Critics Consensus

Felon offers a rather hackneyed depiction of prison life, but is held together by a pleasantly complex plot and solid performances from Kilmer and Dorff.



Total Count: 23


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,882
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Felon Photos

Movie Info

A loving husband and father finds his promising future transformed into a waking nightmare when he's convicted of involuntary manslaughter after accidentally killing the burglar who broke into his home in this gritty prison drama starring Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer. Wade Porter (Dorff) would have done anything to protect his family, and when they were threatened he did what any caring family man would have done. But somehow everything went wrong, and now Wade has been sentenced to spend three years in a maximum-security prison. It's a place where the rules of society have been all but forgotten, and in addition to sharing a cell with a notorious mass murderer (Kilmer), Wade somehow incurs the wrath of the sadistic head prison guard (Harold Perrineau). Now, in order to survive the series of vicious beatings orchestrated for the amusement of the guards, Wade realizes that in order to survive the block and get back to his family he will have to become the toughest felon of them all. But even if Wade does manage to live through this harrowing ordeal, what will be left of that loving family man once he's finally released back into civilized society?

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News & Interviews for Felon

Critic Reviews for Felon

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (9)

  • It's still white-knuckle tense, and held together by dozens of small, well-observed moments.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: B

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Stephen Dorff's powerhouse perf as an ordinary Joe trapped behind bars with warring ethnic psychopaths propels "Felon" well ahead of its expose/exploitation brethren while still avoiding the pious learning curves of Frank Darabont's prestige prison dramas

    Jul 21, 2008 | Full Review…

    Ronnie Scheib

    Top Critic
  • Tough, brutish prison drama with an easy windup, but good acting and an uncompromising take on the prison system.

    Jul 18, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

    John Anderson

    Top Critic
  • Written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh, and filmed at the New Mexico State Penitentiary near Santa Fe, Felon is one of the most realistic prison films ever made.

    Jul 18, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • A good cast and disciplined direction add some distinction to Ric Roman Waugh's Felon, which is basically the old tale about an innocent man corrupted by a stay in prison.

    Jul 18, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A subplot involving corrupt guards makes the movie even duller than the score that sounds like a rusty squeezebox.

    Jul 18, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Felon

  • Oct 19, 2012
    A bit sappy, but the acting was better than expected.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2010
    Prison movies are my favorite just because they scare the crap out of me. And what could make a prison movie better than Stephen Dorff and an old gruff Val Kilmer? I liked that Nick Chinlund plays a good guy (sort of) for once. Harold Perrineau once again plays an asshole really well. Pretty good stuff all around. I'm glad it didn't have an escape from prison ending like 99% of these movies do.
    Curtis L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2010
    This was one hardcore flick!
    Ida K Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2010
    probably the harshest prison drama since shawshank. another good performance from kilmer
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

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