Lock Up - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lock Up Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 18, 2010
If you ever wondered what Shawshank Redemption wouldâ??ve been like in the 80s, this is exactly it. Sylvester Stallone always delivers the action and heart, always making his movies watchable and admirable. This isnâ??t overly intelligent or complex, but it wasnâ??t meant to. Itâ??s a simple story of a man wrongfully convicted and constantly tested, you just canâ??t avoid feeling compassion for him. Itâ??s extremely goofy at times and almost ridiculous, but any Sly fan will find themselves happy.
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2009
Sylvester Stallone gives one of the greatest performances of his career, showing he is not an action hero but an actor and what a hell of an unforgettable performance. Donald Sutherland is brilliant, giving an intense and great peroformance. A powerful and excellent film. It's moving, thrilling, stunning and truly exhilerating. A riveting prison drama that is truly remarkable and outstanding.
Super Reviewer
½ August 18, 2009
Have to say right off that I can't believe the low rating for this one here because it delivers everything that a Stallone fan would want, if one is loading this into the player then surely they know what to expect !.

Frank Leone only has a few weeks to go before being released from prison, he is no hard core offender, he is a loving man and is ready for a new life with his gorgeous girlfriend Melissa. During the night he is whisked away to a maximum security prison on the orders of a sadistic warden out for revenge because Leone was the only man to have ever escaped from his prison, and thus put a blemish on his record.

We then follow Leone as he is pushed to the limits by crazy warden Drumgoole and all the sadistic guards under his command. He also enlists the help of resident inmate beefcake Chink Weber, and they all in turn try to break Leone at all costs to see that he never leaves prison again. There certainly is nothing here that hasn't been done before in the prison film genre, and only an idiot would expect anything other than the ending we get, but this is a Stallone movie and it's full of guts, testo macho action, and it should be noted that Sly here puts some depth to the character of Leone, he garners our sympathy quite quickly, and considering the bloke is built like the proverbial brick outhouse, it's quite an achievement.

The supporting players are a mixed bunch, this is Tom Sizemore's first motion picture and he does really well with the character of Dallas, Sonny Landham is his usual scary menacing self as Chink Weber, whilst Frank McRae as Eclipse does just enough right to leave his mark. So it's something of a surprise to me that the best actor on show is actually the films weak link, Donald Sutherland as Drumgoole does overplay it to the point that he goes beyond pantomime villain, it's a real teeth itching performance that he would only outdo with Virus 10 years later, but in a film with such primal fun intentions, it has to be considered perfect.

