Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
269 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
9/10
Who says there is no such thing as time travel....?
A_Different_Drummer13 October 2017
Because writer/director Zahler has taken his audience back to an era when films were simpler, direct, and,above all, unrelenting in their pursuit of a single theme or idea.

He has manufactured a true guilty pleasure -- a film about a man making bad choices that is driven by brilliant characterizations, raw Adrenalin, and a compelling narrative that makes you watch no matter how much you know you should look away.

In the grand tradition of Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood, Vaughn, an actor once relegated to romantic comedies, does "the" physical role of his career and it is a barn burner.

There is no pretense at class. This is 1960s grindhouse from start to finish and if you have any doubts just listen to the closing music at the 2:05 mark --- a brisk orchestral piece that sounds more fitting to a vaudeville act than a melodrama. Zahler ends the show by signalling that he was messing with your head, overloading your senses, all along -- and moreover he was doing it deliberately and knowingly.

Don Johnson, an actor who continues to win SEXIEST MAN ALIVE awards for merely showing up at the ceremony, wanted to try something different and succeeded - his cigar-smoking, sadistic warden is a masterpiece. Unforgettable.

A hard film to review, a difficult film to classify, and an impossible film to ignore. The closest analog in this era would be the highly stylized, and highly violent, films from South Korea that glorify the individual over the system.

Highly recommended.
212 out of 266 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
BRAWL = WTF! Give me MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
favrefan-4970017 October 2017
Let me allay any fears this movie is lame, as stated by a couple reviewers here. Their opinions here are extremely inaccurate. With that being said....

Vince Vaughn is a shining star in this brutally violent, perfectly paced story, with a descent into a hell only his character can navigate. The movie is rare in that it's not slow, boring or overdone. Each piece is compartmentalized on purpose, to guide the audience to the climax. There isn't a big list of elite A list actors, huge musical score, tons of CGI, no. What you have here is director's genius, visualizing the journey from A-Z in a way that will captivate you. You will not want the movie to end.

I do think this is a turning point for Vaughn, as I only usually see him in romantic movies or comedies. He's truly found his spirit here and I hope it leads him to similar roles. He plays it in a way you've never seen him. Try to imagine Tom Hanks playing a man without a care. It's that hard to wrap your head around.

Don Johnson shines as a degenerate warden and the small cast of characters scattered throughout the movie play key roles in the makeup of the plot; all done to perfection.

Trust me y'all, you DON'T want to miss this one, it will have you begging more for more, guaranteed! So much face smashing destruction is actually a delight. I will not spoil a single thing, go see it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
113 out of 157 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Blown Away
screechy_jim14 October 2017
Rarely have I seen such unbridled inspired violence on screen. I loved every bit of this film, and not since 'Aliens' have I winced, grimaced, cried out in exclamation whilst rooting so shamelessly for it to continue.

Vince Vaughn is not the type of actor you would normally associate with this kind of role and though he's certainly not typecast, seeing him here will have some of the more constrained individuals at odds. However, he steps up to the plate and 'Home Runs' this one like he's been playing the bad boy, hard man since day one. It's a mile away from the usual films he features in and he really shows the extent of his range with this role.

This isn't one of those trussed up thinly veiled Oliver Stone or Tarantino movies all gussied up with gruesome activities and violence for the sake of the film... Oh no no no! This story compels violence, it demands it as a necessity to fulfil the screenplay. I felt my need for violent imagery completely satiated as the final credits rolled.

The fight scenes in particular were very well executed. Much unlike the usual physical big screen exchanges that go on forever because fatigue in films is much like that in video games, these are shorter, more decisive and less one sided. There's little if any of that 'choreographed' feel which often makes fight scenes and physical encounters more like practiced dance routines than actual battles for physical supremacy.

However I'm not doing this film justice, as the story here I a very good one. The film starts off fairly slowly but by the time its half an hour in and has picked up momentum, its like an unstoppable freight train. The adaptation is excellent, visually very powerful, some great graphic representation, particularly some of the prison scenes. The direction, wow! I mean this is as clear an example of what can be done with good direction as you will ever see. Truthfully, I could fault a few aspects of this film if I nit-pick, but really, that would be me trivialising.

If you don't like gruesome violence do not watch this film. This film takes you by the scruff of the neck and throws you into a world of graphic physical violence. If you want to watch a good story, essentially about the depths of violence that can be unleashed by a 'good-guy' when truly motivated criminal elements for manipulation... watch this film.

