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26 Reviews
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating from start to finish
I completely agree with other 5 star reviews of this very well made british film. I randomly caught it on film 4 one evening and was gripped from the very beginning- By the strong cast (especially the convincing and touching performance by Brian cox), the closed-in, locked-up atmosphere of the filming amd set, the convincing feeling of the inablilty to escape from the...
Published on 4 Aug 2009 by B. Wilson

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lightweight it is not
This is a downer of a story so you need to be in the right mood to take it; Hard, ruthless & brutal; Well acted

but needed a few lifts instead of black,black & black.
Published on 17 April 2012 by Bombalone


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating from start to finish, 4 Aug 2009
By 
B. Wilson (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
I completely agree with other 5 star reviews of this very well made british film. I randomly caught it on film 4 one evening and was gripped from the very beginning- By the strong cast (especially the convincing and touching performance by Brian cox), the closed-in, locked-up atmosphere of the filming amd set, the convincing feeling of the inablilty to escape from the inevitable (vilonence, sexual assault, drug use) and the strong story line, filled with hope and anticipation.

I will definitely be purchasing this for some friends that I hope will love it as much as I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricate prison piece delivers more with each viewing, 15 April 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
On the surface it looked like being a standard prison break out picture. But come the end one can't help admiring the construction of the film and marvel at how the makers used the cons to con the audience in a wholly satisfying way. The set-up is simple enough, Brian Cox's old lag Frank Perry is mortified to hear that his daughter is mixed up with heavy drugs and death is perhaps one more hit away from her. Desperate to get out of prison to save her, he hatches a plan for escape and enlists some other like minded souls, each with their own special "skill" to see it through. What follows is a twinned inter-cut tale as we witness the escape attempt and the prior motivations leading up to said escape. All building towards what one can rightly expect to be a run of the mill ending so evident in most prison based movies......

Directed by Rupert Wyatt, The Escapist thrives on claustrophobic atmosphere and grim prison reality to set the wheels in motion. Filmed at Kilmainham Jail in Dublin, this is a dank place, overcrowded and paint peeling from every wall; and of course there's an array of unsavoury characters just waiting to use violence or sexual proclivities to feather their respective nest. This place alone is reason enough for escape attempts, let alone the reasons put forward for our escaping protagonists. The audio on offer also enhances the mood, the clanking of metal or the rumbling of shuffling boots land in the ear drum with almost tenacious glee. There's also no overdose on dialogue, no filler conversations serving no purpose to the crux of the tale.

The cast are (prison) uniformly strong, led by the great and weathered Cox, the roll call of escapees also contains earthy Liam Cunningham, a buffed up Joseph Fiennes, a youthfully fraught Dominic Cooper and black magic gusto from Seu Jorge. While within these walls menace comes from a weaselly Steven Mackintosh and the excellently chilling Damian Lewis as nick daddy Rizza. All in all, The Escapist, if you pardon the pun, is a break out movie two fold. Not just as a story, but also in offering up something different in the genre it belongs too. Much like Brian Cox himself, The Escapist is something of a British treasure. 9/10
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star prison break film, 1 Aug 2008
This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
If you like prison break films this is brilliant. Its got a great british cast featuring Brian Cox, Stephen MacIntosh, Joseph Fienns and Damian Lewis. Lewis is superb in the role of a deranged prison enforcer....

Brian Cox plays a troubled inmate plotting to escape to see his long lost daughter...its a thrilling ride as the plot to escape unfolds. Well worth a watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!, 24 Mar 2014
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I started watching this on Film 4 and it was too late for me. I rented it instead to watch the second half. So glad I did! It kept me glued right up until the end.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's all about imagination, 20 Jan 2009
By 
2cleverbyhalf (somewhere in the future) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
It's a bit slow and a bit arty, but The Escapist delivers well on a a promise to give you a creepy insight into prison life. In fact it does more than that. The whole style of the film is odd. The prison feels like it's from a 100 years ago.. apart from the electric lights there's nothing to suggest the film is taking place 'today'. (I was half expecting that to be a twist.. but it isn't). Pleasantly original and definitely worth a watch. Only downsides are the constant jumping around between the build up to the escape and the escape itself and the final twist which you've seen a few times before and doesnt really add anything.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm Gonna Make Things Right...", 12 Mar 2009
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
Prison breaks have been done to death in movies over the last few decades, but what puts "The Escapist" a cut above the rest is the clever way the story is told and the top-notch ensemble cast of Irish, Scottish and English actors - many of whom break form to get down and dirty in sewers and tube tunnels for the role.

