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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spanish Prison Riot that packs a punch!
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...
Published on 12 Jan 2012 by Tommy Dooley

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1.0 out of 5 stars Film was good but my copy was a bad one had to ...
Film was good but my copy was a bad one had to have it replaced but the disc is still bad wont buy off sweet buzzzerds again
Published 2 months ago by jh


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spanish Prison Riot that packs a punch!, 12 Jan 2012
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cell 211 [DVD] (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.

Director Daniel Monzon has made a brilliant piece of cinema here, and it gets better when you see the budget and constraints he worked in (a budget of just over five and a half million Euros). It may not have an original theme but it does have an original execution. It runs to 113 minutes of mostly edge of the set stuff and I recommend you see this version before the Hollywood one comes out in 2013.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film, see it !, 16 Nov 2010
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Prison Drama, 26 Jan 2012
By 
Mitun (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cell 211 [DVD] (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
4.0 out of 5 stars A good film, 31 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Celda 211 (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, gritty Spanish prison drama, 23 Jan 2012
By 
T. BROOKES "Brookey" (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cell 211 [Blu-ray] (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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1.0 out of 5 stars Film was good but my copy was a bad one had to ..., 11 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cell 211 [DVD] (DVD)
Film was good but my copy was a bad one had to have it replaced but the disc is still bad wont buy off sweet buzzzerds again
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4.0 out of 5 stars Top Film!, 1 Jun 2014
This review is from: Cell 211 (Amazon Instant Video)
Must see. Very good acting, very convincing and plausible plot. enjoyed this film, I would definitely recommend to a friend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four star, 27 May 2014
By 
R. Weber (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cell 211 (Amazon Instant Video)
I do not wish to write a review. I only want to record my star rating for this film as I used to be able to do with LoveFilm before Amazon took over that company.
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4.0 out of 5 stars high paced thrilling film, 15 May 2014
This review is from: Cell 211 (Amazon Instant Video)
would recommend to anyone wanting a shake up and wake up film, bit gorey in parts so not for the squeemish
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5.0 out of 5 stars proper gripping, 4 May 2014
This review is from: Cell 211 (Amazon Instant Video)
This film is brilliant, truly gripping and takes you for a good ride. I'll not say anything else about it.

You won't regret watching it.
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