Brawl in Cell Block 99

Critics Consensus

Brawl in Cell Block 99 rides a committed Vince Vaughn performance into the brutally violent -- and undeniably entertaining -- depths of prison-set grindhouse genre fare.



Reviews Counted: 87

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,877


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

A former boxer named Bradley loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage is about to expire. At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work for an old buddy as a drug courier. This improves his situation until the terrible day that he finds himself in a gunfight between a group of police officers and his own ruthless allies. When the smoke clears, Bradley is badly hurt and thrown in prison, where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground. From the director of Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99 stars Vince Vaughn (Hacksaw Ridge), Jennifer Carpenter ("Dexter"), Udo Kier (Blade) and Don Johnson ("Miami Vice").

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Critic Reviews for Brawl in Cell Block 99

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (17)

  • I can't remember violence in a film eliciting such verbal reactions.

    Oct 19, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Ed Potton

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Vince Vaughn is so intimidating in "Brawl in Cell Block 99," even the back of his head seems to be glaring at us and asking, "Do we have a problem here?"

    Oct 13, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Writer-director S. Craig Zahler takes his handiwork so seriously that viewers may do the same.

    Oct 12, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • ...the kind of vicious, no-nonsense prison drama that dads dream about when the TV is finally theirs to command.

    Oct 7, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A grade-A piece of meathead cinema.

    Oct 6, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • If it's been a while since you've felt the cold blast and hard crunch of midnight-movie meanness, Zahler's shaping up to be your guy - the one selling illicit thrills out of the trunk of a well-restored, vinyl-topped LTD.

    Oct 5, 2017 | Full Review…

    Robert Abele

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Brawl in Cell Block 99


A no-nonsense prison film about a square guy dealt a bad hand, and then how he plays it. Vince Vaughn breathes through this like an old school steam engine freight train, powering this testosterone nightmare into dream status. By the end, you might consider wanting to go to prison yourself. Grindhouse confectionary contentness.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


They don't make 'em like this anymore! Brawl in Cell Block 99 is not just the best of Vince Vaughn's career, it's also one of the best movies of the year. Not for the faint of heart, but something that will stay with me for a long time to come.

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer


The film is at it's best when it indulges in it's little digressions and oddities (Vaughn tearing a car apart with his bare hands, Fred Melamed's cameo as a snooty prison guard, Don Johnson's monologues, etc.) Some of the brutality is a bit much, but it's thankfully brief.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

This was a really cool movie that has a consistent tone throughout. Vaughn has the best role for quite some time and he doesn't waste a second, you would be forgiven for forgetting all the romcom films he has churned out. The film is another showcase for the filmmaker Zahler, he really delivered something interesting in 2015 with Bone Tomahawk and wastes no time with the next film. The film is very violent in the later half of the film and plays like some of the outrageous moments in Tarantinos films. Zahler is going to be the successor to the cult film empire and I look forward to his next film experiment. Vaughns career is on a different trajectory and it is very interesting to see where he goes next too. 16-12-2017.

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

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