The Last Castle (2001) - Action, Drama, Thriller

Hohum Score



A court-martialed General rallies together twelve hundred inmates to rise against a corrupt and sadistic warden.

Director: Rod Lurie
Stars: Robert Redford, James Gandolfini
Length: 131 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 59 out of 305 found boring (19.34%)

One-line Reviews (191)

The Last Castle could've been interesting, but the plot/script is contrived, derivative and clichéd.

Exciting Military Prison Drama.

Even at this, the movie is absolutely worth it, and enjoyable even if you might have to raise an eyebrow at the occasional detail.

I found it to be quite compelling and very much recommend it.

Pyrotechnics fly as does credibility at times yet it is truly engaging to watch a veteran matinee idol Redford age nicely and go toe-to-toe with the always watchable Gandolfini in an acting pas de deux.

This is not the sort of film that you would expect Robert Redford to do but i'm glad he did because all in all this is a highly enjoyable movie.

Gandolfini's character's only flaw as a leader figure was his lack of creativity in battle, for up until the time of the war (riot) he was straight forward and predictable and Redford's character had him chasing his own shadow.

Slightly Entertaining .

Redford, looking his age, provides a pretty cool leading role, with Gandolfini creating a very good supporting villainous role, with some exciting moments, particularly in the last twenty or so minutes, it is a worthwhile prison thriller.

Boring, trite, totally predictable from beginning to end (in fact you know what's going to happen in the end in the 1st 5 minutes of the film), badly acted, directed, written, even the music is bad.

2) As an entertaining movie.

Pretentious, predictable baloney .

) A waste of time - stay away.

That's what drives the first 3/4 of THE LAST CASTLE and is very compelling.


To non-US audiences the whole plot is more likely to seem both confusing and hilarious.


If you can make it past a fairly slow paced first hour then this film more than compensates your patience by a much more enjoyable second hour.

Two-starred in Maltin, the reviewer doesn't get it, calling the plot-lines obvious, the story predictable, the pace per formula.

Maybe not, but this is a well crafted and entertaining film about how with leadership and unity of purpose, men can triumph over repressive regimes, and in so doing, realise the best in themselves.

A very entertaining story with depth and a movie you would watch more than once.

Mainly he is a boring individual to watch with a very limited coolness factor.

But you can identify with the characters, even the unpleasant ones, and it is an enjoyable two hours.

predictable although very enjoyable .

This movie is a yard sale of all the trite prison clichés ever being made so.

Contrived Hollywood Propaganda .

Intense movie!

From the "quasi-salute" between prisoners to Robert Redford's hauling stones for hours upon end, the predictable script left me wondering - who built this castle and who cares?

exciting, thoughtful action drama .

It is very enjoyable.

His supposed aim is prisoner welfare and dignity, but it is unlikely that taking part in a riot is going to be in any of their individual interests even if they can present a compelling case against the conduct of the governor.

I will not spoil the fun and ruin your day, but I will tell you that the ending is pointless.

Robert Redford seems bored, while James Gandolfini, who sounds for all the world like Fat Tony from The Simpsons, is a straight comic book villain.

The Last Castle works well enough within the above guidelines, is reasonably engaging and not overly politically perverse.

Anyone honest enough to call a military propaganda film a military propaganda film will be nauseated.

THAT is what makes a movie worth watching.

The special effects are intriguing.

Prison movies can get a little depressing for me after awhile, but this is one of the best I've seen because the two lead actors, Robert Redford and James Gandolfini, are fascinating.

Save your money and rent the video when there's nothing better to do..

It is action packed.

To conclude, the movie *was* worth watching, the acting is legitimate, the plot, although not original, was well executed, and despite all efforts of the producers to practically smother us in American patriotism, this movie was not only bearable, it was rather entertaining.


It's contrived, with lousy dialog and stereotyped characters from top to bottom; it's hard to imagine what, other than money, attracted the likes of Robert Redford, James Gandolfini and Delroy Lindo to this waste of film.

Action is slow to build up steam and then hell breaks lose when the former general leads the prison population into taking control of the prison.

