Sunday, 17 July 2011

Film: Cell 211

This brutal Spanish prison drama was made in 2009 but only hit UK cinema screens this week.

It tells the story of Juan (Alberto Ammann), who while taking a tour of the prison prior to starting his job as a guard gets caught up in a riot. He manages to convince the inmates that he is a new arrival and is accepted by the leader of the group, Malamadre (Luis Tosar). Hearing of the riot Juan's pregnant wife Elena heads to the prison to find out just what is going on.

This is a ferocious film, the violence starts within the first five minutes and the pace rarely lets up. There are excellent scenes of high tension too as Juan's true identity could be exposed. As the riot escalates events take various twists and turns which make you question who the real villains are.

Luis Tosar (featured in the poster) delivers a stunning performance as the menacing Malamadre who often shows that he knows right from wrong while always living up to his fearsome reputation.

The film won many awards in Spain's 20009 Goya Awards (Spanish Oscars) including Best Actor for Tosar and Best Breakthrough Actor for Ammann as the conflicted Juan.

This is an explosive and edgy film full of fine performances and it has already been lined up for a Hollywood remake.

If you only see one subtitled film this year, make it this one.

Ric's Rating: 93%


  1. This looks bloody brilliant! I'll be taking my lovely husband to see this as soon as I can! Great tip, Rick! What would we do without you?

  2. Without me you'd be listening to "critics" in newspapers and magazines Zobie and we all know that they seem to jump on whatever the current bandwagon is. I suspect very few of them give a true opinion. Hope you enjoy this one if you catch it.

  3. Ooh, liking the sound of this one. Does Malamadre not (nearly) translate as Sick Mother?

  4. prison movies freak me out :) The only prison movie or show I really liked was OZ, did you watch it? I loved watching it from a psychological point.

  5. I don't know why, but I absolutely love prison movies. This will definitely be the one subtitled movie I see this year!

    Thanks for the review!

  6. That Tosar guy looks like a mean mofo. I am lining myself up for this one.

  7. I suspect it'll be up your street Michael. Wikipedia says it's Bad Mother so if that's correct you weren't far wrong.
    Dez, I only saw a couple of episodes of Oz but I think I would enjoy it.
    Hope you enjoy it Jennifer, with your recent prison visit you'll have an idea of what really goes on.
    Ben, he is fantastic in it and I couldn't help but kinda like the character.


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