I will simply say everything here is on point
110 out of 162 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
S. Craig Zahler is 2/2
adamfreedman9014 October 2017
S. Craig Zahler is proving himself to be a director worth paying attention to. I became a fan after seeing Bone Tomahawk, and have read several of his novels including Mean Business on North Ganson Street and Wraiths of the Broken Land. Also, his incredible un-produced screenplay The Brigands of Rattleborge.

BRAWL is very similar to Bone Tomahawk in terms of pacing, story structure and tone. A slow descent into a hellish situation.

I don't agree with people who say he is a "second-rate Tarantino." Tarantino does homage. Even Robert Rodriguez, in his attempts to do exploitation films, call too much attention to themselves and end up bordering on spoof, whereas BRAWL just simply is an exploitation film.

Perhaps some of Zahler's dialogue works better on the page than spoken, but I still think he is a great writer.

The low-key style of the film, with the every-man type of character Vaughn plays who gets mixed up in a serious situation makes this movie seem like a combination of Nicolas Winding Refn's PUSHER II and Cassavettes' KILLING OF A Chinese BOOKIE.

There are even some subtle hints of ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13.

My only real gripes are that some of the dialogue exchanges are kind of stilted, and the staging of characters in some scenes seems too stiff and unnatural.

I like that the themes, such as privatization of prisons, are beneath the surface and not drilled into the audiences' head.

Its not a perfect movie, I hope Zahler continues to branch out but its a cool throwback movie that isn't trying to play it safe or cater to a wide audience and knows what type of movie it wants to be.
57 out of 87 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Vince Vaughn Hardcore!
stephenw-3018013 October 2017
I was pretty much blown away by "Brawl in cell block 99". I was a big fan of S.Craig Zahler who Directed the film Bone Tomahawk. This film is better in many ways. I'm hooked on his genius.

To say the film is violent is an understatement but nothing any hardcore thriller/Horror fan hasn't seen before. This film delivers the violence, however, with a purpose and is almost just given the narrative. Zahler turns the protagonist into an antihero. With superb zeal.

I am a fan of Vince Vaughn and this film is a testament to his terrific range and ability as a great American actor. In fact, I think it's his finest performance to date. In the spirit of not divulging any spoilers, I will just give potential viewers my opinion of the film as a whole.

Supporting cast of Don Johnson, Udo Kier and Jennifer Carpenter are outstanding! Direction was phenomenal as it guides the viewer through the story line with such ease, in a hard to tell plot.

Nothing is gratuitous or overdone. It's simply a great story with simple plot, done in a purposeful way. For a film with 132 mins.runtime it goes very quickly. A testament to a great movie.

I have become a huge fans of S. Craig Zahler and can't wait to see his next film.

Fans of violent Thrillera told in a relevant way with great dialog, do not miss this film!!

Once again..,Bravo Vince Vaughn for a spectacular performance! It's hard to believe, after seeing this film, he spent most of his career in comedic roles.
75 out of 121 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Good Lord, This Is A Rough Movie To Watch
Sawyer-481516234225 October 2017
First of all, if you are squeamish (even a little) DO NOT watch this movie. But if you've got the stomach for an extremely violent (and sometimes depressing) movie this might be worth your time.

Vince Vaughn does an excellent job. In fact, the acting in the whole movie is surprisingly good for a grindhouse-style flick. This is about a man in a bad, bad position, who bad things happen to, and who in turn does some very bad things. But if you can handle this type of movie you will be entertained.

The action is gritty to the point of being potentially sickening. I was disturbed, and yet I wish more movies took this approach to action. The fight scenes are not comic bookish like so many movies, rather they are brutal and somehow realistic. Honestly they were the best thing about this movie.

Don't expect a brawl in the sense that a whole cell block starts fighting riot style. This is more of a Bronson-esque "one man out for revenge" style of movie.

The only negative I noticed is that there were a few unbelievable parts regarding the prison system, but they were needed to drive the plot along in the direction it went. Viewers should really just suppress their disbelief (and gag reflexes) and just strap themselves in for the ride.

