The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
Juan Oliver wants to make a good impression at his new job as a prison officer and reports to work a day early, leaving his pregnant wife, Elena, at home. His destiny is forever changed by this fateful decision, as during his tour of the prison, an accident occurs that knocks him unconscious. He is rushed to the empty but visibly haunted walls of cell 211. As this diversion unfolds, inmates of the high security cell block strategically break free and hijack the penitentiary. Aware of the violence that is to come, the prison officers flee, leaving Juan stranded and unconscious in the heart of the riot. When Juan awakens, he immediately takes stock of the situation; in order to survive, he must pretend to be a prisoner. Juan develops a dialogue with the violent leader of the riot, Badass, and the two begin a partnership, Badass fully believing that Juan is a new inmate. Negotiations go smoothly until the rioters take three ETA (the militant Basque separatist organization) prisoners ... Written by
The movie is dedicated to 'Luis Ángel Puente', a fireman of the city of Zamora (Spain) where the film is located. He participated in the film and died rescuing two boys in the Duero river shortly after. See more »
When the minister is heading to the prison, the car he is driven in is shown as an Audi A6 (1997) from the front, when arriving to the prison the car is shown from behind, but this is an Audi A8 (2005) model. See more »
Simply a masterpiece. The script solid as a rock, no fissures in it no matter from which side one looks at it. The actors as good as to make to seem incredible that the acting profession has reached such superb levels of artistry.
When one is watching this film, from the very first scene --almost unbearable to watch-- one is caught completely in it and from then on, one is on a ride at the edge of the seat, holding one's breath till the very end.
I was dumbfounded at each scene. How could they have obtained such impeccable choreography with that enormous amount of actors (the whole prison population) that are on screen almost in every scene like the Chorus in an opera?
The prison riot and the one outside of the prison walls, with the relatives of the prisoners and the police force, seem to have been taken from a real newsreel, not a staging done with actors, but then, every single scene seems taken from a documentary, so perfect is the acting, the direction, the editing. Sound track, lighting, etc. perfect. Impossible to find fault with this movie. A jewel.
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