The Escapist


The Escapist

Critics Consensus

A tense, smart prison break movie, The Escapist is a sharp debut from director Rupert Wyatt.



Total Count: 44


Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,810
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Movie Info

A career criminal seeks redemption for himself, his family, and his friends by busting out of a penitentiary in this intelligent thriller. Frank (Brian Cox) is a criminal who was forced to leave his wife and six-year-old daughter behind when he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Frank openly acknowledges he was guilty and has made his peace with life behind bars, but when he learns that a drug overdose has left his daughter seriously ill, he feels a powerful need to reconnect with his family, and his only option is to escape. Knowing he can't do it alone, Frank assembles a team from various factions of the prison population, including Viv (Seu Jorge), who makes and deals drugs from his cell; Lenny (Joseph Fiennes), a wiry tough guy who doesn't speak if he can avoid it; and Lacey (Dominic Cooper), Frank's new cellmate who is a white-collar criminal not cut out for prison life. Frank soon realizes if his plan is to work, he'll have to bring aboard some of the more dangerous and unpredictable members of the prison's community, including vicious and corrupt brothers Rizza (Damian Lewis) and Tony (Steven Mackintosh). The Escapist was the first feature film from writer and director Rupert Wyatt. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Escapist

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (15)

Audience Reviews for The Escapist

  • Oct 29, 2014
    For those who have seen more than two or three prison break movies in their lives, this mediocre film won't offer anything new even if it believes to be doing something pretty smart and profound with an annoying flashback structure and a silly Ambrose Bierce twist in the end.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2012
    Set in a British prison, filled with all the usual convict suspects (including Damien Lewis and Steven Mackintosh woefully miscast as sadistic underlords!), this is unusual primarily for Brian Cox being the lead (which he fills capably), the setting, and the twist at the end (borrowed from a famous Ambrose Bierce tale). Nothing unusual then, but well done for the main part.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2012
    really well made prison escape movie full of interesting characters. Brian Cox is the driving force behind the film and offers a performance that is criminally underrated. great direction if only a few to many unnecessary flashbacks. Wyatt is a filmmaker to watch for the future.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2012
    A very well executed, original, and ambitious prison drama, full of great performances all around, especially from the criminally underrated Brian Cox. The prison atmosphere is captured well, dark, gritty, and depressing; the film did a great job conveying a sense of realism. The filmmakers do perhaps become too self indulgent at the end, but the middle 2/3 are so strong, that the ending is more of an interesting misfire than something that really takes away, significantly, from the film. Above all, it's tense throughout, smart, and done well. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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