The family man Wade Porter is living the American Dream with his girlfriend Laura and their son Michael they have a nice house, he has just raised a loan to make his company grow and they are going to get married. However their dream becomes a nightmare when Wade unintentionally kills a burglar that had broken into their house in the middle of the night on his lawn. He is sent to trial and accepts a deal proposed by the prosecutor, being sentenced to three years in prison. During the transportation, there is an incident in the bus and Wade is framed and sent to the maximum security wing under the command of the corrupt Lieutenant Jackson. His cell-mate John Smith that was sentenced to life revenging the death of his family befriends Wade and gives helpful advices and hope to Wade to return to his family.
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For a film that seems to pride itself on its depiction of prison-reality, it feels extremely movie-phony.
Adapt and survive - or don't and don't seems to be the message of this film.And the Stephen Dorff character has to adapt pronto after quickly being inaugurated into the way things happen in a top security prison having been convicted of manslaughter for using `unreasonable' force on a burglar resulting in his death. To be honest, the rapidity of the adaptation, and its success do slightly beggar belief but this is fiction and meant to be entertainment after all!Nevertheless, this is a powerful film and, if it represents anything like the way top security prisons are run in the states, a harrowing account of the type of brutal regime designed to do anything but rehabilitate their inmates. The performances, particularly Dorff's, are uniformly excellent and Val Kilmer, doing his very best to impersonate Jeff Bridges, is a revelation. Think, Shawshank, think Brubaker - on speed!
I bought this because i know someone who played a small part in the movie. It was actually suprisingly good. I think it has it's heartfelt moments fromt he beginning. The characters played such great roles. Obviously i'm not no siskel so i can't say much except i liked it, it was worth the money.
Why I loved this movie.. It's so real.. It's creepy.. It's awful, it'sraw.. I had to get of the couch like 10 times because I couldn't seewhat was happening next.. Okay, I's to much what happened with Wade,but that's what make this film brake your nerves up.. The film remind of the "monster" movie with Charlize Theron becauseit's so real it makes you thing that it's a live cam.. I give 9 out of 10 because regarding prison movies, there's no otherlike "The Shawshank Redemption".Great Movie!You must see it!
First off I've considered myself a "film nut" since I got my first jobin my local cinema 22 years ago. Over the years I've seen many greatfilms, funny ones, one's that make you think and one's that you comeout the picture house with that cold shiver running down your back.For several years now I've been so disappointed with what gets shown inmy local picture house, just seems to be films with such weak scriptsor just your usual commercial rubbish but i can honestly say that FELONis not one of these films.I'll not write a review of it but just say that I recommend it toanyone that enjoys a well acted and written movie, this is without ashadow of a doubt top of it's game in both those fields.Cheers Todd
Let me say first off that I'm not into that whole action-thriller-nailbiting-under ware staining kinda movie....which is OK because this filmis more of a drama than anything else. It kinda reminded me of "TheShawshank Redemption" (another great movie) with Stephen Dorff beingTim Robbins and Val Kilmer being Morgan Freeman (the comparison is alittle bit forced but still valid with the two movies plots beingsomewhat similar). The movie delivers a very diverse emotional palette,with tear breaking scenes all the way to explicit hardcore violencethanks to incredible acting by Dorff, Kilmer and Perrineau, trulybringing their characters to life. All in all, one of the best actiondramas i've seen.....definitely a must see movie.
Tight and riveting film. No light sabers. No 3D. Just an enjoyablysparse piece of excellent film-making. Superb acting, direction andcamera-work. This is one they'll watch many years from now - in filmschools and history classes.A simple morality play in a sense, but there are edges to the edges andyou have to think there are many living this nightmare.We have more prisoners per-capita than any other country and the prisonguard unions are among the strongest. Prisoners are the commodity andthe main messages are: This could be any of us - and - we live in abroken system that is not repairing itself.Great movie - truly frightening story.
Outstanding flick, Stephen Dorff has always been underated but he delivers a powerful performance in this film of a law abiding citizen that gets caught in the trap of the legal system for the audacity of protecting his family from a burglar. Never knew Val Kilmer was so damn ugly, hell he looks like W.C.Fields fer chrisakes, but gives a chilling performance as a lifer who becomes a mentor to Dorff's character. One of the better modern prison flicks. 4 shanks
The plot expands and gets more complex as the story progresses, and the dramatic tension ratchets up
it deserves an Oscar... one of the most realistic movies i've everseen. the best prison movies ever made and the acting is superb it's amovie that moves you, that makes you watch it again. i congratulate allthe crew,they were awesome. the inmates are well chosen,you feel likein a real prison. It is an emotional roller-coaster of a film, bringingyou emotions as varied as sorrow, joy and anger. It makes you see theunjust nature of the world we live in, and how the worst things canhappen to the nicest of people.it will make everyone who watches itappreciate everything in their life so much more.I am surely glad thatVal got a shot at playing a role in a film that got good reviews aswell. It's pretty close to the real thing.
