Starred Up Reviews

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November 27, 2019
A provocative if downbeat film that will likely grip you from its opening scenes to the end.
June 17, 2019
Despite its use of tried-and-tested tropes, David Mackenzie has made something that feels incredibly refreshing and relevant.
March 8, 2019
Comes armed with a fine cast, topical subject matter and just enough subversion of a well-worn genre stable to please those exhausted by mindless gangster slash 'em ups.
October 26, 2018
The authentic script is supported by incredibly strong acting that genuinely captures the multifaceted experiences of growing up in the system.
May 18, 2018
Anyone not already aboard the bandwagon should make a beeline for this uncompromising prison drama, in which O'Connell plays a problematic teen doing his first extended stint in the slammer.
February 21, 2018
O'Connell gives a steaming and screaming performance as Eric, a broken young man who has spent his life being slammed by his father.
October 31, 2017
Jack O'Connell and Ben Mendelsohn are outstanding as the prison hardmen who just happen to be father and son.
September 22, 2016
Mackenzie is seeking to understand how all this explosive male energy can co-exist under such brutal conditions, and the answer is with great difficulty.
June 23, 2016
A no-holds barred, explicit exploration of prison culture.
June 2, 2016
O'Connell's physicality as an actor--coiled intensity, searing stares, brooding fury, sudden violence--is blazingly showcased here. And it always feels as if we're caught up in among resentments, flare-ups, even long-running relationships of convenience.
September 3, 2015
A great ripple effect is felt throughout David Mackenzie's Starred Up, a gritty British prison drama that puts most gritty prison dramas to shame.
March 31, 2015
The intention seems to be to create a ferocious film without an iota of fakery...
January 18, 2015
Starred Up is unflinchingly ferocious and you won't be able to look away.
January 9, 2015
The violence is brutal but never exploitative, and the rendering of hard-core prison life is heartbreaking without feeling totally hopeless.
January 4, 2015
Gritty, intense, unflinching and taut. An emotional punch to the gut. Jack O'Connell delivers a bravura, star-making performance. It's the best prison drama since A Prophet.
January 2, 2015
The power of this movie is in its lack of interest in the dramatic and its preference, instead, of the humane.
January 2, 2015
Mackenzie supports his screenwriter's humanitarian intentions by bringing out his actors' best, so it's forgivable that Starred Up is shaped less like a drama than an intense therapy session.
January 2, 2015
Gritty British prison dramas are hardly something new but every so often one crops up that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go.
January 2, 2015
Jack O'Connell is electrifying.
January 2, 2015
While not at all sympathetic, O'Connell makes his bulldog of a character something much more compelling.
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