All the others fare OK, nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing that harms the film, Redford fits the part of the ageing and grizzled General, and Mark Ruffalo hints at the great actor he was to become in an integral role in the unfolding plot line, so all in all it's above average and enjoyable fare.

Highly predictable and too sentimental on the inmates part.

It's all well intended and professionally made, but "the Last Castle" has got to be one of the most pointless films of the last two decades.

An unpretentious, entertaining potboiler, no more or less.

The rest of the story is full of narrow-gauge psychology and the so-called confrontation of Redford and Gandolfini is dull, because Redford is always right while Gandolfini has almost no chance against superman-Redford.

Don't waste your time -- wafer thin plot (actually no plot), wafer thin acting (horrible!

The musical score by Jerry Goldsmith, aping Aaron Copeland, is trite and atrocious.

6/10 worth watching.

Sometimes I can be made to believe that there is a limited quantity of ideas circulating around in Hollywood circles like viruses and they mutate by rearranging their molecules, a cliche here, an obligatory explosion there.

Ridiculous, and a total waste of time .

It was boring, uninspired and far from original.

There's is nothing really new here, but it's still tremendously entertaining.

Exciting, honor, pride, teamwork also .

After 45 minutes I had to fast forward to the very predictable end...

silly and so predictable!

Very enjoyable movie .

The end result is another tedious prison movie where the bad guys (prisoners, criminals, rapists, killers, drug dealers, violent characters, etc.) redeem themselves and reach salvation , while the warden (a decent guy doing his job)is a psychotic and sadistic underachiever.

So if you want to waste two entertaining hours this is the movie to do that.

The movie started half descent, but the characters were flawed, cliché and had no depth.

Ultimately, Irwin works himself into such a bind that the movie's ending is all too predictable.

A very compelling story and great casting.

This movie is a waste of your time and money.

While it was moderately entertaining, I wouldn't be interested in adding it to my home movie collection.

The ending scene is bathed in false pretension and exposes the movie for what it is - a contrived and unoriginal microcosm of the Hollywood filmmaking industry - mindless mass entertainment for profit poorly masqueraded through false moral pretenses.

The film itself pulls all the right strings, but it is contrived and unrealistic at every turn.

It also has little character development, but the actors do a good job with what they had to work with, and the movie is entertaining and at least renting once.

The climax of the film justifies for a sometimes boring and exhausting rest.

At the very most this movie was entertaining.

(spoiler) The ending is supposed to be poignant but it is too choreographed and predictable.

Hey, I am sorry, but this movie is contrived, boring, implausible, and a real disappointment from Robert Redford.

It is entertaining.

The filmmakers evidently thought they could deliver what I wanted by stringing together feel-good moments using contrived, cheezy plot details.

Overall, the movie was decent enough to watch and entertaining.

In fact the scenes of the `riot' show the tactics of the battling commanders so well, it's both exciting and interesting to see how the soldiers behave, and seems almost believable.

Director Rod Lurie, in an encore to 2000's 'The Contender', does a great job here, always working better with his supporting players and he has a free flowing sense of academic style which makes his films believable and highly entertaining.

rather pointless .

The battle is rousing, if highly unlikely.

Instead, what the viewer gets is a contrived wanna-be melodrama about honor, courage, and dedication to preserve the American spirit.

Despite, the bad reviews that have been posted on this site, I find The Last Castle to be one the most interested and thrilling movies I have ever had the pleasure to watch.

Don't waste your time.

All of this makes a potentially fascinating film, filled with talent, seem a touch removed from reality.

But, if you do make it to the end, you will probably just feel empty and used.

The trite Hollywood ending makes the movie fall apart, if you watch the flag being raised a few times (as military man have) you know which way is up from the get go.

Just one prison movie cliche piled on top of another.

A truly entertaining prison-revolt film with good performances by Redford, Lindo, and Gandolfini.

He had himself a profitable business as a bookmaker, making bets as mundane as predicting the weather, to as malicious as betting on whether Gen.

So you feel for these people as the film goes along, and that's the tool in engaging the audience.