Recommended for anyone that can handle the darkness and appreciate the brutally gritty craziness that is this movie.
31 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Vince Vaughn is great as the straight talking tough guy forced into an impossible position
silverlight-9108316 October 2017
Vince Vaughn does a great job of portraying a no-nonsense tough guy who doesn't mince his words in this prison drama. I was surprised how much i enjoyed this movie. His character brings to mind characters similar to what Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood and the like have played. There is a real intensity about this movie and his performance that is lacking in many action films these days. The supporting cast were good also but i thought Vince Vaughn totally carried this movie, which could have been way worse but for what he brought to it. Highly recommended for fans of old school movies of this genre.
51 out of 82 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
How on earth did this get such high praise?
domesticatedprimate15 October 2017
I watched this movie constantly repeating that question to myself, I can't believe i was fooled by a reviewer here that actually stated this was the best movie They'd seen all year. There are scenes that are so bad i couldn't tell if they've intentionally been put in there for comedic effect or they were intended to be serious. One such scene is when the main character Bradley (played by Vaughn) dives into a body of water only to re emerge seconds later bone dry. It was honestly like an amateur teenager had directed it and spent the entire budget on Vaughn's fee. By the end they couldn't even be bothered to use any special effects and opted to use crash test dummies. It takes more than shocking violence to make a movie, i've seen it being compared to a Tarantino flick but at least his movies have substance and great quotable dialogue. Fans of B-movies may enjoy but for me it was so bad it became comical.
141 out of 263 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
4/10
Did I watch a different film to everyone else?
Calgy6920 October 2017
I read the reviews, the constant applause and praise for this film. How good the fights were and the great acting. WHAT?! What film has everyone watched because what I see was a B movie (at best) with terrible acting, a story line that was predictable and the fight choreography has got to be the worst I've seen. Vaughn cannot do fight scenes, he is extremely awkward and very slow, and considering the film hints he has a history of fighting I would've believed that Mr Bean was a UFC fighter more!
152 out of 287 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
3/10
This movie is unbearably bad...how is it getting so many good reviews?
abugabby18 October 2017
Vince Vaughn's southern accent is laughably bad. His dialogue is even worse.

The cross tattoo on his head is obviously fake.

The fight scenes are poorly choreographed and stilted, and Vaughn's punches are slow and calculated which makes it impossible to believe he is a trained fighter.

The sound effects are comical, especially in the beginning when every step Vaughn takes sounds like a rubber mallet on a hardwood floor.

I was groaning all throughout the movie and only finished watching it to see how bad it could really get.
89 out of 163 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
This is the beyond awful
Leex66619 October 2017
I am perplexed by all the good reviews here, a more suspicious mind might suspect some kind of scam...

This film was horrific for all the wrong reasons, a dead at birth script of such dullness that was only matched by the actors attempts to kill it even more; everyone seemed to be on tranquillisers, lurching around like Frankensteins' monster.

The story arc just did not make sense either, just random cause and effect and illogical consequences... The director must have another day job and lets hope he returns to it ASAP.

As for Vince Vaughn, this attempt at playing it straight is maybe his most laughable role yet.

I want my 2 hours back!
60 out of 107 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Among One of the Best Films of The Year
trublu21512 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Brawl in Cell Block 99 is the long awaited sophomoric effort from the brilliant S. Craig Zahler, the director of the 2015 surprise hit Bone Tomahawk. Brawl in Cell Block 99 tells the story of Bradley Thomas (played by an unrecognizable and equally amazing Vince Vaughn), a former boxer whose life is in a bit of a downward spiral. After he is let go from his mechanic job, he comes home to find his wife carrying on an extramarital affair. After dismantling her car with impressive accuracy, Bradley makes up with his wife Laura (Jennifer Carpenter) and the two decide to continue their marriage but Bradley wants to dabble into the criminal underworld in order to provide his future family the life they deserve. Fast forward a couple months, Laura is pregnant and Bradley is a drug runner. When a deal goes south and forces Bradley to get arrested and lose the shipment which results with him getting a light prison sentence at a cushy prison. After being visited by a drug czar's henchmen, Bradley is told that Laura and his unborn child will die if Bradley does not kill an inmate in Cell Block 99. Without giving too much more away, Bradley then becomes a one-man wrecking crew that is willing to do vile and brutal things to ensure the lives of his family are safe.

First off, this film is violent...and I mean, REALLY violent. Bone Tomahawk is a great companion piece to this film. It is very similar in the set up and the pay off is much the same but prolonged for this film. The film takes a good long while to kick off but when it does, it turns into one of the fastest paced action thrillers I've seen in a long time. It is almost as if it is two different films. The first part of the film is very grounded drama with crime elements within it. Then after Udo Kier's character leaves, it is like a storm erupts. This storm brings brutal violence, extreme gore and Vince Vaughn's impressive fighting skills and puts them on display for everyone to see in its uncensored glory. This film is amazing by every stretch of the imagination. It takes it's time with the story and immerses us within this world that Zahler carefully crafts with his script, production design and actors. We slowly become a part of this world which bodes well because I can't imagine this world going over well with someone just dropped into it. To quicken the pace would be to cheapen the work here. I'm a huge proponent of a lean running time but I was able to overlook the seemingly bloated 132 minute run time because everything was so damn well done, it didn't feel long at all. Furthermore, Zahler's love of one take fight scenes really shines here and it really gets the blood pumping. Seeing a quick edited action sequence up against something like this? There is no comparison and I wouldn't be surprised if more action directors take a page out of Zahler's vision.

