The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Log in with Facebook
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Already have an account? Log in here
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
No consensus yet.
No consensus yet.
All Critics (14)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (0)
| DVD (1)
Riot in Cell Block 11 is the best prison movie produced in years.
Riot in Cell Block 11 is a hard-hitting, suspenseful prison thriller.
The grim business of melodrama behind prison walls, so often depicted in standard, banal fashion in films, is given both tension and dignity in Riot in Cell Block 11.
A riveting movie.
One of the best of all prison pictures.
Don Siegel emerged as more than just a Hollywood journeyman director with this hard-hitting, realistic prison picture, which presents a credible account of both the riot and the conditions that caused it.
The film sketches in the set-up with a beautifully delineated terseness -- one-shot character introductions, a rookie guard cold-cocked, the prison corridor erupting as the cons pour out.
A powerful and intelligent prison film.
As Dunn and Crazy Mike, the leaders of the riot, Neville Brand and Leo Gordon convincingly bleed into their roles.
Siegel, with his innate sense of cinematic intensity and how to deploy violence with both visual and thematic heft, keeps the film's style relatively simple and straightforward, which allows the complexities of the situation at hand to take center-stage.
[Director Don] Siegel later referred to Riot In Cell Block 11 as his breakthrough film, and it's easy to see why. Shooting fast and loose, he gives the film a documentary immediacy [...]
An authentic and hard-hitting prison drama.
Some inmates in a prison facility feel mistreated and so stage a benevolent coup in the hopes of alleviating their unhappy conditions. We jump pretty much right into the action and, while the work sports that patented 1950's "just the facts, m'am" style that always threatens to reduce everything to bland sermonizing, the film stays fresh with the portrayals of the convict leaders and their attempts to control a riot to a positive outcome ... While not killing each other in the process.
Although technically a "B" picture, there is an underlying call for humanity in relation to prison life at the heart of this armed uprising. One wonders what kind of an impact this film had on prison conditions in the U.S. or was it merely seen as an entertaining flick.
[font=Century Gothic]Directed by Don Siegel, "Riot in Cell Block 11" is a taut and earnest social drama about a prison riot set off to demonstrate the poor conditions and overcrowding in a prison. One of the convicts' demands is to learn a trade which would aid them once they are released. In short, the convicts simply want to be treated like human beings. Is that too much to ask? A sympathetic warden(Emile Meyer) is patient in wanting a peaceful end to the situation while the convicts are led by two hard cases, Dunn(Neville Brand) and Carnie(Leo Gordon), while The Colonel(Robert Osterloh), formerly a decorated officer, just wants to sit it out, hoping not to ruin his chances at parole. So, while no sides are taken in the movie, it is distressing how often the word psychopath is bandied about. [/font][font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Prison reform is still a valid concern and like the film says, not enough information is given to the public. Part of this comes from politicians, not wanting to be accused of being soft on crime. For example, look at the accusations made against former governor Nelson Rockefeller concerning the convicts' deaths at the Attica riot of 1971. For this reason, I find it hard to believe that the warden would not have done a better job of keeping the press at bay, instead of allowing photo opportunities with the convicts. What certainly surprised me about "Riot in Cell Block 11" is how integrated the cast is for a movie made back in 1954.[/font]
There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.
200 Essential Movies
Chosen by RT staff!
200 Freshest Movies
The best-reviewed since 1998
30 Great Scenes
30 great scenes in Rotten movies
Best of Netflix
Movies and shows to binge now
More News & Features