Cell 211 (Celda 211) Reviews

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Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
February 9, 2012
By the last half-hour, the story's seething skepticism towards the surveillance-state and its portrait of a naïve guard turned murderous prisoner make for a mesmerizing movie.
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
October 28, 2011
Cell 211 is both gritty and gripping, and if the second half is not quite as electrifying as the first, much is forgiven because the story is so clever.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 28, 2011
From Spanish director Daniel Monzon, this is a white-hot prison drama with a Byzantine plot and enough gore to make Reservoir Dogs look like a petting zoo.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
October 28, 2011
It's a cut above the usual penal picture, intelligent with sharply drawn, memorable characters, a storyline suffused with tension and unexpected turns, and a morass of moral quandaries that could lead the most innocent into irretrievable darkness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
July 18, 2011
Monzón demonstrates a remarkable capacity for blending high concepts with high-minded ideas in a direct, no-nonsense way.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
July 17, 2011
First-time director Monzón keeps the screws tightened in every sense, as well as avoiding conventional rhetoric and sentimentality.
Anthony Quinn
Independent
July 15, 2011
There's a riot going on in a Spanish maximum security prison, whose Darwinian savagery is right up there with A Prophet.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
David Edwards
Daily Mirror [UK]
July 15, 2011
Cell 211 is a brutal piece of filmmaking ... but the shock and gore is warranted ...
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express
July 15, 2011
Director Daniel Monzon's picture - very well acted by the leads - manages to combine extremely clever, unpredictable plotting with plausible but unexpected character development, elevating standard genre fare to something much more substantial.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Charlotte O'Sullivan
This is London
July 15, 2011
It's a neat, topical set-up and, initially at least, Cell 211 possesses the sweaty, coiled intensity of Un Prophète. Alas, the second half is hokum. Que paso?
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]
July 14, 2011
The film-makers wisely resist the temptation to make Juan a classically upright Hollywood hero. In taking a more pessimistic direction, the film comes across as infinitely more realistic.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
July 14, 2011
There is something melodramatic and soapy about Cell 211 occasionally, but it really is exciting
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph
July 14, 2011
Monzón's film remains a bracing draft for a great thriller, not the finished article.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
July 14, 2011
Expect a Hollywood remake of the Spanish jail-riot thriller Cell 211. Three reasons: it's an international hit; it's pacy and pulsing, and it's trash.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Michael Leader
Little White Lies
July 14, 2011
The twisty plot soon gets knotted, but in the process shows a deeply broken system born of violence and corruption.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Shaun Munro
What Culture
July 14, 2011
On the surface this is a relatively familiar prison thriller, yet when executed with panache of such disarming brutality and tension, it finds room to distinguish itself in an overcrowded genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Alan Jones
Radio Times
July 14, 2011
The film is shot in a documentary-style that's enhanced by using actual convicts as extras.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Chris Buckle
The Skinny
July 13, 2011
Any dips into melodrama are levelled out by its unpredictability, sympathies shifting multiple times in a kaleidoscope of greys that refuses to settle into blacks and whites.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Elliott Noble
Sky Movies
July 13, 2011
In a genre where the expectation of violence is so high, rare is the film that manages to shock and startle with such regularity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
July 13, 2011
Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a powerful Spanish prison drama with terrific performances from Alberto Ammann and Luis Tosar.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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