Overall, Brawl in Cell Block 99 could have me going on for days upon days on how much I enjoyed it. It is a perfect balance between realism and pulp fiction, drama and brutality, production design and overall direction. It feels like a better movie than it will probably get credit for and showcases Vince Vaughn in a career changing performance that is bound to leave your jaw on the floor with how amazing he is in both a dramatic and physical sense. I can't recommend this movie enough especially if you're a fan of action films. It is far and away one of the best films I've seen this year.
69 out of 125 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Bone Crunching, Skull Crushing Good Time!
Raven-19698 October 2017
Bradley can rip a car apart as well as break bones with his bare hands. He has spent time in prison and is not the kind of person you want to anger. Even so, he is sorely tested. When domestic and financial pressures force Bradley back into the drug business, he manages to keep his head down for a time. He is tough, smart, cool headed, motivated and resourceful. Unfortunately, Bradley's partners in crime do not share such qualities. Behind bars again, Bradley discovers his troubles are only just beginning. His strengths have become a liability, as there are powerful people who intend to use Bradley for their own advantage.

A bone crunching, skull crushing good time! There are not just delightful twists and turns, but delicious shifts in structure and escalations of tension. There is wonderful wit, sarcasm and humor to the taunts and trash talk. For example, one of the characters in prison laments "I wish I had a bigger cell." Bradley replies, "you may want to aim a little higher with your wishes." Vince Vaughn is brilliantly cast as Bradley. Vince does so well that I am baffled as to why he has not tried such roles before. Bradley is a compelling character too, the rare tough yet good guy with the odds stacked against him. The emotional investment in the character makes the fight scenes work. Vince can't pull off a southern accent though, and shouldn't have tried. Don Johnson makes a great private prison tyrant. One of the great qualities of the film is that it reveals the sad state of our prisons, public and especially private. These maximum security, minimum freedom for-profit torture chambers are our national shame. Seen with the midnight madness crowd at the Toronto International Film Festival.
61 out of 111 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Disgusting predictable film
sapp777716 October 2017
Very slow and drawn out film which ends in a predictable manner. Completely unrealistic of the American prison system, but maybe possible in a third world country. Lots of poorly done gore and fake skull crushing throughout the film which would be normal for a sub-par script without A-list actors. Vince Vaughn is a big guy, but it is unbelievable that he has the strength to overpower guards and cartel killers. This film is a straight to video piece of garbage that will waste over two hours of your viewing time.
77 out of 144 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
led astray by other reviews?
halodotjay-1658920 October 2017
too many holes to be good really, too convenient. watchable in that i watched the whole movie, but as it progressed i became more and more puzzled by the abundance of high rated reviews. trying to avoid spoilers, i applaud the style, the cornerstones of the plot, but really? it misses for mine, nice idea that just does not quite come off. perhaps i am de-sensitised also, but not too violent. the fight scenes could use better construction (not that i can fight, i just mean my impression) anyway. good on you vince. different, i think a missed opportunity.
46 out of 83 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
AWFUL is as AWFUL does
scrabo39-143-1685015 October 2017
It's one of those films, it's so bad you actually have to watch it until the end just to see how low it can stoop. I've no idea who the Director is, but I can only hope he turns his hand to painting and decorating in the future. I downloaded it from the Torrent, so at least I didn't waste £20 on paying to watch this utter tripe!
65 out of 124 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Boring movie- it really sucks!!!
danielacorona-2883420 October 2017
I couldn't be more obvious that the Top rated reviews were bought for this movie. This movie sucks big time. The plot is ridiculous. The fight scenes are worse than those from the 80's. Haven't seen so badly executed choreographed fight scenes in a long time! Vince Vaughn isn't really acting in the movie- he always plays the same style. Sadly, the other actors sucked as well. The prison scenes were sadly the same boring as the ridiculous plot. This movie is a full on waste of time.
41 out of 76 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
This movie Sux
dosfonjotespot15 October 2017
Super disappointed, boring, lame, and waste of my time, the good reviews are for sure paid reviews, stay away from this movie.

i was expecting at least some action but the most was some lame punches from Vince and somehow he had a super strong right leg that could destroy anything.

