Eric Love, 19, is locked up in prison. On first day he assaults another inmate and several guards. He's offered group therapy and his dad, an inmate as well, tries to talk sense into him. Can he be rehabilitated?
Eric Love is a 19 year old teenager who is so violent he has been 'Starred Up' (Moved to Adult prison) where he finds his father Neville who Eric hasn't seen since he was 5 (since he was put into care). Neville tries to get Eric to settle down, so Eric gets a chance to go through therapy with Oliver.Written by
As I said above, think twice before going to see "Starred Up". I don't say this because it's a bad film--it is very well made in fact. However, it's one of the most violent and grim prison films you can find and it's likely to make many folks depressed watching it. Because it strives for realism, it is incredibly vicious, there's some full-frontal nudity and the language is truly prison-like! So, don't let your kids watch it* and think twice before you watch it as well. If you think you're up to it, the movie is worth seeing.
When the film begins, Eric (Jack O'Connell) is being processed in to prison. Exactly what he did to get there isn't ever clear--all you know is that he did some pretty bad things. However, after calmly walking through this, it's soon obvious that Eric is NOT your typical prisoner. It's not because he's so young--prison is full of young punks. However, he's so violent that even most of the prisoners are soon afraid of him. He is a boiling cauldron of rage and hate--and almost everything seems to set him off. Now you'd assume that such a nasty character would soon get himself killed, but Eric is so mean that he seems destined to possibly survive incarceration. However, a few of the old-timers are NOT pleased and it's all a matter of time until he's dead. But there is an interesting trump card--one of the old timers who practically runs the place turns out to be Eric's father. What's next? See the film.
My biggest problem with watching this film isn't the violence or language. A long time ago, in my therapist days, I worked with the prison population so I wasn't really shocked by all this nastiness. No, my biggest problem were the accents. I am a bit hard of hearing (my oldest daughter attributes this to be being 'an old fart'!) and I sure would have loved some captions. Perhaps when it's released to DVD this will be an option.
Aside from this, the film is well made and represents prisoners pretty well. It's sure a grim lot and I could understand folks not wanting to watch nearly two hours of such hate and anger--but this is how many folks behave inside prisons. So, if you're looking for realism, you sure have it with this film. And, although Eric is not a huge guy, Jack O'Connell does a good job playing this menacing, violent and incredibly dangerous young man. So, my verdict is that this is a very well made film....but one that probably won't have a lot of folks wanting to line up and see it. It is NOT a nice little story like "The Shawshank Redemption" but is ugly, raw and powerful.
*I normally would not recommend a film like this to kids. However, perhaps young hoodlums would do well to see what prison is like unless they decide to make some life changes.
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