Unlike many 'based on' films which often take freakish leaps in the story and abuse the artistic license to create fabrications that border on complete fiction, this film actually dramatizes events as they really happened. In 1996 a federal investigation was initiated after internal prison videos were leaked to the press revealing a secret fight club, an actual gladiator arena created to entertain the prison staff of California's Cocoran State Prison. Thirteen prison guards and administrators were investigated; two were fired and eight others indicted for arranging rival prisoners to combat one another. Guards later claimed that they were mandated to provide 'yard time' for prisoners who divided themselves along racial lines into hardcore gangs, and providing that time to all prisoners meant violent conflict was unavoidable and inevitable. But then you have to ask: Why such blood conflicts no longer occur in Cocoran? The same tools, technology and management of prisoners available today were available during this period. 'Felon' explores these events by introducing Wade Porter - an average guy who, in the process of defending his family, commits a technical crime. And despite overwhelming exculpatory evidence and common sense - he's sentenced according to the strictest definition of the law: Blame the victim and preserve the rights of the scumbag.Played perfectly by Stephen Dorff, everyday citizen Porter is thrust into a world completely unlike one he's known before: The Prison. This harrowing steel and concrete jungle is a hell that, if you're very lucky, will never know. It's not at all improbable that through a series of events outside your control you could find yourself there one day. Ask Louis Gonzalez III his thoughts on the subject. (i.e. Search LA Times archives)Wade Porter is caucasian - white. And in prison the color of your skin is the color of your uniform. There's no 'choosing sides' - it's been chosen for you. The only thing you can do is not become the victim. The protagonist quickly learns that if you want to live - you fight. There is no other option. Having decided to go "lone wolf", a prisoner without a gang, he's forced to constantly battle other inmates inside the yard/arena.It's into this purgatory that he meets the man who is respected by all, regardless of color or gang affiliation. And in this role, Val Kilmer delivers one of the finest performances of his roller-coaster career.Portraying multiple murderer John Smith, Kilmer is a sublime powerhouse. Equal parts brutal killer and sympathetic normal guy; equal parts sage teacher and disconnected dark stranger. A deeply complex character whose serene purposefulness is wrapped around a steel hard core of stunning brutal violence. A man who very understandably committed an unspeakable act in response to an equally unspeakable act.Porter is fortunately assigned as cellmate to Mr. Smith, who reluctantly teaches him the rules of hell. Their first encounter sets the stage for this amazing film: "Fornicate or Fight". Obviously, Amazon does not allow profanity and the actual word used in the film, but you get the gist; it's pure brutality from the very second he hears the clang of the cell door. Having earned respect by going to battle without fear - Smith opens up to the new fish. It's these lessons that help Porter survive. I only wish I could award Kilmer an Academy Award nomination for this role. When I compare it to some of the nominees for that year (2009/81st Show). The comparison between his performance in 'Felon' versus the poseurs who actually were nominated isn't apples versus oranges = it's brilliant versus pretentious arthouse walk-throughs. So bleeping pathetisad that schoolyard politicking has such influence in the nomination process.I've screened this several times over the years - and will continue to do so when I need inspiration and a dose of "it could be so much worse" to ground myself. Premium filmmaking and penultimate acting and actors. Watch it.
This film had some strong plot lines, from the 'innocent manimprisoned' to the 'cold rules of prison'. The violence seemed fairlyrealistic, increasing the impending sense of fear encompassing thecentral character. Very watchable. Was probably made for a lower budget than many otherfilms currently in release, but it clearly better than 90% of them.Kudos to the filmmakers, crew, and cast.Definitely recommend it. Val Kilmer does a great job; he could've stolea lot of scenes and made his character a far more sharply memorableone, but that would've only served to detract from the protagonist'sdilemma. Kilmer's handling of his character was near pitch perfect inmy opinion. He gave his character an extremely believable depth andsolidity, and coupled with some great performances from Dorff, and therest of the prison cast, created a malignantly sick and implosiveatmosphere in the scenes. Well done!