also, he needs some punching lessons specially if the movie claimed that the character was a ex-boxer.
61 out of 118 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
4/10
Don't waster your time🤦🏻‍♂️
Hokesone14 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I like Vince Vaughn but dang this movie is just soooo slow. The story is pretty straight forward that said it's to basic to be complicated. It has 1 or 2 good moments if you can stay awake long enough. However this is just stupid on another level,one part is the planning of a jail hit over the jail phone🙁 Vince Vaughn shows absolutely no emotions in this movie,he is like a board through out. Also I'm guessing to be doing b grade rubbish like this he must be broke😂Even the sets on this movie are bad,the sound effects just don't work..it's like rice bubbles when bones break.. Finally when it does get violent the film actually evokes some emotion.. Oh and Vince is also superman in this movie too
33 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Thought it was some kind of send up...
ajsmyth1114 October 2017
I didn't even know that the main character was Vince Vaughn until I came here to write a review! The first few lines of diologue screamed B-Movie at me, so I just assumed it looked a bit like him... so he's broke, right? To illustrate how touch-and-go this movie is, there was a scene with Christian Rock blaring in Vaughn's car when he was doing a drug deal, and I thought it was going to be one of those religious conversion movies, you know the type - financed by a parish collection plate from a small church. So I kept watching for the lols.

If you listen to this movie without watching, (as I did when I had to rest my eyes from the gaudiness of the set) and you can't tap into how wooden, corny and ridiculous the dialogue is, then you are probably under 16 years of age. This is dialogue by numbers, written by someone who can't count, for people who don't want to.

But oh, if you actually watch the movie, everything, the set design right down to the effing sound effects, then you really get a sense of how utterly misguided this madness is.

Look, I am not out to rain on anyone's parade, I am just totally miffed at how this movie can get a 7.6 on IMDb. Maybe the movie industry is employing troll factories now as well.

Watch only for the agony.
52 out of 100 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
one hell of a movie
moatazbellahnagla16 October 2017
just great, crazy movie. not your usual prison movie. completely unpredictable. it feels like the writer was just trying to surprise himself. Vince was just extraordinary. great performance. enjoyed every minute of it. and the ending is crazy too. it's like the writer used a predictable story line to surprise the viewer. just crazy man.
47 out of 91 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
is there a worse word than terriblè?
Chum griffin13 October 2017
vince Vaughan is a certain character in some comedies, he will never be anything else based on this foray into some kind of serious role, the film is so unconvincing, I nearly wept with pity at how bad the dialogue, acting, costumes, editing, cinematography etc etc, most of all vince is so wooden that he would make a still baseball bat look like an Oscar winnning performance . this is truly an awful film to watch, I feel sad for him
56 out of 111 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
One of the Most Brutal and Graphic Prison Movies
Claudio Carvalho6 November 2017
When the tow truck driver and former boxer Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn) is fired from his job, he decides to work transporting drugs for his friend Gil (Marc Blucas) to have a better life with his wife Lauren Thomas (Jennifer Carpenter). Bradley is a family man and eighteen months later, Lauren is pregnant of a girl. Gil decides to associate to the drug dealer Eleazar (Dion Mucciacito) against Bradley's will. When he goes to bring a shipment of drugs with two men from Eleazar's gang, they do not follow his instructions and they stumble upon the police. Bradley protects the police officers killing one of the gangsters and is arrested. Bradley does not rat Gil and is sent to a medium security prison for a seven-year sentence. Two days later, Bradley is visited by a mysterious man that tells that Lauren has been kidnapped by Eleazar, who lost his shipment and two men in the operation. He tells that Bradley must kill an inmate called Christopher Bridge that is inmate in the cell Block 99 of a maximum security prison. Otherwise Lauren will be submitted to a surgery to remove the limbs of her baby that will be sent to him. What will Bradley do?

"Brawl in Cell Block 99" is one of the most brutal and graphic prison movies ever made. This genre usually produces good films and series and "Brawl in Cell Block 99" is no exception. However this film is more graphic than most of them and the underrated Vince Vaughn has an extraordinary performance in one of his best roles. The plot is realistic and scary, and Bradley Thomas is an intriguing character, family man with moral values and extremely brutal when necessary. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
19 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Best combo ActionThrillerCrimeDrama I have seen all year
radiqus17 October 2017
Believe all the reviews this movie is best of the year action hands down! I am going to see Bone Tomahawk after this. And if you liked A History of Violence you would love this! I wont be surprised the 7.5 rating as at the time of my review by the 40+ reviewers ahead of me shoots up to 8 or even 9 by the time a hundred reviews and more stream in. Vince Vaughan deserves an award for his role here. Only reason I gave 9 out of 10 to the movie was the way it ended. It wasn't bad, just I wished for an alternative ending(personal opinion) Wish there were more movies of this kind somewhere I could find and watch.
32 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews