Let's Go to Prison


Let's Go to Prison

Critics Consensus

Let's Go to Prison is guilty on all counts of cliched setups, base humor, and failure to ellicit laughs.



Total Count: 41


Audience Score

User Ratings: 119,906
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Movie Info

Bob Odenkirk's jail comedy Let's Go to Prison!, stars Will Arnett as Nelson Biederman IV, the son of a judge who ends up being sentenced to serve time in Rossmore State Penitentiary. During one of his rare stints out of incarceration, career criminal John Lyshitski (Dax Shepard) learns of the conviction. John holds a grudge against Nelson's father and decides to get his revenge by going back to jail and making Nelson's stay there as horrible as possible. Chi McBride co-stars as a fellow inmate.

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Dax Shepard
as John Lyshitski
Will Arnett
as Nelson Biederman IV
Amy Hill
as Judge Eva Fwae Wun
Joseph Marcus
as Pawn Broker
David Darlow
as Judge Biederman
Nick Phalen
as John Lyshitski - 8 years
A.J. Balance
as John Lyshitski - 18 years
Jerry Minor
as Breen Guard
Mary Seibel
as Old Bartender
Susan Messing
as Stripper
Jim Zulevic
as Sgt. Barker
Bill McGough
as Deputy Mayor
Bert Matias
as Korean Pharmacist
Jordan Teplitz
as Board Member No. 1
Richard Bull
as Board Member No. 2
Llou Johnson
as Black Juror
Nathan Davis
as Old Juror
Hans Holsen
as Cowboy Juror
Brad Berenson
as Prosecutor
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Critic Reviews for Let's Go to Prison

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (14)

  • Shepard's character periodically rattles off damning statistics about America's booming prison industry, but most of the gags are of the don't-drop-the-soap variety.

    Jul 28, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Prison makes its 84-minute running time feel like a five-year sentence with no chance for parole.

    Nov 27, 2006 | Rating: D | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • It's hard to get laughs out of stuff that devolved into parody 10 or 20 years ago.

    Nov 23, 2006 | Rating: D | Full Review…
  • Arnett underplays to the point where he seems as shellshocked as his character, while Shepard seems to have forgotten that the film is supposed to be a comedy.

    Nov 20, 2006
  • Because the movie can't bring itself to take that leap into full-on absurdity, the characters and comic opportunities stay confined to their cells.

    Nov 20, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Let's Go to Prison feels like an overextended sketch-comedy idea insufficiently filled out by subsidiary characters (few significantly figure) or standout setpieces.

    Nov 20, 2006

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Let's Go to Prison

  • Aug 19, 2016
    You know, I remember seeing a lot of this movie several times on TV. I almost always saw up to the point where Lynard, the white supremacist, stupidly kills himself. It was almost like Clerks, where I saw bits and pieces of the film, but I never saw the thing in its entirety in one sitting. Though the difference between Clerks and this one is that I actually wanted to see Clerks in its entirety. The only reason I saw this movie so much on TV was because I left the TV on in that channel, sort of as background noise. Like I was using the laptop and I'd leave the TV on on any channel so it wouldn't feel as quiet as it would without it. Now that I actually watched the whole thing, however, I gotta say I'm pleasantly surprised. This movie wasn't as bad as I would've expected. Given the fact that I gave it 2 stars suggests that I still didn't think it was good, but it's definitely not as awful a movie as it might seem. Perhaps this is due to the fact that, ever since Arrested Development, I've been a major fan of Will Arnett. I think the guy is a tremendous comedic actor, but I don't feel that he's gotten the chance to prove it as much post-Arrested Development as Jason Bateman or Michael Cera have. And I think Arnett is entertaining here, no doubt about it, but I don't think it uses his talents as well as they should have. But he is a large part of the reason why the film gets a better rating than it would've without him. The film's concept is actually cool, like this guy, John, who's been "fucked over" by the same judge decides to take revenge on him by killing him. But when he finds that the judge has died, he sets his eyes on the judge's son. He frames the son for a crime he did not commit and he gets three to five in the state penitentiary. John then decides that best way to fuck with Nelson, the judge's, son is to get himself arrested and manipulate things the way he wants from the inside. That's about it for the concept as they end up relying on all the prison tropes you would expect. Nelson being, and acting, like a rich kid in a world where people like him are eaten up by the hardest criminals. Nelson's fear of being made someone's bitch to be ass-fucked every single day. Or Nelson's fear of being killed by any of the people who have their eyes set on him. Once everyone believes that Nelson killed Lynard, the head of a white supremacist group, he becomes like the top dog in the yard. It's all the basic stuff you've come to expect from this type of comedy movie. There are laughs, but I will say that they are sporadic. And that's where the problems lie, the fact that the comedy isn't great. It relied on old and tired gags. And I'm not saying every movie needs to be subversive, because if that becomes the norm then nothing is really, truly subversive, but it doesn't really feel like they made an effort. Chi McBride did a great job here and I like Dax Shepard as well, so the leads aren't a problem in the slightest. It's like they took the first draft of the script and went and filmed it without revising it. I'm sure they didn't have a lot of money to work with either, but it just feels like a movie that was filmed without any sort of refinement done to any of its technical aspects. Now that I think about it, this and The Brothers Solomon really did ruin Arnett's career as a legitimate comedy lead. Everything else I've seen him in has been supportive. And part of that is his fault, he did attach his name to both films and he's one of the leads in both films. Both films were also major flops at the box office and Hollywood takes that into consideration, regardless of the fact that two shitty movies say nothing about the act in them. Jason Bateman was in Teen Wolf Too, as they so creatively named the movie. I rest my case. I did like the reveal over how both Nelson and John came to agree to their plan to get out of prison. It was simple, but I liked it. I expected this review to be shorter since I wrote most of it on my phone, but it turned out ok, all things considering. Everything prior to 'I expected...' was written on the phone, everything after that was on the laptop. It's not exactly relevant to this, but just pointed it out. Either way, this was better than I expected. Still not what I would call a good movie anyway. Arnett and Shepard having some good chemistry isn't enough to overcome a lazy and tired sense of humor and, generally, unfunny material. It's on Netflix, so at least it didn't really hurt so much to watch it.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 07, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2013
    Let's Go to Prison is an outrageously hilarious goofball comedy. The story follows career criminal John Lyshitski who seeks to get revenge on the judge that kept sending him away by getting his son, Nelson Biederman IV, sent to prison, and then joins him so that he can revel in Nelson's misery. Starring Dax Shepard, Will Arnett, Chi McBride, and Michael Shannon, the casting's quite good. And, the raw, no-holds-barred comedy is wickedly funny, and even provides some clever satire. At times the film gets a little too cartoonish, and the production value is fairly cheap. While all of the jokes may not land, Let's Go to Prison is a hysterical comedy that delivers a ton of laughs.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    Pretty funny, but that doesn't make up for the rest of the films flaws, which there are plenty of. It's like the retarded cousin of "Shawshank".
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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