6.9/10
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294 user 101 critic

The Last Castle (2001)

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ON DISC
A court-martialed General rallies together twelve hundred inmates to rise against the corrupt system that put him away.

Director:

Rod Lurie

Writers:

David Scarpa (story), David Scarpa (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,729 ( 215)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... General Irwin
James Gandolfini ... Col. Winter
Mark Ruffalo ... Yates
Steve Burton ... Capt. Peretz
Delroy Lindo ... Gen. Wheeler
Paul Calderon ... Dellwo
Sam Ball ... Duffy (as Samuel Ball)
Jeremy Childs ... Cutbush
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Aguilar
George W. Scott George W. Scott ... Thumper
Brian Goodman ... Beaupre
Michael Irby ... Enriquez
Frank Military ... Doc
Maurice Bullard Maurice Bullard ... Sgt. McLaren
Nick Kokich Nick Kokich ... Pvt. Niebolt
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Storyline

Robert Redford stars in this action drama as General Irwin, a respected three-star tactician whose career ends in disgrace when he's court-martialed and sent to The Castle, a maximum security military prison. Irwin quickly butts heads with the facility's autocratic warden, Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini), who runs his command with an iron fist, even killing prisoners when he deems it necessary. Irwin rallies his fellow convicts into a rag-tag army and leads them in a revolt against Winter, an action that the warden is ready to repel by violent means.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A castle can only have one king

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Castle See more »

Filming Locations:

Nashville, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$72,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,088,213, 21 October 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,208,078, 16 December 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,642,707, 31 December 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leo Fitzpatrick was cast in the film but two days before filming was to begin, he was in Los Angeles and was leaving a friend's party and was hit by a drunk driver. His leg suffered severe nerve and muscle damage, and he was unable to walk for a month and had to go through physical therapy. He was dropped from The Last Castle as a result. See more »

Goofs

When the Colonel is looking out his window to see a helicopter fly by, the American Flag is not moving, even though there is a helicopter flying right next to it. See more »

Quotes

Irwin: [declining fellow inmates' suggestion to have Col. Winter reported to his superiors for his crimes] I'm not fighting anyone or anything, anymore.
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Connections

Referenced in Bad Girls: Episode #6.4 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata in B Flat Major
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Michael Lang
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User Reviews

Filled with both strengths and weaknesses

Most of the raves and pans you will read of this movie are equally true in their own respects. For my money, the film's weaknesses slightly outweigh its strengths but I can easily see someone else's scales tipping the other way.

The performances are splendid all around. Most especially, James Gandolfini (who had the inside track with the most richly drawn character) excels as the ambiguous villain who is actually right more than half the time.

The message which deals with the value of pride and the importance of identity and self-worth is certainly admirable. The fact that this occurs among men who have marred their own self-worth through violent crime makes the concept that much more interesting. It almost (but never quite) raises the idea of reclaiming integrity, once lost. If it had gone this extra mile, it may well have been a better film.

The weaknesses lie in the hundreds of stupid little inaccuracies which culminate into one stupid BIG inaccuracy: This place doesn't feel like a prison!

It is difficult to make a prison movie within ten years of 1994 without inviting comparisons to "The Shawshank Redemption." Rather than belaboring the obvious, I want to note one detail that is exemplary of the earlier film's superiority. Even the jolliest, funniest, most easy going prisoners in Shawshank had an underlying sense of danger about them. You didn't want to get on their bad side. You never doubt that they belong in prison (except, of course, for Andy Dufresne). But this is not so in "The Last Castle." No matter how often someone reads from a prisoner's file and discusses the horrible things he has done, none of the words, actions, or other moods conveyed by the men in this film make them seem in any way dangerous. Maybe it's a case of mass miscasting but I doubt it.

Compounding this problem is the lack of scholarship to be found in the little details. Robert Redford shaves with a safety razor in spite of the fact that no prisoner would be allowed such a tool. Razor blades, like belts and shoelaces, are potential suicide tools and, thus, prohibited in prisons. Also, people keep referring to an officer's side arm as his "gun" instead of his "weapon." These mistakes were easy to avoid and yet they remained in the film.

All of this makes a potentially fascinating film, filled with talent, seem a touch removed from reality. Like in "The Contender," director Rod Lurie has shown that his view of reality is based on his opinions rather than the other way around.

With all it had going for it, it's a shame really.


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