Doubling as a London nick - the turn of the century tiny-celled warren that is Kilmainham jail in Dublin is brilliantly and evocatively used - it feels like old school Wormwood Scrubs. Confidently directed by Rupert Wyatt - who also co-wrote the script with Daniel Hardy - you get a tense, scary, yet human telling of lost lives and the hell of internment without hope.

Using a technique of present day mixed with flashbacks to explain how the characters got to where they are in the present day - the film manages to keep your attention - and as it unfolds slowly, it wins you over to its characters - whether they be good or bad.

In this cauldron of steaming shower sex and bare-knuckle hard types - the screws turn a blind eye and take backhanders as the cons are ruled by an amoral and ruthless Damian Lewis (Captain Winters in Band Of Brothers) - a drug-dealer not to be crossed on any count. Steven Mackintosh is truly electrifying as the gay psycho Tony who gets first dibs on the fresh meat that arrives in prison (Dominic Cooper, boyfriend of the lead girl in Mamma Mia is one of them). As Mackintosh is the sidekick of the psychotically volatile Damian Lewis character Rizza, drugged up and twitching Tony can do what he wants - including even getting to old-timer Frank. Liam Cunningham is so good too as the likeable Brodie - a steadying influence who plays chess with Frank and has a fear of tunnels - yet has often constructed them. Throw in the permanently hooded boxer Lenny played by a driven and violent Joseph Fiennes and Seu Jorge as the Rasta hustler Viv - you have a full team in place. And you can imagine what happens next...

But none of it would rise above the ordinary if it weren't for the great acting all round and especially a stunning central performance from Brian Cox as Frank Perry - anchoring the whole movie with a humanity that's genuinely touching. 14 years into a stretch and still hanging on to what marbles and cunning he has left, Frank is a repentant father who longs for one of his many letters to his daughter (an 8-year old when he went in) to be replied to. When he finally hears what's been happening to her as a young adult in the outside world, he knows he has no choice... Cox is truly fantastic in this movie - giving the film a heart - gravitas - taking it away from the clichéd road of graphically showing only brutality and dehumanization.

There's a very satisfying and strangely uplifting ending - and you're left with a feeling that little gem deserves far more attention on DVD than it got at the cinema.

A wicked little movie with a great all-round cast - put "The Escapist" high on your rental/to buy list - recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense & Involving, 3 Dec 2012
By 
Edward Fice "Ted" (Woking, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
A very good cast with Brian Cox and Damien Lewis outstanding. The story unfolds by moving forwards and backwards in time, which one of us found difficult at first, but were soon able to adjust to it. It is to be hoped that some scenes in the prison did not reflect normal day-to-day events in our places of detention. However, despite that the film worked well for me and was both tense and well-paced.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 April 2010
By 
S. Andrews "Si Andrews" (Wolverhampton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
I absolutely loved this film. I knew it was going to be good in advance, but was still blown away by it. Great writing, acting and visuals. Awesome film...
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 19 Dec 2008
By 
This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
One of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Great action and well produced
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HARSH PRISON DRAMA............................., 12 Feb 2009
By 
Saturnicus "Saturnicus" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Escapist [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
An outstanding British cast, led by Brian Cox, shine in a savage film set in a crumbling prison. An escape is planned necessitated by Brian Cox's need to visit his daughter who has twice overdosed on heroin. Throughout the film, Cox indulges in visualising the escape and the things which can go wrong. I will not elaborate on the plot and spoil it for the viewer.
The sets and costume are simple yet effective; the atmosphere is one of despair endorsed by the clanking of the doors, the claxons, alarms, dripping walls and chanting of the prisoners. It put me in mind of "In Hell" - J.C.V.D. - as the warders turn a blind eye to the various illicit activities which occur.
Overall, this is an excellent film which did not remind me in the least of "Shawshank" and is a twist on the normal.
The acting is realistic from an all male cast and the inevitable transvestite.
Well worth a viewing.
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The Escapist [2008] [DVD]
The Escapist [2008] [DVD] by Rupert Wyatt (DVD - 2009)
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