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King of Devil's Island Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International

Terse and atmospheric Norwegian historical drama about an isolated home for troubled boys is effectively brooding but too formulaic when it comes to character.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

November 16, 2011
Joseph Proimakis
Movies for the Masses

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 26, 2011
Stephen Holden
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its refusal to adopt a single point of view may be conceptually ambitious, but it keeps the drama unfocussed, and slightly off balance.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

November 17, 2011
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show

King of Devil's Island is poetic story of friendship and adolescence in the bleak, cold and brutal 1915 Bastoy. It's a snow covered, potent mixture of Sleepers, Shawshank Redemption and Lord of the Flies.

Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show | Original Score: 4/5

May 7, 2012
CJ Johnson
ABC Radio (Australia)

The true events on which the film are based are wonderfully stranger than fiction, and by the end of the film I was deeply moved and thrilled by what I had seen.

Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia) | Original Score: 4/5

May 6, 2012
Shaun Munro
What Culture

A grim treatise on the origins of violence, with excellent performances from the largely unknown young cast.

Full Review Source: What Culture | Original Score: 3.5/5

June 27, 2012
Glenn Heath Jr.
Slant Magazine

King of Devil's Island hits the familiar plot points most prison films cherish (escape attempts, riots, chase sequences), but Hoist's keen directing abilities prove that worn-out film genres can be advanced with the right casting and setting.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 14, 2011
Rob Hunter
Film School Rejects

Full Review Source: Film School Rejects | Original Score: B

January 7, 2012
Thomas Caldwell
Cinema Autopsy

A compelling story of defiance after hypocrisy transforms discipline and order into oppression and brutality.

Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy | Original Score: 3.5/5

May 2, 2012
Graham Young
Birmingham Post

It's a very measured account of how men will accept their fates to a degree, slowly coil up and then spring with anger.

Full Review Source: Birmingham Post | Original Score: 3/5

August 2, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film plays well, and is involving, but in one form or another, this is a story often told.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

January 19, 2012
Alex Zane
Sun Online

The acting is superb and director Marius Holst's embellishment of the facts keeps your attention throughout.

Full Review Source: Sun Online | Original Score: 3/5

July 6, 2012
Mike Scott

Cold, harsh and riveting.

Full Review Source: Times-Picayune | Original Score: 3/4

February 3, 2012
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto

Full Review Source: NOW Toronto | Original Score: 3/5

March 16, 2012
Alison Willmore
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Imagine a Cool Hand Luke that swaps out star-vehicle pleasures for gray Scandinavian suffering, and you'd have something like Marius Holst's prison drama set in 1915 Norway.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

November 15, 2011
Matthew Pejkovic
Matt's Movie Reviews

The majority of the films running time is spent with these boys. We feel their hunger, their humiliation and the chill of the ice-bound landscape they call home. As a result King of Devil's Island is a film set to make viewers sad and angry.

Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews | Original Score: 3.5/5

May 3, 2012
Anton Bitel
Little White Lies

beneath the staid, ordered, colour-dulled surfaces of Marius Holst's King of Devil's Island lurk various forms of hypocrisy, corruption and abuse, suggesting something very rotten in the (then) state of Norway.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies

June 28, 2012
Kam Williams

A bittersweet reminder that despite the debate surrounding the easy availability of Ritalin and Adderall, we've still come a long way from some less-enlightened methods of dealing with rebellious adolescents with attention-deficit issues.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 21, 2011
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile

Escape might be top of mind for the rebellious new recruit as he is inducted into a society intent on crushing every ounce of self-respect, but it is the relationships that evolve that become the film's beating heart

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

April 28, 2012
Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile

Honest and authentic, the filmmaker takes his subject seriously and gives us a complex and thought provoking film

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

April 28, 2012
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