Release Date : Nov 6, 2009 Wide Genre Movie :Drama,Action & Adventure,Art House & International,Mystery & Suspense
Mpaa Rating : Unrated
Actors :Luis Tosar,Alberto Ammann,Antonio Resines,Marta Etura,Carlos Bardem,Manuel Morón,Luis Zahera,Vicente Romero,Fernando Soto,Manuel Solo
A lawman must side with a gang of criminals if he's to save his own life in this action drama from Spanish director Daniel Monzon. Juan Oliver (Alberto Ammann) has accepted a job as a prison guard, and the day before he begins work he leaves his pregnant wife Elena (Marta Etura) at home and goes to the penitentiary for an orientation session. During a tour of the facilities, Juan is struck on the head in a freak accident; he passes out and is carried to a nearby cell. As the jailers wait for a doctor to arrive, a riot breaks out, and Juan is left behind. When he wakes up, all is in chaos, and Malamadre (Luis Tosar) and a band of fellow inmates have taken control of the prison. Malamadre thinks Juan is another prisoner, and for the sake of his own survival he plays along, throwing in his lot with fellow rebels Tachuela (Vicente Romero) and Releches (Luis Zahera). When Malamadre learns that a handful of Basque terrorists are confined to the same prison, he sees an opportunity to use them as a bargaining chip with the government, and Juan is caught between saving his own skin and helping Malamadre make a deal that could have grave nationwide implications. Celda 211 (aka Cell 211) received its North American premiere at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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New Review For Movie Cell 211 (Celda 211)From Spanish director Daniel Monzon, this is a white-hot prison drama with a Byzantine plot and enough gore to make Reservoir Dogs look like a petting zoo.
Rick Groen-Globe and Mail
It's a cut above the usual penal picture, intelligent with sharply drawn, memorable characters, a storyline suffused with tension and unexpected turns, and a morass of moral quandaries that could lead the most innocent into irretrievable darkness.
Bruce Demara-Toronto Star
Just be sure to up your internal disbelief setting from 'suspended' to 'nonexistent'.
Tom Huddleston-Time Out
Celda 211 (Cell 211) requires you to look past a couple of contrivances in order to enjoy its main scenario: How quickly can the ruinous nature of prison life corrupt an innocent, moral man?
Rene Rodriguez-Miami Herald
Nearly every minute throbs with heart-pounding suspense, from the opening scene of a prisoner slashing his wrists with a razor blade fashioned from a cigarette filter to its mournful, blood-soaked conclusion.
Michael O'Sullivan-Washington Post
What this movie lacks in plausibility (which is almost everything), it makes up for with authentic adrenaline -- and Spanish Goya Awards (it won eight this year).
Wesley Morris-Boston Globe
By the last half-hour, the story's seething skepticism towards the surveillance-state and its portrait of a naïve guard turned murderous prisoner make for a mesmerizing movie.
Brian Gibson-Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Cell 211 is both gritty and gripping, and if the second half is not quite as electrifying as the first, much is forgiven because the story is so clever.
Liz Braun-Jam! Movies
Monzón demonstrates a remarkable capacity for blending high concepts with high-minded ideas in a direct, no-nonsense way.
First-time director Monzón keeps the screws tightened in every sense, as well as avoiding conventional rhetoric and sentimentality.
Philip French-Observer [UK]
There's a riot going on in a Spanish maximum security prison, whose Darwinian savagery is right up there with A Prophet.
Cell 211 is a brutal piece of filmmaking ... but the shock and gore is warranted ...
David Edwards-Daily Mirror [UK]
Director Daniel Monzon's picture - very well acted by the leads - manages to combine extremely clever, unpredictable plotting with plausible but unexpected character development, elevating standard genre fare to something much more substantial.
Henry Fitzherbert-Daily Express
It's a neat, topical set-up and, initially at least, Cell 211 possesses the sweaty, coiled intensity of Un Prophète. Alas, the second half is hokum. Que paso?
Charlotte O'Sullivan-This is London
The film-makers wisely resist the temptation to make Juan a classically upright Hollywood hero. In taking a more pessimistic direction, the film comes across as infinitely more realistic.
Christopher Tookey-Daily Mail [UK]
There is something melodramatic and soapy about Cell 211 occasionally, but it really is exciting
Peter Bradshaw-Guardian [UK]
Monzón's film remains a bracing draft for a great thriller, not the finished article.
Tim Robey-Daily Telegraph
Expect a Hollywood remake of the Spanish jail-riot thriller Cell 211. Three reasons: it's an international hit; it's pacy and pulsing, and it's trash.
Nigel Andrews-Financial Times
The twisty plot soon gets knotted, but in the process shows a deeply broken system born of violence and corruption.
Michael Leader-Little White Lies
On the surface this is a relatively familiar prison thriller, yet when executed with panache of such disarming brutality and tension, it finds room to distinguish itself in an overcrowded genre.
Shaun Munro-What Culture
The film is shot in a documentary-style that's enhanced by using actual convicts as extras.
Alan Jones-Radio Times
Any dips into melodrama are levelled out by its unpredictability, sympathies shifting multiple times in a kaleidoscope of greys that refuses to settle into blacks and whites.
Chris Buckle-The Skinny
In a genre where the expectation of violence is so high, rare is the film that manages to shock and startle with such regularity.
Elliott Noble-Sky Movies
Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a powerful Spanish prison drama with terrific performances from Alberto Ammann and Luis Tosar.
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