The Escapist (2008)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  20 June 2008 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 14,067 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 50 user | 61 critic | 9 from

Frank Perry is an institutionalized convict fourteen years into a life sentence without parole. When his estranged daughter falls ill, he is determined to make peace with her before it's ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Perry
Lenny Drake
Viv Batista
Jumpy Con
Vinnie McCabe ...
Sam (as Vincent McCabe)
Jack Walsh ...
Two Ton (as Sheamus O'Shaunessy)
Domhnall O'Donoghue ...
George Seremba ...
Eleanor McLynn ...
Frank's Daughter


Frank Perry is an institutionalized convict fourteen years into a life sentence without parole. When his estranged daughter falls ill, he is determined to make peace with her before it's too late. He develops an ingenious escape plan, and recruits a dysfunctional band of escapists - misfits with unique skills required for their daring plan and united by desire to escape their hell hole of an existence. Much of the action takes place within the tunnels, sewers and underground rivers of subterranean London. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


5 Men. 4 Walls. 1 Plan.


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

20 June 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Menekülők  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,075 (USA) (3 April 2009)


$13,023 (USA) (17 April 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The role of Frank Perry was written specifically for Brian Cox by director Rupert Wyatt, who had worked with Cox before and wanted to work with him again. When Cox refused a supporting role in a movie Wyatt offered him and challenged him to write him a good leading role, Wyatt did exactly that. See more »


During the scene in which Perry meets his wife, and he looks around the doorway, behind him is a sign stating the prison regulations. However, about three quarters of the way down the list, 'prison' is erroneously spelled 'prision'. See more »


Rizza: You don't have much, but you just subtracted from what's left.
See more »


Remade as The Escapist See more »


The Partisan
Performed by Leonard Cohen, 1969
Written by Anna Marly and Emmanuel d'Astier, 1943
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User Reviews

Intricate prisoner delivers more with each viewing.
15 December 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

On the surface it looked like being a standard prison break out picture. But come the end one can't help admiring the construction of the film and marvel at how the makers used the cons to con the audience in a wholly satisfying way. The set-up is simple enough, Brian Cox's old lag Frank Perry is mortified to hear that his daughter is mixed up with heavy drugs and death is perhaps one more hit away from her. Desperate to get out of prison to save her, he hatches a plan for escape and enlists some other like minded souls, each with their own special "skill" to see it through. What follows is a twinned inter-cut tale as we witness the escape attempt and the prior motivations leading up to said escape. All building towards what one can rightly expect to be a run of the mill ending so evident in most prison based movies......

Directed by Rupert Wyatt, The Escapist thrives on claustrophobic atmosphere and grim prison reality to set the wheels in motion. Filmed at Kilmainham Jail in Dublin, this is a dank place, overcrowded and paint peeling from every wall; and of course there's an array of unsavoury characters just waiting to use violence or sexual proclivities to feather their respective nest. This place alone is reason enough for escape attempts, let alone the reasons put forward for our escaping protagonists. The audio on offer also enhances the mood, the clanking of metal or the rumbling of shuffling boots land in the ear drum with almost tenacious glee. There's also no overdose on dialogue, no filler conversations serving no purpose to the crux of the tale.

The cast are (prison) uniformly strong, led by the great and weathered Cox, the roll call of escapees also contains earthy Liam Cunningham, a buffed up Joseph Fiennes, a youthfully fraught Dominic Cooper and black magic gusto from Seu Jorge. While within these walls menace comes from a weaselly Steven Mackintosh and the excellently chilling Damian Lewis as nick daddy Rizza. All in all, The Escapist, if you pardon the pun, is a break out movie two fold. Not just as a story, but also in offering up something different in the genre it belongs too. Much like Brian Cox himself, The Escapist is something of a British treasure. 9/10

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