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Civil Brand (2003)



Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 8

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 3,320

My Rating

Movie Info

Television director Neema Barnette directs the forceful drama Civil Brand, based on a story by Preston A. Whitmore II. Shot with a micro-budget of 500,000 dollars, the film stars confrontational rap and hip-hop artists Mos Def, MC Lyte, and Da Brat. The story concerns a women's prison that exploits its largely African-American inmate population as cheap labor to manufacture products for a corporation. Mostly incarcerated due to domestic violence situations, the inmates also face sexual abuse as

Jan 27, 2004


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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (16) | DVD (1)

It's impossible to ignore the strain of misogyny that taints the movie.

October 16, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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It's guilty of gross B-movie meltdown, but mitigating circumstances include honest anger and a scattering of vivid scenes.

October 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
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Barnette, a veteran TV director, means this as an exposť of prison abuse and exploitation, but the film is too simplistic and derivative to succeed.

October 10, 2003
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Artistically, its heavy-handed clumsiness undercuts its goals.

October 10, 2003
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It presents a heated-up, awkward blend of earnest outrage and down-and-dirty exploitation.

October 9, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Plagued by continuity problems, ham-fisted storytelling and a problematic voiceover by Da Brat, Civil Brand feels less like a prison movie than a prison sentence.

October 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wildly uneven, rife with a virtual checklist of human tragedies that build to easy emotional crescendos but fail to engage the audience well enough to evoke any meaning.

December 15, 2003 Full Review Source:

This is a film about the abuses of privatization and presents a negative view of what might happen if corporate America gets control of the business of corrections.

October 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

There's way too much of the usual bonding, beatings, petty humiliation by guards, cat fights in the yard and trips to the hole.

October 10, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

If Civil Brand hopes to raise awareness or instigate reform, what it really needs is a greater focus on character over convention.

September 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Premiere Magazine
Premiere Magazine

Hollywood still doesn?t seem to understand that just because someone can sing doesn't mean they can act. If this film doesn't prove that point, nothing will.

August 30, 2003 Full Review Source:

Women behind bars! While that's the perfect set-up for a late-night, soft-core cable movie, this flick is guilty of being nothing more than a jailhouse crock.

August 29, 2003 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

The movie is every bit as exploitative as the old Roger Corman babes-behind- bars flicks without having nearly as much campy fun.

August 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

After two smart acts, the film almost becomes the exploitation flick it so desperately wants to avoid.

August 29, 2003 Full Review Source:

Muckraking mess of a movie.

August 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Civil Brand

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    1. Sabrina: And that's my motherfucking life.
    – Submitted by Chad H (24 months ago)
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