King of Devil's Island - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

King of Devil's Island Reviews

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Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International
November 16, 2011
Terse and atmospheric Norwegian historical drama about an isolated home for troubled boys is effectively brooding but too formulaic when it comes to character.
Joseph Proimakis
Movies for the Masses
December 26, 2011
full review at Movies for the Masses
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
November 17, 2011
Its refusal to adopt a single point of view may be conceptually ambitious, but it keeps the drama unfocussed, and slightly off balance.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show
May 7, 2012
King of Devil's Island is poetic story of friendship and adolescence in the bleak, cold and brutal 1915 Bastoy. It's a snow covered, potent mixture of Sleepers, Shawshank Redemption and Lord of the Flies.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
CJ Johnson
ABC Radio (Australia)
May 6, 2012
The true events on which the film are based are wonderfully stranger than fiction, and by the end of the film I was deeply moved and thrilled by what I had seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Shaun Munro
What Culture
June 27, 2012
A grim treatise on the origins of violence, with excellent performances from the largely unknown young cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Glenn Heath Jr.
Slant Magazine
November 14, 2011
King of Devil's Island hits the familiar plot points most prison films cherish (escape attempts, riots, chase sequences), but Hoist's keen directing abilities prove that worn-out film genres can be advanced with the right casting and setting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Rob Hunter
Film School Rejects
January 7, 2012
Full Review | Original Score: B
Thomas Caldwell
Cinema Autopsy
May 2, 2012
A compelling story of defiance after hypocrisy transforms discipline and order into oppression and brutality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Graham Young
Birmingham Post
August 2, 2012
It's a very measured account of how men will accept their fates to a degree, slowly coil up and then spring with anger.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 19, 2012
The film plays well, and is involving, but in one form or another, this is a story often told.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Alex Zane
The Sun (UK)
July 6, 2012
The acting is superb and director Marius Holst's embellishment of the facts keeps your attention throughout.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Mike Scott
February 3, 2012
Cold, harsh and riveting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto
March 16, 2012
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Alison Willmore
Time Out
November 15, 2011
Imagine a Cool Hand Luke that swaps out star-vehicle pleasures for gray Scandinavian suffering, and you'd have something like Marius Holst's prison drama set in 1915 Norway.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matthew Pejkovic
Matt's Movie Reviews
May 3, 2012
The majority of the films running time is spent with these boys. We feel their hunger, their humiliation and the chill of the ice-bound landscape they call home. As a result King of Devil's Island is a film set to make viewers sad and angry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Anton Bitel
Little White Lies
June 28, 2012
beneath the staid, ordered, colour-dulled surfaces of Marius Holst's King of Devil's Island lurk various forms of hypocrisy, corruption and abuse, suggesting something very rotten in the (then) state of Norway.
Kam Williams
November 21, 2011
A bittersweet reminder that despite the debate surrounding the easy availability of Ritalin and Adderall, we've still come a long way from some less-enlightened methods of dealing with rebellious adolescents with attention-deficit issues.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile
April 28, 2012
Escape might be top of mind for the rebellious new recruit as he is inducted into a society intent on crushing every ounce of self-respect, but it is the relationships that evolve that become the film's beating heart
Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile
April 28, 2012
Honest and authentic, the filmmaker takes his subject seriously and gives us a complex and thought provoking film
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