Civil Brand Reviews

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Todd Gilchrist
FilmStew.com
December 15, 2003
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.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
October 16, 2003
It's impossible to ignore the strain of misogyny that taints the movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Bob Campbell
Newark Star-Ledger
October 13, 2003
It's guilty of gross B-movie meltdown, but mitigating circumstances include honest anger and a scattering of vivid scenes.
Jonathan W. Hickman
Entertainment Insiders
October 11, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide
October 10, 2003
There's way too much of the usual bonding, beatings, petty humiliation by guards, cat fights in the yard and trips to the hole.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
October 10, 2003
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.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
October 10, 2003
Artistically, its heavy-handed clumsiness undercuts its goals.
| Original Score: D
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 9, 2003
It presents a heated-up, awkward blend of earnest outrage and down-and-dirty exploitation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
October 9, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
October 8, 2003
Without a scorcher like Pam Grier, the sub-NYPD Blue dialogue and acting dilute what could have been a shrieking wake-up call about for-profit prisons.
Peter Debruge
Premiere Magazine
September 9, 2003
If Civil Brand hopes to raise awareness or instigate reform, what it really needs is a greater focus on character over convention.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Blake French
Filmcritic.com
August 30, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
August 30, 2003
Although the film loses its way in the late going with a preponderance of melodramatic elements that dilute the more compelling social message, for much of its running time it packs a visceral punch.

E! Online
August 29, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Daily News
August 29, 2003
The movie is every bit as exploitative as the old Roger Corman babes-behind- bars flicks without having nearly as much campy fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
James Hill
BET.com
August 29, 2003
After two smart acts, the film almost becomes the exploitation flick it so desperately wants to avoid.
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
August 28, 2003
A compelling, highly charged film that brings a contemporary perspective to classic prison picture elements.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
August 27, 2003
If Civil Brand works ... as an updated women's prison melodrama with a strong whisper of political consciousness, there are some crippling flaws in the film.
Susan Green
Boxoffice Magazine
August 22, 2003
Muckraking mess of a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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