover, she is so controlled she remains continent after three days in a completely blackened room with her hands cuffed behind her back. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 6th, 2015 at 9:02 pm. Updated on July 6th, 2015 at 9:02 pm.