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

King of Devil's Island Reviews

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½ December 7, 2016
I'm surprised that Americans haven't remade this one for the non reading subtitles people.
December 3, 2016
Bleak, and ultimately unsatisfying.
September 5, 2016
Watched this during the 2011 Calgary International Film Festival. This movie has a powerful plot, solid acting, and incredible imagery. It had me feeling a wide range of emotions throughout.

It took me a few days to decide to add this movie to the roster schedule as I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch a movie with subtitles. I'm glad I went as I have never been so captivated watching a movie.

I am only posting this review now as I was thinking about it and thought I'd like to see it on Netflix and couldn't remember the name. I had to go the the calgaryfilm website and look through the archives to find the name.

Sadly, it is not on Netflix. If you ever have a chance to watch this movie, do so.
May 25, 2016
With a great narrative, and nice performances, King of Devil's Island is a must see drama for filmgoers.
½ November 24, 2015
soliden norveski film so Stellan Skarsgård. fala Zarko za preporakata :)
November 2, 2015
With spirited performances this true story of rebellious youth of young offenders under treatment of harsh conditions is very compelling and dramatic. recommended
August 1, 2015
Shawshank Redemption / Dead Poet's Society / Lord of the Flies all rolled into one. Incredible that this is a true story.
June 21, 2015
The Scandinavian film industry is alive and well....and ready to teach everyone else...how to do it right!!!!
½ March 28, 2015
Super Reviewer said it best:
For those who like true stories and abhor cruelty and injustice,
this is your film.
December 28, 2014
Excellent Norwegian film with great performances and script.
½ August 19, 2014
My old mate, Stellen.
May 29, 2014
A drama based on true story about the notorious boys' prison in Norway that was shut down several decades ago. Just like other dramas based on prison life, this drama displays how good deeds and monstrosity alike can be found in either side. The latter half of the movie, while not entirely satisfactory, is deeply haunting and would leave the audience somewhat heart-broken. Nonetheless, it is overall a very worthy watch, especially for those who always long to see justice established on both sides.
May 24, 2014
Based on a true story this gripping account of a 1915 Norwegian boys correctional facility shows the abuse endured by the young inmates of the island and the heroic banding together that it took to overthrow their oppressors in a violent uprising. Great and tragic film with one silver lining of hope and courage in the end!
May 19, 2014
I am going to pass on this one.
May 5, 2014
If you are a sucker for true stories about injustice, mental and physical abuse and uprising against a brutal regime, then go watch this film!
½ April 17, 2014
The film plays well, and is involving, but in one form or another, this is a story often told.
½ March 31, 2014
Good Norwegian drama, but could have been great. Good plot, well developed. The set up and build up to the inevitable climax was great, and set the scene for a fantastic conclusion. Character development is also good.

However, the final scenes isn't as satisfactory as the build up. There are a few scenes and events which just don't gel, and which make the last quarter or so of the movie feel a bit contrived. Credibility is restored somewhat by the moving ending, however.

Good performances all round. The only known actor (to us non-Norwegians, at least) in the cast is Stellan Skarsgard, who seems to appear in every Skandinavian movie. He is excellent, as always, as the governor of the prison.
March 1, 2014
Gripping and tragic movie (more so because its based on real events) surrounding the infamous Bastøy Boys Home correctional facility in Norway in 1915 and the violent uprising led in part by 17 year old Erling. I spent the entire movie feeling cold, exhausted and hungry, the wintery isolation almost becomes a character in itself here. Why didn't anyone ever wear a jacket? Was that part of the punishment? Great performances from everyone, although for some reason I'd been expecting more brutality from Stellan Skarsgard maybe because he always looks so angry and mean. The real problem here was the dorm master! In the end I was left wondering how much of this story is true and slightly confused by the bittersweet flash-forward at the end, how many years later was that? Was he a whaling captain? A little vague 02.15.14

"A troubled 17 year old leads a violent uprising in Norway's notorious Bastoy Boys Home correctional facility after suffering relentless abuse at the hands of the institutions rigid governor."
January 25, 2014
King of Devil's Island (Norwegian: Kongen av Bastøy) Norwegian film, written by Dennis Magnusson and directed by Marius Holst. Starring Stellan Skarsgård and Benjamin Helstad, Kristoffer Joner. It received premier at Lübeck Nordic Film Days. It was filmed in Estonia - based on the actual events that occurred at Bastøy Prison (few miles away from Oslo fjord, Norway).

Set in 1915 - Bestyreren (Stellan) is head of the escape-proof Bastøy detention prison at small islet, funded by the Church. Every now and then juveniles are sailed on boat to detention center, to be brought-up under discipline and code-of-conduct. At detention-center strict and aggressive punishments are carried out against boys who violate the rules - hidden from church.

In the opening of movie a new inmate Erling/C-19 (Benjamin Helstad) is sailed to island - C-19 believes he does not belong there and often challenges Bestyreren's rules and punishments. Bestyreren makes sure that C-19 goes through severe punishments for violating rules so that he fit in the environment. These punishments include, standing whole night on stool without sleeping; carrying boulders in harsh icy weather; physical assault, fetching ration under heavy rain from forests.

C-19 attempts to escape the prison on a boat, in the search collects broken-saw to cut chains attached to boat. He often narrates to his new friend to write, about his prevailing memory of a whale with three harpooned thrown at it - which dies slow death. The news of a house-father repeatedly sexually abusing one of the boys whirl around like twister - giving lift-off to uprising.

Anyone who misses on to watching escape-proof prison movies - this Norwegian film is gift for you. The fact that it is made on actual events, makes it even enthralling to watch. Ultimate rise of rebellion among tiny bunch of boys at prison. Challenge taken by young boy to take on adult men in power.

Norway has been offering us quality movies for some years now - it is noticing that countries like Norway and Indonesia have been rising booming cinemas. Last century belonged to Sweden in Scandinavian part, this time certainly Norway is replacing her.
½ October 8, 2013
A film based on a true uprising, a film about forming a friendship in a hostile environment and a film about the responsibility to act when one observes injustices.
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