Starred Up (2013) - Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



Eric Love, 19, is locked up in prison. On first day he assaults another inmate and several guards. He's offered group therapy and his dad, an inmate as well, tries to talk sense into him. Can he be rehabilitated?

IMDB: 7.4
Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn
Length: 106 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 14 out of 88 found boring (15.9%)

One-line Reviews (66)

Likely leaving you with the need to run to the nearest (non-prison) shower and run that cold water at full steam ahead, Young Adam director David Mackenzie's film is an instantly defining entry into the prison film canon, right up there with A Prophet for pure realism and fly on the wall style filmmaking that brings you so close to the action that as mentioned it can become nigh unbearable.

A raw, evocative & hard-hitting flick, Starred Up comes thoroughly recommended.

The violence they portray is terrifying - you can sense the constant fear and adrenaline that comes with a life of violence, and the subsequent difficulty in breaking out of this way of life.

Budget: $2million Worldwide Gross: $4.5million I recommend this movie to people who are into there intense prison dramas about a teenager with proper anger issues and ends up in adult prison with his dad.

However, if you can get through that slow, vague beginning, the movie gets better and ends up being one of the best dramas ever.

On an overall scale, Starred Up is a highly engaging, relentlessly aggressive & unforgiving British prison drama that benefits from Mackenzie's terrific direction & O'Connell's winning performance, offers an interesting take on father-son dynamics set in a brutal environment, and has much to say about people guarding the prison as it ends up saying about the prisoners behind bars.

The "evil warden" cliche has been done since The Shawshank Redemption and while it worked because that movie was an entirely different type of story, in this film it just comes across as completely ludicrous and unrealistic.

There is a hint of sexual orientation clashes, and it appears that Eric is aware of this sexual tension between the two, which makes some scenes between the two pretty unbearable to watch, as Eric is volatile and the viewer expects him to explode.

It balances these themes very well and makes for a compelling watch.

Brutal, unflinching & downright intense, Starred Up tells the story of a young convict who's transferred to adult prison due to his extremely violent behaviour where he meets his father after a long time.

"Starred Up" should be taken for what it is: a fast-paced, entertaining and very British drama that is not trying to do anything different.

Review: I really enjoyed this intense prison drama about a teenager who has personal violent issues and ends up in adult prison with his father.

His performance is matched brilliantly by the coldly intense one of Ben Mendelssohn.

Looks like the director just rushed through the topics on the surface to get to his brilliant, pants-creaming finish which was quite boring.

The acting remained excellent throughout with stand out performances from the above mentioned (particularly Friend whose character remained perplexing and massively intriguing up to his untimely departure) as well as David Ajala, Mark Asante and Anthony Welsh.

Some good editing choices also allows violent moments to be as intense as possible, with close ups not for the faint- hearted at times.

Even the ending felt rather forced and contrived.

While Alan Clarke crammed a succession of titillating stories about Borstal into 'Scum' while framing it with the tedium of prison, 'Starred Up', like it's protagonist, can only sit within the confines of mundane prison realities before it plunges headlong into melodrama.

I also feel I should strongly recommend that if you are not from the UK, you watch this movie with English subtitles and an online dictionary ready on your smartphone, since the accents and the slang might be confusing at times.

This movie is a fast paced, action packed emotional ride.

This deserves so many awards and accolades because this movie is just truly enjoyable.

The violence throughout the movie made the film extremely intense and the relationship between the teenager and his father was a great addition to the storyline.

Well acted garbage and propaganda .

Central to the film is the relationship between the young whippersnapper and his Old Man, and the cliché for each is that "E can look after 'imself", if you get my drift.

Recently impressive in Killing Them Softly and The Place Beyond The Pines, he really comes to his own here, and that paternal dynamic comes to fruition in the emotional and intense final 20 minutes.

Gripping .

It's an uncomfortable yet compelling experience to watch.