"The Last Castle" is strictly Hollywood nonsense, albeit entertaining nonsense.

Cliches abound, but overall this was a very enjoyable movie.

He organizes the appropriately racially balanced inmates with their predictable range of personalities into an army of sorts to topple the colonel.

Don't waste your money.

In conclusion, I would like to state that this was the most boring movie I have ever watched.

Gung-ho potboiler, entertaining from start to finish .

It's the last act in the ridiculously contrived struggle between the dishonored general and the corrupt, power-hungry prison warden (James Gandolfini), whose motto is something like `my way or the eternal dirt nap.

Despite knowing from the opening scene that he will undoubted lose against Redford's disgraced general, Gandolfini's depiction of a man in authority but with little power is very subtle and worth watching.

interesting story that grows tiresome .

Still, even with these problems, "The Last Castle" is a solid, rousing piece of mainstream entertainment.

Highly entertaining film!.

In the final analysis I enjoyed it, and I think you will, too.

Second, it was very predictable, so don't try to think to much during this movie.

While it was somewhat entertaining to see the prisoners launching homemade firebombs into the guard towers, I don't think it's very realistic.

We have a five star General with superior intelligence decides to build a Castle with the prison (Also named Castle), A bit childish and very cliché in my opinion.

The nationalist fervor this movie is meant to invoke is about as subtle as a Nazi propaganda film.

I thought it was full of cliches, corny, predictable, and over long.

Well made enjoyable rubbish .

The end flag rasing while dieing scene is certainly too cliche for my liking.

Unfortunately part of this mixture also means that his movies so far carry an overtone of syrupy and simplistic political propaganda.

There's a noticeable lack of story development regarding the inmates banding together and creating the necessary components for their violent uprising – so much so that we simply do not get the impression that they are capable of producing the results later shown.

Good, but too predictable .

Foremost among the film's problems is that the warden, played by James Gandolfini, is never made out to be a bad guy, making Robert Redford's character's crusade to save the prisoners a pointless exercise in vanity.

Exciting prison flick .

I don't know how accurate of a depiction of military prison life this movie was, but it certainly was entertaining.

The final 20-minute siege of the prison is exciting.

it is emotional, thrilling, and has a terrific ending.

Entertaining enough though.

This movie was boring .

Add to that an embarrassing assortment of clichés, rousing music, a gratuitous scene with the alienated daughter, and you have it, a solid 2 star movie.

Very educational and entertaining movie that takes the prison drama genre and gives this unique flavor to it.

I saw this on TV expecting a pleasant and entertaining film and got neither.

it presented intense characters that have different feelings and agendas.

This was good and exciting and the explosive action scene at the end is definitely worth the rental fee by itself.

Happily it is also quite exciting for what it is and the temptation to scoff at it is delayed (slightly) by the distraction value of it.

I would have liked a different ending, and I thought the bit where Wheeler is dragged out by the prison guards was unconvincing, but overall we enjoyed it and would recommend it.

I will say its 2 good hours well worth watching this movie.

Very predictable movie / film.

A good if predictable movie.

) and it's predictable (so what?

His tactics to achieve this, aided by some cinematic license, are impeccable and the most entertaining section of the film resides in his use of variants of classical siege weapons/tactics; catapult, trebuchet and phalanx that surprise and outwit Winter.

Mark Ruffalo is also excellent in one of his earlier rolesFinal Thoughts: I did like it, but it is rather predictable as well.

It is not a great story by any means but it is workable – and the director and cast are just about good enough to make the weak into the watchable, the empty into the entertaining.

Excellent entertainment with good performances all round and an exciting and thrilling script.

The cinematography is unimaginative and bland.

The film is a mix of two types of film and it manages to do neither of them that well, but well enough to produce an enjoyable if forgettable film.

Psychologically clever and thrilling to watch at the same time there are moments where one begins to watch the film wondering how Redford's lead character is going to cope with life in prison and as the film progresses one can only admire the way he wins and earns the respect of his peer group.

Robert Redford, who I personally thought was a washed up old bore, is excellent as the court martialed officer sentenced to the military prison who initiates a takeover against evil warden Gandolfini, who is brilliant as ever.

