Cell 211 2009

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(30) 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:
Alberto Ammann, Manuel Moron
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Cell 211

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 53 minutes
Starring Alberto Ammann, Manuel Moron, Antonio Resines, Luis Tosar
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 Alberto Ammann, Manuel Moron, Antonio Resines, Luis Tosar
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

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DR GERALD FAULKS/NATALIE FAULKS on 25 Oct 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
A story about Juan who's having a terrible first day at work, the film is... okay, a good first half the obvious reflections on society specifically Spain's are interesting but after a while become a bit samey, the cliched characters as well such as Juan who is crazy handsome like movie handsome compared to everyone else in the entire film, the wife who is basically in the film for one reason, and when that reason comes you're not shocked you just think why would she go there... she's pregnant this is stupid. I rather liked Malamadre and the other prisoners although again a kind of cliche. The second half becomes more sentimental and predictable the "bad guys" are actually ok and the "good guys" are liars and corrupt, although both sides have good and bad. The acting was good, especially Malamadre who i didnt like at first his gruff voice i felt slightly stereotypical but is actually fantastic in the film, its always hard to tell when they are speaking a foreign language (i couldn't tell the difference between Basque and Spanish when they spoke). I think this film would be much more interesting and enjoyable if you were from Spain itself, as you can appreciate the social context and the ETA angle more, if they were to remake it in English a N.I setting would have the same sort of parallels i think.
Although many negatives the film is still good and better than a lot of other movies out there
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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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