The son is learning to cope with actually having his father around, for what seems like the first time in his life, dealing with prison in general, and also coming to understand that his father has become gay (or whatever the criminals in prison classify themselves as) while in prison after so many years, engaging in some sort of sexual relationship with another inmate.

This sometimes shocking movie provides us a fascinating insight into a hidden, bleak world none of us will ever experience (assuming the best of IMDb readers).

A lot of the credit has to be given to the screenwriter for writing such a compelling prison drama with scenes that you are completely invested in and have you at the edge of your seat.

But all the same it does deliver for me as an entertaining and thought provoking drama.

The movie was very predictable and like someone else said before, full of clichés.

While the harsh reality of prison life is rarely glossed over in any sort of filmed medium, save for maybe Ronnie Barker's hit sitcom Porridge, since the late '70's nothing quite like Alan Clarke's Scum has come close to matching the gritty brutality and hopelessness of prison life, leaving it a genre just begging to be dragged in to the 21st century with a fresh injection of raw adrenaline.

It's very hard to come up with a unique concept for a prison movie and starred up does delve into some of the predictable clichéd prison story lines.

Unoriginal but solid and entertaining British drama .

I finally set viewing to 4x near the end to keep from falling asleep.

What is so fascinating about Starred Up is its attention to detail.

Although it does slowly progress, the day-to-day life on the inside seems repetitive and predictable, particularly when the overall message is all too familiar and practically clichéd.

The whole film takes place in the prison but it is incredibly gripping thanks to Jack O'Connell's terrific performance.

Some scenes I found where too short, unoriginal or where either too long and boring.

It is strong stuff, well played, enormously atmospheric, and mostly fairly gripping.

Mackenzie directs with darkly compelling realism and plays a large part in making the father-son relationship so gripping and dynamic, creating an environment so dehumanising and harrowing and delving into the film's sociological tone.

Little new, but entertaining for what it is .

An engaging prison drama with a standout ensemble of British and Australian actors.

) it's with the prison lingo that will make no sense to those who don't know it, and from there on in he frequently opens his mouth with savage ferocity and intense profanity.

when a friend of yours rents it or buys then watch it with them, otherwise save your money for something better.

While Eric starts to make a name for himself for his unpredictable and explosive rage, he starts to make enemies too.

O'Connell once again proves he is one of the most exciting young actors working at the moment, and every film where he has played against type, I've thoroughly dislike him, that's the sign of a true great.

The film charges an engaging pace and a fast editing scheme to offset its claustrophobic setting, Eric is aggressive, bull-headed and seethes with danger and wherever he goes, we become wary about the safety of those who are around, especially the awfully nice jailer Selfy (McDonnell), there are even female guards in a male's prison in UK, what a fair example of equity!


However, the beginning was slow and vague.

Overall, nothing extraordinary by any means, but it's mostly gripping and effective.

There is really no plot to this movie.

No moral, no plot, just trudging along an average person in jail.

Prison movies are generally entertaining.

The movie is visceral, intense, and intelligent, with a great script, direction, and acting.

Director David MacKenzie effectively ticks the right boxes here by delivering a film that is powerful, brutal and emotionally engaging.

Oliver is designed as a ray of sunshine but what is equally intriguing is his back-story, a misfit in the society needs his patients more than they need him.

), played by Sam Spruell, who appeared very shallow and dull.

It's very raw and unpredictable.

Great Intense Drama.

Waiting was in vain because nothing happened.

A Raw, Evocative & Hard-Hitting British Prison Drama.

Mackenzie examines these questions while also creating a unique and emotionally engaging film.

The one thing you will get out of this movie, apart from a relatively enjoyable time, is a brand new set of slang words that could come very handy, if you ever end up in a British prison.

It is based on writer Jonathan Asser's real life experiences as a volunteer prison psychotherapist which adds a level of plausibility to what can sometimes be a contrived dramatic narrative.