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The Last Castle (2001)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 115
Fresh: 60 | Rotten: 55

The Last Castle is well acted and rousing for the most part, but the story can't stand up to close scrutiny.


Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 15

The Last Castle is well acted and rousing for the most part, but the story can't stand up to close scrutiny.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 45,302

My Rating

Movie Info

Robert Redford stars in this action drama as General Irwin, a respected three-star tactician whose career ends in disgrace when he's court-martialed and sent to The Castle, a maximum security military prison. Irwin quickly butts heads with the facility's autocratic warden, Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini), who runs his command with an iron fist, even killing prisoners when he deems it necessary. Irwin rallies his fellow convicts into a rag-tag army and leads them in a revolt against Winter, an


Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

Graham Yost, David Scarpa

Mar 5, 2002


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All Critics (133) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (55) | DVD (18)

Bizarre, confused, sanctimonious manure.

October 23, 2001 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The themes that ring out most loudly in the end -- some men are just born leaders; others do best if they just conform -- are numbingly retrograde.

October 20, 2001 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Devolves into a mundane warden-versus-inmate conclusion.

October 19, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A dull, borderline inept action-prison drama, in which lead star Robert Redford is totally wasted.

June 3, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Lurie's first attempt at a larger-scale production isn't entirely successful...

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Os diálogos são ótimos, os dois antagonistas são bem desenhados e corretamente vividos por seus intérpretes, mas é uma pena que, nos últimos minutos, torne-se formulaico demais.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

After impressing with his debut, former film critic Lurie has destroyed all of his credibility in the space of two hours with this display of jaundiced jingoism.

February 13, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

Robert Redford's military prison drama contains cruel and unusual punishment -- for the audience.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix | Comment (1)

The sap is only occassional, but the poignancy is muted.

October 27, 2002 Full Review Source:

generates almost palpable heat when its protagonist and antagonist square off against each other.

June 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

The movie's poster advertises "a castle can only have one king". That may be true, but how come this "Last Castle" has so many jesters?

March 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Movie Eye
Movie Eye

Serves as an intense drama, an intelligent thriller, and an intriguing character study wrapped into a solidly constructed package.

February 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

If I had a castle, I'd want General Irwin on my side.

February 4, 2002 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Interesante alegoría sobre el valor de la libertad, entretenimiento de alto nivel y bien pensado

January 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Moviola

Not a serious prison flick, but director Lurie finds fresh ways to frame familiar situations, and pulls it off with enough tongue-in-cheek wit.

December 24, 2001 Full Review Source: BBC

It is not a realistic story at all and it is predictable and derivative.

December 20, 2001 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

In spite of its faults, Lurie's film cannot be easily dismissed.

December 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

An uncommonly riveting motion picture

December 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

A career-ending missive from two seriously disturbed individuals.

November 20, 2001 Full Review Source:

a castleful of clichés... not provocative for a drama and not rousing enough for an action movie

November 16, 2001 Full Review Source:

[Gandolfini's] performance yields emotion as palpable as any he's expressed in his award-winning role on the small screen.

October 28, 2001 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Like the high stone walls of the title structure, director Rod Lurie's "The Last Castle" can be stately but sometimes seem a little too stiff for its own good.

October 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Lawrence Journal-World
Lawrence Journal-World

Lays everything on so thick that the film becomes a rather comical exaggeration of all it's supposed to be.

October 25, 2001 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Last Castle

What a load of American drivel, an uninspired prison flick that bores and irritates the hell out of you!
December 22, 2013
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

I usually like seeing movies where the underdog finds a way to triumph over the nasty villain, but this movie is a bit hard to take. In five minutes of movie time General Irwin goes from "Hmmm, we should overtake this prison" to the full fledged revolt overcoming guns, water cannons and helicopters.
March 21, 2012

Super Reviewer

A flawed, if watchable drama concerning a former general (Robert Redford) who is sent to prison under the watch of a sadistic warden (James Gandolfini), and how he rouses the inmates to rise up against the corrupt warden. Redford is perfect as the silent rebel type, with Gandolfini an ideal fit as the ego maniacal villain. Although it is heavily cliched and suffers from an overdose of melodrama, the end still packs a punch despite its faults.
January 9, 2011
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Unremarkable. A good idea gone to waste as all the usual prison movie cliques take over. The ending is so over the top it turns from nice idea to complete rubbish. Watch Cool Hand Luke instead!
October 1, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Gen. Eugene Irwin: I've been running on fumes for the last 20 years.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (12 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Film critic turned film maker Rod Lurie will write and direct "Nothing But the Truth" for the Yari...

Foreign Titles

  • Le Dernier château (FR)
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