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This is a great movie mainly for two reasons:
1. The script is not a typical Hollywood storyline. It's very realistic and powerful.
2. The performances of all actors are superb. In contrast to Hollywood movies, the actors in this movie are not models who decided to move to the film business but real actors.
Fortunately, there are still cinema people who do not see movies as commercial products for sale with the purpose of bringing enormous profit to the producers but rather works of art. There is still hope for cinema.
Guerricaechevarria does it again, writing a brutal story of loyalty,
friendship and guts.
The acting is great, well directed and well filmed. The characters are extremely real and believable.
In the end, everyone shows it's real face. Ethics and Character are put in a first plane, leaving uniforms, social class, education and every possible label behind. For some, it's every man for itself, and for others, it's justice or death.
This movie is extremely violent but not at a physical level, and delivers pure emotions throughout it's whole plot. It'll keep you at the edge of your seat for two hours, and leave you thinking about it for days.
Greetings from Lithuania.
So so. It's been a long time, when i last time saw a film about prisons. Maybe it was "The Shawshank Redemption", i truly can't remember. I think, there isn't much films these days about "true" prison life (i still didn't saw "Un prophète"). Now, the thing i want to say is that i can't remember any other "prison" movie, except "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Midnight Express",but now, i'll always remember "Celda 211" (Cell 211-international title). This film goes "straight to the bone". Really great cinematography, excellent job by director (two thumbs up to Daniel Monzón), unbelievable acting - still can't believe that these guys aren't real prisoners. This film has it all. The only reason i saw this film, is that i watched "Agora", another great film from Spain, and was really surprised, when i heard, that "Agora" was overwhelmed at Goya Awards by some "prison drama". Now i can say, that "Celda 211" is the best film from Europe in long time - and i don't say this very often.
Go and watch this film, You won't be regretting.
Gran película and bravo to Spain!
Celda 211 has a very intriguing premise where the "soon to be a prison
guard" Juan Oliver (Alberto Ammann) has to pretend being an inmate in
order to survive all the chaos after the prisoners take over the
facility. We feel that director Daniel Monzón is concerned in creating
a nervous atmosphere during the whole film and he achieves that
objective effectively. I found very interesting how a person could
change her personality and reality in extreme situations. Differently
from similar films in the prison break genre, this one had some nice
twists and a great script. The director brilliantly captures the
strange friendship between Juan and Malamadre, the leader of the
rebellion, which is constantly developing.
As for the acting, it's impressive how Alberto Ammann portrays his character and you can really identify with him and all the emotions that emerges with his dangerous position. Luis Tosar, who plays Malamadre, also gives a fantastic performance as a disturbed, proud, threatening, but loyal to his friends prisoner. The rest of the cast does a tremendous job too!
In conclusion, Celda 211 is a creative and highly original film about the thin line between who really are the good and the bad guys in a prison territory with rebellion. I forgot to say it's also an action packed film until the end, which is very realistic. Supported by a terrific cast, solid direction and a great script, Celda 211 is an involving film that leaves us thinking about its moral values and deserved all the awards it got.
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.
This movie likens that of a gemstone- raw, real, unique, crafty and
incomparable. I watched this movie, my first Spanish movie in cinema,
with English subtitles and frankly, i was impressed. Though now the
only regret i have is not mastering the language before the show. If
only i could pay more attention to the movie instead of the translated
words running at the bottom.
This is a story of a prison guard, Juan Oliver (played by Alberto A) who decided to go to work one day before he actually begins to 'make an impression'. What awaits him later is a riot, which forced him to be locked in Cell 211 after suffering an injury to his head. He knows the only way to live is to be one of them, and so he acted as an inmate. But until when can he keep it to himself? He has to make peace with the rest of the inmates and gain the trust of their 'leader' Malamadre (played by Luis Tosar) as they take hostage of high profile, terrorist-prisoners. He later learns an ugly news of his pregnant wife outside prison and his life is never the same again.
This movie plays around the humanity of man and how corruption and distrust can affect a man's freedom and ultimately, his life. There were moments in the show. Obviously, the prison riot. The police riot scene later was well delivered straight to its core, which led to the falling domino pieces in the movie. The turning point of Juan's character was when he received the news about his wife. Fine acting by all the cast with amazing characterization, awesome cinematography and directing at every scene!
