King of Devil's Island (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

King of Devil's Island (2011)



Critic Consensus: Scandinavian in the most bleakly satisfying way, King of Devil's Island satisfies with a richly layered narrative and a typically strong performance from Stellan Skarsgard.

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Movie Info

This true story of the infamous Bastøy Boys Home correctional facility in Norway, begins with the arrival of seventeen-year-old Erling, a rumored murderer. He immediately clashes with the island facility's governor (Stellan Skarsgård), who believes manual labor, rigid discipline, and harsh punishment are the only methods that can turn the boys into honorable members of society. Refusing to accept the constant abuse, Erling slowly rouses the rest of the boys out of their resigned existence, and encourages them to fight to lift up their spirits. When tragedy finally falls at the hand of the sadistic dorm master, Erling leads his comrades in a courageous and vicious rebellion that will bring them head to head with no less than the Norwegian Army. -- (C) Film Movement

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Stellan Skarsgard
as Governor/Bestyreren
Kimmo Rajala
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for King of Devil's Island

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (13)

Rather one-note in its bleakness, and doesn't have a vast amount to say beyond 'reform school sucks'.

Full Review… | June 26, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Possibly no one else does "grim" with as much unsparing enthusiasm as the Scandinavians.

Full Review… | March 16, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Skarsgard is riveting throughout as a man whose high morality is steeped in hypocrisy and whose mask of civility easily slips, when challenged, to reveal the monster beneath.

Full Review… | March 15, 2012
Toronto Star
Top Critic

[An] austere and occasionally stirring yarn.

February 3, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 19, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

"King of Devil's Island" is surprisingly effective, and affecting, given the familiarity of its material.

Full Review… | January 5, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for King of Devil's Island

Ok. I am convinced..Stellan Skarsgard + movie role = quality film! This based-on-a-true-story film is top-notch good. This is what great filmmaking is all about. A magnificent, and unforgettable film. Every scene is perfect, each actor's performance is spot on. If this movie doesn't touch you on some level, I don't know what will. My ONLY complaint is there was no follow up summary, but I guess we can all google things these I forgive them...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


For those who like true stories and abhor cruelty and injustice, this is your film.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

'The King of Devil's Island'. A sobering tale on the abuse of power and the small rebellions that can lead to outright chaos. The grim, beautiful Norwegian winter plays a fine backdrop to all round solid performances.


Super Reviewer

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