Escape at Dannemora: Miniseries (2018)

Escape at Dannemora

Critics Consensus

Escape at Dannemora's slow pace demands patience, but those willing to wait will be rewarded with a chilling mystery that provides the perfect showcase for its talented cast -- especially so for the incredible Patricia Arquette.



Critic Ratings: 59


Audience Score

User Ratings: 469

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Air date: Nov 18, 2018

Series premiere. Two men escape from an upstate New York prison in June 2015, and Joyce "Tilly" Mitchell is questioned about her involvement with them. Months earlier, Tilly enjoys her job at the prison tailor shop, balancing the temptations of David Sweat, a younger inmate, and her obligations to her husband, Lyle. Richard Matt, an inmate with an artistic talent, supplies oil paintings to guards in exchange for special treatment. Ultimately, his attentions turn to Tilly.

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Air date: Nov 25, 2018

Matt has an idea to get out of Dannemora, but Sweat is not interested in taking the risk. Matt begins to help Tilly with an inmate she doesn't get along with in the shop, while Sweat comes to miss the freedoms that come with Matt's protection

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Air date: Dec 2, 2018

Tilly begins to feel guilty about her mounting indiscretions.

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Air date: Dec 9, 2018

Excited by the possibility of a new life, Tilly tries her best to avoid Lyle, who is planning something special for their anniversary. Sweat makes progress on the escape route, but feels like he's doing all the work. Matt, however, likes the arrangement just fine.

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Air date: Dec 16, 2018

On the day of the escape, Matt and Sweat know the smallest mistake can derail their whole plan. But when a stern corrections officer takes over the post in the tailor shop, and fellow inmate Murder gets out of the Special Housing Unit, Matt seems attracted to the danger. Meanwhile, Tilly and Lyle have a fateful dinner at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant.

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Air date: Dec 23, 2018

A deep dive into the minds of Matt and Sweat shows what they are capable of outside the prison walls, and Tilly's natural instincts aren't much better.

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Air date: Dec 30, 2018

Series finale. Matt and Sweat run for their lives as the tension between them is pushed to the extreme, while Tilly gets out of the hospital and does her best to evade the authorities. But as the law closes in, all three are confronted with hard truths about who they really are.

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News & Interviews for Escape at Dannemora: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for Escape at Dannemora Miniseries

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (34)

It's not quite enough to keep audiences more than mildly interested.

Dec 3, 2018 | Full Review…

Dannemora at times can seem like a life sentence for viewers, although its grit, realism and performances are major selling points throughout.

Nov 19, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

In some ways, "Escape At Dannemora" is one of the year's best TV series... But there's a problem with this detailed rendering of a prison break. It takes way too long to tell the story.

Nov 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Yes, "Dannemora" is hard and cold. The light is muted, the shadows deep, while seven hours of this could easily turn into prison time. But thanks to that cast and Stiller's masterful direction, they don't - not once, not remotely.

Nov 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Stiller and Arquette make Escape at Dannemora an intense, exciting, and character-elevated miniseries. A focus on human error over institutional failings makes for a distinct and gripping experience.

Nov 14, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Escape at Dannemora, while well worth seeing for the performances, requires patience that it doesn't quite repay.

Nov 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Benicio Del Toro just oozes menace without much dialogue.

Nov 10, 2020 | Full Review…

Escape at Dannemora is a marvellous prison drama that requires patience and commitment, and features magnificent performances from three of the best actors working today.

May 5, 2020 | Full Review…

'Escape at Dannemora' will remain in the memory as a remarkable story about bad companies, bad influences and one of the best recreated true stories of recent years. [Full Review in Spanish]

Mar 3, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

The slow burn of the planning phase is rolled out like a marathon, the ducks that need to be lined up are but a few, but getting them plumb is thrilling even as it tugs at the attention span.

Feb 15, 2019 | Full Review…

The three leads are dispicable, but everything is carefully crafted to be able to empathize with their plight. [Full Review in Spanish

Feb 11, 2019 | Full Review…

Ben Stiller's 'Escape at Dannemora' whitewashes the reality of America's carceral system.

Jan 6, 2019 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Escape at Dannemora: Miniseries

  • Sep 20, 2020
    I'm unclear as to why there are so many glowing reviews of this. I will gladly concur that the acting was excellent by all the main players, but the piece has two serious problems, at least for me, that are intertwined. The first is that this story doesn't warrant an eight part limited series (I believe it was shown in 7 parts in some territories). The story of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was told in epic fashion in just 5 episodes, and is of global consequence; this was told in 7 or 8 episodes, and is the story of two lowlife criminals who planned a prison escape, along with the story of the dimwitted prison staff who helped them. I'm not sure why I should care about this story. The second related problem is therefore that it's really rather dull. There are lots of lingering shots of scenery, or people's faces through bars as they emote moodily, but really it's just filler to fill up time so there are seven / eight episodes. It's a production as flabby as some of the characters. Overall, I'm frustrated I invested this much time, as I was expecting something more, or something of substance, but I got a slight tale, with nothing particularly meaningful to say beyond "hey, this happened".
  • Jul 13, 2020
    Beyond incredible. Escape At Danamora is a true story miniseries that truly brings you in and never pulls you out, giving you a gripping escape last episode. Patricia Arquette is extrodinary and everyone else delivers. This is a disturbing, wild, must see possible classic of a story that really caught my attention in 2015.
  • Mar 16, 2020
    "Escape at Dannemora" is Ben Stiller unique gemstone as well as one of the best stories about two inmates who escape from a prison. By the way,Paul Dano and Benicio Del Toro are beyond great in this mini-series and both of them deserved an award for their performance.
  • Feb 23, 2020
    There are cinematic labors that the audience can find edifying in some way, shape or form. Then there are those pieces that although well-made, present the viewer with no one you like or want to like. This is one of those stories; a story of horrible people acting horribly and nothing more. You think you are starting to believe in one of the characters but they are all so beyond redemption that the story... ...really isn't worth telling. That is the fatal flaw of this seven-part series. Excellent acting, truly excellent acting and good linear direction, good directing. These few items are what saved the rest of the movie from getting zero stars in my opinion.
  • Feb 11, 2020
    Like watching paint dry in the rain. The "sex" scenes are a little disturbing. The music can get annoying as it is in the foreground, not the background. The speaking is a bit muffled and mumbled most of the time, especially when it is drowned out by the music. Arquette and Del Toro are amazing and watching them be their dynamic and somewhat disturbing characters are the only reason I continued to watch. Could have been a long movie instead of a drawn out series.
  • Jan 18, 2020
    I was so impressed by so many actors. Patricia of course, but also the man who played her husband. He was so good at playing dumb. Really well done.
  • Dec 12, 2019
    Ken Jacowitz was in this miniseries, so as a person of moral conscience, I must give it a 1/2.
  • Jul 20, 2019
    Escape at Dannemora's turns a potentially intriguing premise led by talented actors into a torture divided in seven long parts - thanks to a deslusional decision to turn Ben Stiller into its director.
  • May 16, 2019
    I admit, I was super into this show, Episodes 1-4. But I became completely confused, when they play this ridiculous music like all of a sudden I'm watching and episode of weird..i liked it when it was moody, creepy and brooding and then...boom! Network television
  • May 15, 2019
    How did this bore get 89%? ridiculous! super slow boring as boring can be. Good actors in a total time waster of a sleeping pill.

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