Cell 211 2009

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(28) IMDb 7.7/10
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The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot-the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.

Starring:
Luis Tosar, Alberto Ammann
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Cell 211

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 53 minutes
Starring Luis Tosar, Alberto Ammann, Antonio Resines, Manuel Moron
Director Daniel Monzon
Genres Crime, Drama, Thriller
Studio ELEVATION SALES
Rental release 9 January 2012
Main languages Spanish
Subtitles English
Original title Celda 211
Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 53 minutes
Starring Luis Tosar, Alberto Ammann, Antonio Resines, Manuel Moron
Director Daniel Monzon
Genres Crime, Drama, Thriller
Studio ELEVATION SALES
Rental release 9 January 2012
Main languages Spanish
Subtitles English
Original title Celda 211

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Jan 2012
Format: DVD
This great film from Spain (with French participation in Canal+ etc) is pretty basic in terms of plot. The main protagonist is one Juan Oliver (Alberto Ammann) - he is starting work as a prison guard in Zamora. He is keen to make a good impression so pops along in his civilian clothing a day early, just to see how things are done. He wants to make this career change work as he has a wife, Elena, who is six months pregnant.

On arrival he is shown around by his new work mates, they explain the facility is falling apart and as they do so, a piece of the ceiling collapses and hits Juan on the head, rendering him unconscious. They take him into the empty, but spooky, Cell 211. This happens to coincide with the signal for the riot to begin. Juan is out cold and his new colleagues decide to make a brave but strategic withdrawal, leaving him in the cell.

This is also no ordinary wing it is the Segregation Wing as we would call it (DSS in Spain). It houses the worst prisoners including lifers and those with full blown AIDS. It is run by a rather unsavoury character called Malamadre (Luis Tozan - who is very impressive). Juan comes around and realises that he is in the middle of a riot and quickly realise that his best bet to survive the carnage is to pretend to be a new inmate.

What unfolds in less than predictable, it is taut, well acted, brutal and gripping. The plot turns and twists are informed more by lack of professionalism on the part of the authorities than on the guile of Juan - but that plays a big part too. The inmates are all believable especially the Colombians and the ETTA guys who are in a separate part of the wing, but the prisoners know all about it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roman Citizen on 16 Nov 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Don't recognise the film described by Giovanni. I saw this last night at the Bath Film Festival: the cinema was full, when the credits began to roll there was stunned silence.
Great script (mark of any good film) and superb performances all round, especially by the two leads.
9.5 out of 10.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mitun on 26 Jan 2012
Format: DVD
'Cell 211 (Spanish: Celda 211)' is a Spanish prison-drama film that released in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim and box-success. On its release the movie won 8 Goya awards (Spain's main national film awards) for best actor, supporting actress, breakthrough actor, director, sound, editing, picture and screenplay.

The movie tells the story of a prison riot led by the inmate, Malamadre (Luis Tosar). During the riot, a prison warden called Juan (Alberto Ammann) gets trapped amongst the inmates. The warden thereafter poses as a fellow prisoner as he tries to survive.

I was reluctant to watch the movie as I had heard nothing about it. When, I did watch it, it blew me away. I love prison movies and this offering is up there with the best.

The feature gets straight into the story from the start, cracks on with gripping drama, shocking moments, violence and a tension filled atmosphere. It's an intense view as the fate of the lead actors near. The ending is perfect.

The downside is the sub-plot involving Juan's wife Elena (Marta Etura), it takes the momentum away from the main story and at times drags. Saying that Etura had the last laugh in the end by winning a Goya award for best supporting actress.

The main thing that makes the film work is the Tour De Force stunning performance from the menacing and deep voiced anti-hero, Luis Tosar. Just sheer brilliance. As a result he deservedly won the award for best lead actor. Alberto Ammann also puts in an award-winning performance complimenting Tosar perfectly. The scenes involving the interaction between Tosar and Ammann are of the highest quality.

The award-winning direction by Daniel Monzón is excellent. He explores the themes loyalty, friendship, revenge and betrayal with finesse. His end product is powerful as it gets.

'Celda 211' is compelling heart-thumping cinema.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 31 Jan 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent film with some very good characterisation. Malamadre is a very believable character for his situation, being both sentimental, after his fashion, and with an instant ON switch for violence.

The journey of the character Juan Oliver is totally credible within the context of the story.

THe only thing that prevents the fifth star are a couple of things Juan's wife Elena does, which don't quite gel with her own situation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. BROOKES on 23 Jan 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I really enjoyed this prison drama from Spain. It is gritty, raw and debatably realistic, but most importantly entertaining. It's characters are likeable and diverse and the leads are captivating, for what is a macho, adrenaline fuelled play.

The film is about a new prison guard who gets locked in with the inmates after a riot breaks out. He pretends to be a prisoner himself, to stay alive, and fight for a way out to be reunited with his pregnant wife. The film heads down a gritty, dark outcome route (somewhat predictable) as he teams up with the jail leading psycho (Malamadre) to fight the system.

I would argue this is more accessible than other foreign arty films such as Prophet and Elite Squad, and being much better than recent prison based films (Experiment, Dog Pound and co) being essentially gratifying, without being too supercilious, arty or serious.

Males (15-40) should especially love this film (if you can stand the subtitles and light culture) and I recommend it to film fans, suggesting it is more entertaining than anything of wow note or of recognition.

The Blu-Ray version adds little to the standard DVD (other than the obvious clarity) with standard subtitling and the same extras.
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