No awards here for sure, but when I watch a film about a man played by Sly Stallone in prison then I think I know what to expect, and it delivers all that I hoped for, hooray for the beefcake
Super Reviewer
May 24, 2009
It seems that I can't stop wasting my time over these awful movies
Super Reviewer
February 16, 2008
A cliched, instantly forgettable prison movie, which affords Stallone ample opportunity to indulge his twin weaknesses: masochism and sentimentality. It's all very predictable, so as soon as Donald Sutherland's sadistic warden shows Sly his reconditioned electric chair, you know one or the other of them will be sitting in it before the end of the movie. Similarly, once Stallone takes green lifer Larry Romano under his wing, the kid's days are clearly numbered. Ramano's demise brings an untimely end to the most interesting aspect of the film: his tussle with Tom Sizemore for the honour of 'Most Irritating Performance in a Supporting Role'. Those reviewers who describe Sutherland's performance as 'over-the-top'--no pun intended, Stallone fans--have obviously yet to experience his extraordinary slice of ham in Bertolucci's "1900", in comparison with which he's positively understated here. Chances are, you'll soon wish you were watching "Escape from Alcatraz" instead.
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2007
Good one! Very good, Enjoyed it very much ^_^
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
Sylvester Stallone seems ripe for a prison movie. There's a great football game in the mud. I enjoyed the scene where Donald Sutherland is depriving Stallone of sleep by turning on lights and sounds. The dialogue in this flick is fairly good.
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2007
Rocky goes to jail.
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2007
Sylvester Stallone delivers his best work in this rough, tough prison movie.
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2007
Sylvester Stallone ego trip that contains every cheeseball prison movie cliche in existence. Hysterical melodramatic rubbish.
Super Reviewer
May 9, 2008
This is a terrific movie, pure entertainment. The best acting is not Sylvester Stallone's but that of Donald Sutherland's portrayal of the sadistic and bloodthirsty prison warden. But the screenplay was bad.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2009
One of my all time favorite Stallone flicks
Super Reviewer
August 27, 2007
Dont listen to the official write up, this was a good film with some typically steely acting from all involved.
December 17, 2013
Sylvester Stallone was churning out films like a madman in the 80's. This is one that was much overlooked. It's a pre Shawshank prison drama in which Stallone (Frank Leone) has six months left in prison but is transferred to the worst, most dangerous correctional facility in the country to finish out his sentence. Donald Sutherland plays the sadistic warden out to get revenge on Leone for escaping from his own prison several years ago. Truth be told, this film takes no prisoners (get it). It's hard edged, brutal, and cynical. But Sly gives a very human performance that fits his Rocky persona. There are elements of Bad Boys (1983) and a football game sequence kind of out of The Longest Day (1974), but Lock Up has an identity all its own. The ending is something to behold. It's even a bit comic. It's a little relief from a prison thriller with tension that never lets up.
August 25, 2013
An incredibly human film! One of the best Stallone movies and the best prison movie ever made. Hands down 5 stars
½ June 16, 2013
Reminds me a lot of The Shawshank Redemption even though this movie came out way before that. Stallone takes a break from blowing things up and killing bad to do a more dramatic performance although there are some fight scenes and a hint of action. His performance is decent, nothing spectacular. Solid supporting cast includes Tom Sizemore as an inmate that befriends Stallone, John Amos who plays the stiff ass prison captain and Sonny Landham who plays the most feared prisoner in the film who is gunning for Stallone. The movie is slightly predictable and I didn't like Donald Sutherland's performance as the warden. He couldn't seem to keep a straight accent. One minute he does his usual Canadian accent and the next thing he's doing a British accent. The film doesn't go into detail on Stallone and Sutherland's past only that Sutherland is trying to break Stallone down and punish him. Worth a look.
½ February 22, 2013
"How much can a man take before he gives back?"

A typical late 80's Sylvester Stallone vehicle that actually was pretty darn entertaining. I wasn't expecting much upon watching this, just to waste some time, but to my surprise I was engaged, intrigued, it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Lock Up overflows with masculinity and testosterone, as do much of Stallone's films. Director John Flynn (Rolling Thunder, Best Seller, Out For Justice) really did pretty good here, of course it's no Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile, but it's a decent little prison film. Solid action, wicked fight sequences, an enticing storyline as well as entertaining. As I said, I was surprised and I really enjoyed it, but it does come with it's fair share of flaws. I'll be positive, however.
Sylvester Stallone bearing gigantic jacked up muscles and roid rage gives the same monotonous performance that we are accustomed to from him, he does well however. Donald Sutherland is effective enough in this villainous role. I hate Jon Amos, so I won't even comment on him. And it's always nice to see Tom Distemper, he is great in an early career role.
½ January 22, 2013
A great combination of manliness and feelings. With these types of movies that just shite on their main character I take solace to know that this probably will never happen in real life; "Lock Up" even less so. Exactly why Sutherland picks on Stallone is pretty convoluted and unbelievable, but if you just go with it you'll find a pretty solid prison film. While the ending is wholly unbelievable, I enjoyed this film almost as much as I enjoyed "Oz".
May 2, 2012
Pretty average prison drama that checks most of the boxes without managing to add anything visually of story-wise of note. There is one scene that is somewhat memorable but like every other it ends flatly after building drama and apprehension of something exciting occurring. Sutherland is excellent in a ridiculous role for which there seems to be little reason other than to perpetuate the plot. Of course Stallone gets an action scene at the end but even that is patchy in pace and visually simple. For a better time watch Escape from Alcatraz to see escape drama done well.
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