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Cell 213
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Reviews & Ratings for
Cell 213 More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A Place Where God and the Devil Dispute Souls

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 April 2016

The unethical lawyer Michael Grey (Eric Balfour) is defending a criminal in court and if he succeeds, he will become partner of the office where he works. He secretly hires a criminal to frighten an important witness from the prosecutor to win the case. The trial is suspended to the next day and Michael drives to the South River State Penitentiary to visit another client. Michael is received by the Warden (Bruce Greenwood) and guard Ray Clement (Michael Rooker) that blames him for releasing criminals from prison. While alone with his client, the inmate takes Michael's pen and stabs himself in his own neck. Ray accuses Michael of murdering the inmate and the lawyer is sentenced to the prison. He is locked in cell 213 and has an abusive treatment from the Warden and Ray. Michael has visions in the cell and soon he discovers that the criminal he hired has killed the witness and his family. Further, his deceased client is haunting him. Meanwhile the government agent Audrey Davis (Deborah Valente) comes to South River State Penitentiary to investigate the staff and prisoners. Soon she discovers the sadistic behavior of Ray and that Michael is innocent. But Michael finds that God and the devil are disputing his soul and he might have no salvation.

"Cell 213" is a horror film with great potential but flawed story. The idea of a place in a prison where God and the devil dispute souls of inmates is totally original, but the story could have been better written. Bruce Greenwood performs an ambiguous character and Eric Balfour has a good performance. Michael Rooker performs a dysfunctional character, actually his usual role. The cinematography is dark and creepy in high-quality. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Cela 213" ("Cell 213")

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Atmospheric, low-key Supernatural Thrller... Blu-ray: Excellent A:9 V:9

Author: lathe-of-heaven from Sunny Southern California, USA
4 September 2016

As much as I roll my unworthy eyes at Claudio's reviews (4 paragraph synopsis of the story, 2 sentence 'review'...) I must admit that I agree with his sparse comments and his rating of this film.

I too rated it a '7'. BUT... you have to understand that this is a VERY slow-burn, low-key 'Horror' film where, when you get right down to it, not a whole lot happens. The strong point of this movie is it's well crafted and very effective atmosphere. *** IF *** you can get into Horror films that are mostly comprised of mood and atmosphere as opposed to a lot of Action and violence, THEN you might appreciate and enjoy this movie. I really liked the way the director used the photography and particularly the sound design to create what I felt was, in my lowly and wretched opinion, a very effective and suspenseful, moody Horror film.

Don't get me wrong... I frigg'n LOVE some of the all-out kick your balls up behind your ears Horror movies if they are made well, but I also enjoy low-key, well crafted, moody ones like this one. As long as you don't mind the light use of action and violence, you really can get caught up in the moody atmosphere of a movie like this.

The acting throughout was also very good, with the principles doing an excellent job in their roles. I think that since the story in itself is so simple and straight-forward, it really falls to the director to be able to bring it all together in such a way to create the suspense and tension in order to make it effective and to do what it is supposed to do.

So, unlike one of the early reviewers above who basically sliced and diced this movie telling us in detail WHY it was so bad, if you can appreciate THIS KIND of Horror film as I have tried in my inept way to explain so you can understand, then I would think that there is a good chance that you will find it entertaining. Remember too... it is basically Supernaturally themed, so if movies like that just make you roll your eyes and you feel that they are complete BS, then by all means give this one a pass...

Oh, FWIW I really dug the 'BLADE RUNNER' lighting at the very end...

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

No no!

Author: Flow from Romania
21 November 2015

It started out good, and gave me some clues as in it could be even better. For a while there, it did do so, but then it reached half point.

Disaster! You lose interest, the movie becomes fuzzy, unclear, some pointless scenes, some plot holes and as another user said, what a disappointing finale...

Cell 213 is as underground as possible, even tho it has quite a distribution, some good actors in it, but the plot never gave them a chance. Will not recommend it, not even for a horror junkie.


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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Worst Ending Ever

Author: rmc156 from United States
5 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Total waste of time. Cinematography was good, the ending was closure, no answers, no real resolution. There had better not be a second one as it can only get worse from here. The premise of the movie was pretty cool and had a lot of potential. I feel like the writers at the end of the script just wanted to end it. Like I said, the only thing that was really disappointing was the ending and lack of closure. There is no background history with anyone, especially the culprits involved in the evilness of prison. It's entertaining at least due to the violence and almost believable cast. The side stories were weak to say the least. When the credits started to roll I'm not gonna lie, I was just shocked that it lacked a resolution to an almost 2 hour movie. Total bag of BS. Other than that, enjoy folks!

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Bad idea, poor execution, worthless movie

Author: Orpheus_Unlimited
4 April 2016

Maninder Chana writes a story about a cocky and somewhat unethical ambitious young lawyer that finds himself thrown into a complete Hell when one of his clients unexpectedly kills himself while on a private meeting only days prior to his release from jail.

Stephen T. Kay sits in the Director chair trying to build some tension around the story in a by-the-numbers horror movie.

And when the only thing that comes to your mind when you see the Writer & Director of a movie is "who?" then you know things are not stacking on the right side. Sure, sometimes unknown Writers can create wonderful scripts and unknown Directors can make masterpieces...sadly neither of those is the case with this movie.

The script is a complete mess, and there's a reason for that: this was Chana's first attempt at a "full" story, since his whole career was built over short stories. And you can see that "limitation" permeating into this movie's script.

We have the main character Michael Grey (played by Eric Balfour) as a ruthless young lawyer trying to win cases at all costs whose ambition pushes him to do some really questionable things in order to "secure" a win in Court. And then when everything seems to go "according to plans" suddenly everything goes into "Chaos Mode".

And that's when everything goes awry: almost everything in the story is just completely ridiculous without any sort of verisimilitude whatsoever. Plot elements come and go without any sort of actual explanation. Characters are introduced without any idea of "what to do with them", sometimes even introducing totally pointless characters into an already confusing plot. It seems as if the Writer just doesn't know how to tell a detailed tale and just purposely keeps everything vague as a way of not bothering explaining anything.

In Kay's case, his best work has been the 2000 flick Get Carter, with Sly Stallone. So...yeah, he's no Martin Scorsese.

In the acting department Eric Balfour does a somewhat acceptable job as the lead character, followed by Michael Rooker, in one of his usual roles: a despicable and twisted prison-officer-with-a-moral- standard-of-his-own. Bruce Greenwood does an awful job as South River State Penitentiary's Warden, with a dull and uninspired performance. And Deborah Valente plays Audrey Davis, a Correctional Dept. officer best described as "forgettable".

Bottom line:

-Confusing, convoluted and sloppy script

-Average directing job

-Average-to-Mediocre acting

-Standard photography

-Bad FX

-Not scary

-Not "profound"

-No jump scares

-Awful as a Thriller

-Awful as a Horror movie

-Awful as a Supernatural story

-An all-around weak movie

If you're into masochism there's better things to do to achieve your goal. This movie is 109 minutes of pure boredom from start to finish. Stay far away from it.

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