Construction business owner Wade Porter(Stephen Dorff)accidentally kills a home intruder and is sentenced to three years in a maximum security prison.There he is cellmates with notorious mass killer John Smith(Val Kilmer)all the while trying to stay under the radar and out of the clutches of sadistic head guard Jackson(Harold Perrinau). Uncompromising but riveting and brilliantly shaded prison drama is head and shoulders the best release from Sony's Fight Factory Series.Dorff is terrific as is Kilmer and with a supporting cast numbering Sam Shepard,Anne Archer and crucially Marisol Nichols as Porter's partner,writer and director Waugh's pungent,beautifully layered script is given it's full justice.Felon makes Oz look like a cartoon as it plays out it's hand of being a subtle indictment of the U.S penal system,a detailed character piece and a brutal actioner with some skill. Remarkably cliche free, it can be excused going a little crowd pleasing in the final act because Felon is both superb entertainment and a thoughtful examination of how somebody's humanity and resolve can be severely tested after making one mistake in a largely good life and the consequences that are meted out by a system that only cares about the system. A knockout of a film and deserves to be better known. The one extra is a short docu which shows just how far Waugh was prepared to go to make Felon as realistic as possible.