Civil Brand (2002)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller, Crime  |  26 May 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 551 users   Metascore: 29/100
Reviews: 24 user | 11 critic | 13 from

Women prisoners strike up a friendship with a young law student who works as a part-time prison guard. Together they discover that a corporation funds and is profitting from the ... See full summary »



(story) (as Preston Whitmore) , (teleplay) (as Preston Whitmore) , 1 more credit »
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Frances Shepard (as LisaRaye)
Nikki Barnes
Warden Alan Deese
Michael Meadows (as Mos Def)
Lil' Momma
Reed R. McCants ...
Warden Nelson (as Reed McCants)
Sgt. Cervantes
Chris Dodson ...
Jerry Foster ...
Doctor Moss
Robert Archer Lynn ...
John Banks (as Robert Lynn)


Women prisoners strike up a friendship with a young law student who works as a part-time prison guard. Together they discover that a corporation funds and is profitting from the plantation-like work environment they are forced to work under. In a botched attempt to organize a protest against their "slave labor", the women take over the prison - A rare glimpse of the effects of the prison industrial complex on female inmates. Written by L. J. Allen-2 (Leslye Allen)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who ever heard of women taking over a prison...


Drama | Thriller | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence including a rape, and for pervasive strong language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Revolta das Prisioneiras  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$123,580 (USA) (29 August 2003)


$243,347 (USA) (10 October 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Performed by MC Lyte
Courtesy of SUNNI GYRL
Produced By MILK D
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User Reviews

A film worth watching
24 February 2004 | by (California) – See all my reviews

As others have stated, there is a backstory to Civil Brand that is probably more dramatic than the film itself. To sum it up in as few words as possible: Black women directors have a difficult road to travel to see a feature film made.

The film is definitely not a masterpiece, but the attempt at telling a story about African American women in prison is a great one. The film makes a point of comparing prison labor to US Slavery--and for good reason, it is certainly free labor, with poor working conditions.

The narration by Da Brat is overkill, but because many scenes were never filmed, I'm sure it was an attempt to make the story cohesive. Lisa Raye was surprisingly decent and Monica Calhoun and Lark Voorhies did what they could with their supporting roles, but N'Bushe Wright was one of the most interesting characters to watch. She has great screen presence and excellent delivery. Hopefully we're able to see more of her.

Civil Brand is not a great movie. It's filled with stereotypes and cliches--but it does bring a new and interesting point of view on women in prison. It's definitely worth renting or catching on television.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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