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Cell 211 (Celda 211) Reviews

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Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

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.

Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

February 9, 2012
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies

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 Source: Jam! Movies | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 28, 2011
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

October 28, 2011
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 28, 2011

Monzón demonstrates a remarkable capacity for blending high concepts with high-minded ideas in a direct, no-nonsense way.

Full Review Source: Scotsman | Original Score: 4/5

July 18, 2011
Philip French
Observer [UK]

First-time director Monzón keeps the screws tightened in every sense, as well as avoiding conventional rhetoric and sentimentality.

Full Review Source: Observer [UK]

July 17, 2011
Anthony Quinn
Independent

There's a riot going on in a Spanish maximum security prison, whose Darwinian savagery is right up there with A Prophet.

Full Review Source: Independent | Original Score: 4/5

July 15, 2011
David Edwards
Daily Mirror [UK]

Cell 211 is a brutal piece of filmmaking ... but the shock and gore is warranted ...

Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]

July 15, 2011
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express

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 Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 4/5

July 15, 2011
Charlotte O'Sullivan
This is London

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 Source: This is London | Original Score: 3/5

July 15, 2011
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]

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 Source: Daily Mail [UK] | Original Score: 5/5

July 14, 2011
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian [UK]

There is something melodramatic and soapy about Cell 211 occasionally, but it really is exciting

Full Review Source: Guardian [UK] | Original Score: 4/5

July 14, 2011
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph

Monzón's film remains a bracing draft for a great thriller, not the finished article.

Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph | Original Score: 3/5

July 14, 2011
Michael Leader
Little White Lies

The twisty plot soon gets knotted, but in the process shows a deeply broken system born of violence and corruption.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 3/5

July 14, 2011
Shaun Munro
What Culture

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 Source: What Culture | Original Score: 3.5/5

July 14, 2011
Alan Jones
Radio Times

The film is shot in a documentary-style that's enhanced by using actual convicts as extras.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 3/5

July 14, 2011
Chris Buckle
The Skinny

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 Source: The Skinny | Original Score: 5/5

July 13, 2011
Elliott Noble
Sky Movies

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 Source: Sky Movies | Original Score: 4/5

July 13, 2011
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon

Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a powerful Spanish prison drama with terrific performances from Alberto Ammann and Luis Tosar.

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 4/5

July 13, 2011
Mark Stafford
Electric Sheep

I don't believe that these events would happen like this in the real world, but for 113 tense, charged minutes I was wholly swept up in them.

Full Review Source: Electric Sheep

July 13, 2011
Jonathan Holland
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic
February 23, 2012
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