The development of the plot is great, at points where it creates suspense left me on the edge of my seat. The blossoming relationship between Juan and Malamadre is well crafted, and believable- that i don't see in many other movies these days. It felt like Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Walking out the cinema, i was left to ponder at many questions with respect to the show. Why was Juan left in Cell 211 at the first place? As if a curse is cast to the cell. It will be interesting to watch the Hollywood remake of the movie in two years time and i hope it does remain to its authenticity. Definitely award-worthy, it accentuates prison drama at its best- pulling heartstrings despite its violence and vulgar language.
My cinematic experience has truly broadened. And i am sure yours will too after watching this movie.
The day when "Juan" (Alberto Ammann) begins work on his new job as a
prison officer, is caught in a prison riot. He then decides to
impersonate another prisoner to save his life and to end the revolt,
led by the dreaded "Malamadre" (Luis Tosar). What we know is that fate
has prepared a trap.
It's a great film by Daniel Monzón, intense thriller, straightforward, sober and without many frills. With a good cast, highlighting the novel actor Alberto Ammann, giving a lesson in how it is able to withstand the weight of the film and stand up to a great actor like Luis Tosar, making a memorable work, without falling into the prison movie clichés. The beginning is probably a statement of intent on where they're going to move the characters and the film, despair, betrayal, competing interests and a strong criticism of the ruling class, unable to control a situation that is slipping away little by little. Very interesting point about where ETA prisoners are the major focus of concern on the part of rulers, even above the protagonist, trapped in a world that does not belong and forgotten his fateful fate.
Concerning a rookie guard who must pose as a prisoner once a full scale
riot breaks out, Cell 211 is an absolute gem.
Fiercely tense with a cracking pace, an edgy sense of urgency and some ugly scenes of brutality, it's also got some great and believable performances as well as some rather poignant scenes, as bonds are made between prisoners and our protagonist gets to see things from their perspective.
Yet the last thing Cell 211 is is generic. It has some refreshingly genuine left field unexpected twists and developments that keep you pretty much hooked, from its attention grabbing opening scene to its blistering conclusion. It also does a great job of keeping you in suspense as to whether or not our protagonist will be discovered, with the viewer left under no illusions what will happen to him if he is.
It's also got some very decent production values and mercifully refrains from that awful jump cut editing during the more chaotic prison scenes.
But best of all is its sheer unpredictability as trust me- after the hour mark, you really won't be sure how things are gonna turn out and will be hooked all the more.
Overall a great film and highly highly recommended. See it now, you'll be glad you did. 9/10, Sheer class from Spain.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I believe there is a prison sub-genre of movies. This is the best I
have seen in this sub-genre and is very close to the French "Un
The action starts immediately and the characters are build through out the movie. There are a few flashbacks, just to cool off the action momentarily. Luis Tosar as the leading prisoner is just amazing, his voice is so unique. This thriller is so intense, but without a sea of blood or extremely violent scenes, just amazing dialogs, acting and especially plot. The prisoners are not presented as bodybuilders full of tattoos, but exactly as they are in real life.
Everything is happening so fast, just as needed to trap your eyes and mind, like only a handful Hollywood films. Only few scenes out of the jail, just to add to the intrigue and last a couple of minutes each.
Finally I want to write about unpredictability, which is my first concern when I watch modern cinema: no actions or dialogs can be predicted, so different with the typical Hollywood scheme. Carlos Bardem pretends that he is an inmate; one can say that he will be discovered at the very end; but even so, this happens so suddenly and at a moment that it doesn't make any difference.
10 out of 10 and highly recommended.
This movie is one of the best prison movies I've ever seen. It starts
with a chaos in prison but as the story unveils and unfolds it becomes
more and more compelling. Throughout the movie, there is an atmosphere
of tension and that tension has been kept till the end.
You are kept on the edge continuously. There is a feeling that something's going to happen at every moment and the filmmaker have been successful in making a good movie.
Whenever I view a movie, I always try to learn something out of it. This movie helps you learn a lot about the very human nature, the insecurities and the desperate measures every sane (non-criminal) person can resort to in tough circumstances.
I am a huge fan of Spanish horror movies. Their horror movies are very intelligent. But after seeing this movie I've become fan of not only Spanish horror but the overall Spanish movies. This movie is a must watch for Prison movie lovers, but I can assure you that this film will be liked even by non prison movie lovers.
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