The Last Castle (2001)


Critic Consensus: The Last Castle is well acted and rousing for the most part, but the story can't stand up to close scrutiny.


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The Castle is an unlikely last stop in the brilliant career of three-star General Irwin. Court-martialed and stripped of his rank, Irwin has been sentenced to the maximum-security military prison, which is run with an iron fist by its warden, Colonel Winter. Winter can't help but respect the once-legendary general, but it isn't long before that respect turns to resentment and then open hostility as Irwin continually confronts the warden on his methods. Setting out to break Irwin by whatever means necessary, the colonel's tactics only fuel Irwin's defiance and cause the other prisoners to rally behind the general in his new mission: to seize control of the prison and remove Winter from his command. The men imprisoned in The Castle have been told that they are no longer soldiers... but they are about to prove that they can still fight a war.

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Critic Reviews for The Last Castle

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (29)

Bizarre, confused, sanctimonious manure.

Oct 23, 2001

The themes that ring out most loudly in the end -- some men are just born leaders; others do best if they just conform -- are numbingly retrograde.

Oct 20, 2001

Devolves into a mundane warden-versus-inmate conclusion.

Oct 19, 2001 | Rating: 2/5

A heavy-handed military prison melodrama.

Oct 19, 2001 | Rating: 2/5

The Last Castle, while engrossing in parts, might have benefited from more pre-shooting talk about what makes an intriguing character -- and what makes a star performance.

Oct 19, 2001 | Full Review…

The Last Castle is not as simple as it looks, though its appeal is simple.

Oct 19, 2001 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Last Castle


In a tightly controlled military prison things get tense between the by-the-book warden (James Gandolfini) and the new inmate, a battle hardened veteran (Robert Redford). The work is inconcievable from the first and unrealistic, and then it's predictable as everything, and manipulative in it's predictability. The players go for broke anyway, redeeming it somewhat.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

What a load of American drivel, an uninspired prison flick that bores and irritates the hell out of you!

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

I usually like seeing movies where the underdog finds a way to triumph over the nasty villain, but this movie is a bit hard to take. In five minutes of movie time General Irwin goes from "Hmmm, we should overtake this prison" to the full fledged revolt overcoming guns, water cannons and helicopters.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

A flawed, if watchable drama concerning a former general (Robert Redford) who is sent to prison under the watch of a sadistic warden (James Gandolfini), and how he rouses the inmates to rise up against the corrupt warden. Redford is perfect as the silent rebel type, with Gandolfini an ideal fit as the ego maniacal villain. Although it is heavily cliched and suffers from an overdose of melodrama, the end still packs a punch despite its faults.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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