Thirdly, the movie is over-predictable: the traitor turns a hero after all, the retard will die a hero's, the system will fail to break General Irwin, etc.Being generous, I give this movie 2 out of 10 only because of the well-paced action-scenes in the end (although the end as such is among the worst I have seen).

If the cast was different, the movie wouldn't be nearly as suspenseful.

The section where the inmates overthrow Winter is entertaining and quite imaginative - although there are some section of this that seem a bit unrealistic (such as how the inmates manage to create/devise/build their various weaponry and devices without any of the guards noticing at any point?

It's not a great movie, the plot is a little too predictable for that.

This movie didnt bore me at all, and it kept me on the edge of my seat for 2 hrs.

The Last Castle is a fun exciting movie that will please the viewers.

The primary problem is the script, which has no character backstory or development, relies on bogus appeals to patriotism, and contains every conceivable war, prison, and POW cliche.


But the most thrilling thing is the powerful moving throughout the movie.

Good, compelling melodrama.

It's premise is fairly ridiculous and predictable (which is NEVER a good sign) so what we are left is Robert Redford.

It stands on its own two feet, and proves to be a good, compelling piece of cinema.

Well Made Cliché.

Compelling Viewing .

It was action packed and very well planned out, characters were very good at their roles and created the right atmosphere for the scene.

This is a fine film with an engaging story that offers several departures from the mainstream of prison films, King's excellent story included.

The Last Castle is a fine if somewhat predictable jail movie of redemption and determination against the odds.

He organizes the appropriately racially balanced inmates with their predictable range of personalities into an army of sorts to topple the colonel.

Redford gives a modest, self-effacing performance--he's so noble he's like visiting royalty; Gandolfini plays his Colonel like an offended child, affecting a soft but precise, lispy voice, giving the one-dimensional role some unexpected subtext.

Rousing movie .

Former film critic Rod Lurie's The Last Castle is a highly entertaining fluff piece, which he believes, holds a profound and intellectual message.

The idea of a three star general going to jail is intriguing and I was excited by the multitude of singular situations that could result.

This is a conservative bunch of nonsense that just falls from one cliché into another and it's very sad to see how the screenplay shamelessly covers every textbook situation.

Redford plays a predictable two-dimensional character that barely goes beyond the comic book.

A fine ensemble cast of characters make this movie well worth watching.

This is a rather slow moving drama.

I don't know if "The Last Castle" made money at the box office but it got my $5.99 and, to be fair, my teenage son enjoyed it.

While the film badly wants to convince us that Redford is a truly great man trying to give these criminals worth, pride, and leadership, what it shows us is the fall of what may have been a great man into a pointless, egocentric crusade.

This might be one of Robert Redford's worst movies.

Do we want a secure, orderly, predictable, and quiet place to live?

It's so obvious and predictable, that it will leave you feeling like a clairvoyant, and you'll figure out the ending long before it happens.

Still, at its core, this movie was decent and worth watching.

The who-how-when was so contrived...

I thought it was a very ENTERTAINING movie.

But he enjoyed it primarily because he poked holes in every inflated speech and blazing action scene.

The story has its moments but it's slow and has way too many inconsistencies to make a seamlessly intriguing film.

You think the plot has a nice twist, but it turns back to predictable in a second.

Worst movie ever.

This is a good film with naïve political subtext and an utterly contrived plot.

"The Last Castle" is an excellent and riveting military prison drama.

What a yawner.

He had a three year break after "Horse whisperer" and he comes back in a solid and entertaining prison thriller.

brilliant, worth watching over and over .

Highly unlikely, but entertaining nonetheless...

Redford was thoroughly enjoyable.

Boring and underdeveloped .

Predictable ending.

‘The Last Castle' is a very predictable film with a kind of ‘The A-Team' or ‘MacGyver' ending.

A little silly sometimes and like I said too predictable.

Winter is a predictable bureaucrat, a fascist in nature.

The bottom line is, THE LAST CASTLE is predictable movie making.

The plot was building *very* nicely, and was becoming quite engrossing.