Summary : A family man is convicted of murder and must struggle to winhis battle not only inside prison, but also to keep his familytogether.Review : This is one film that I am glad I saw. Not only is thestoryline different to most other prison films, but the way it is madeand the actors who create it, give you a satisfied feeling when thefilm is finished that you got what you paid for. I gave this a 9because the way the storyline progressed, it seemed as though thismovie would go on for another half an hour or so which, when you seethe movie, would have been absolutely wonderful. Shawshank redemptionis a good example of how this could have dragged on a little more todelve more into some of the 'side factors' of the characters.First of all, he way they shot the film puts the viewer in a somewhat3rd-person view to give you the impression that you are actually therewhen it is all happening. The entire film is one that keeps you wantingmore as it goes along and never slows down at any point. Each newaspect is more interesting than before, and continues all through tillthe credits.As for the storyline, a family man who is sent to jail on account ofmurdering an intruder, might seem to some people, boring. But, theactors are what make the film interesting. Val Kilmer was exceptionallygood in this one, although I've never been a big Val fan, I thoroughlyenjoyed his portrayal of a religious avenger who befriends our familyman and teaches him more about life. Stephen Dorff was also excellentwho evidently evolves as the movie progresses to follow his rolenicely. Harold Perrineau as the prison guard captain was a nice add-in,although they could have used someone perhaps a little more'scary-looking'.All in all, the original storyline, excellent characters, and generalfeeling of fulfillment makes this movie a definite see.
Dorff, who was last spotted as a scary sexual sadist in Shadowboxer, gives a mesmerizing performance evolving from stunned civilian to brutalized inmate and dangerous prison thug, then transforming into a tested man who rediscovers his own humanity.
It's been a long time since I last saw a "prison movie" so I went tosee *Felon* with somewhat high expectations based also on its IMDbrating.I wasn't at all disappointed, actually it exceeded those highexpectations that I had before the viewing. Kilmer and Dorff had greatchemistry together in this one both portraying quite believablecharacters despite the somewhat far fetched plot line.Kilmer's physical appearance and voice were a bit shocking at first butit did suit him well for this certain part. It's a bit weird this filmwasn't really promoted properly from what I could tell unlike otherpieces of garbage this year (that shall remain nameless).The visuals can be somewhat brutal at times but nothing out of themainstream today, a great film, worthy of a 9 in my book.
This film is so incredibly well made I don't know where to begin. I was so touched and emotionally ravaged by this movie that it almost left me speechless. The performances are top notch. The realism is on point. Its brutal and bleak, but beautiful at the same time. The story is frighteningly simple: a man, just starting a wonderful life with his gorgeous wife and child, winds up having to defend his family from an intruder who breaks into his home in the middle of the night. In the adrenaline-fueled moment, he chases the intruder on his front lawn with a baseball bat and swipes, accidently killing him. Because he was the one doing the chasing, the homicide detectives charge him with murder. The man winds up in prison with the most brutal criminals around: Nazi lowriders (hoping to get "promoted" to Aryan Brotherhood), Latino gangsters, black gangbangers, etc etc. The guards, we soon learn, are just as if not more sadistic than the inmates (led by a chillingly awesome performance by Harold Perrineau, some may remember him as Augustus Hill on OZ -this role is an obvious nod) as they love to stage gladiator fights on the yard. Our hero is clearly in a world that he is alien to but soon starts to succumb to the violence as the White inmates take advantage of him. Future clearly doesn't look good, until he becomes cellmates with older, prison-wise lifer Val Kilmer (in his best performance since 'Heat', in my opinion) who schools him on prison politics and teaches him the ropes. Shocking, realistic story should be watched by every single American male regardless of race, creed, ethnicity. A wake up call - the scary part is its all so terribly true. I'll shut up now. Just do yourself a favor and watch FELON. ASAP. 5 Stars.
Directed with pounding energy by Ric Roman Waugh and acted to the hilt by a cast comprising several of yesterday's stars proving their mettle, the movie delivers the thrills and emotion that prison movies require.
Something is very wrong here.I suppose there were aspects of this movie that were not deemed politically correct.The movie never saw the theatre circuit, so I read. Shame, really.Val Kilmer deserved an Academy Award for his performance. But, then, that would be kind of difficult to explain. Would it not?This movie is a Must See.Don't know what else to say without being cliche.
Felon looks like your ordinary movie about people who go to prison totry to escape or to fight for their lives, it's in part in the movie,about surviving in a prison ! Am I the only one who watch this andthough it was another Direct to DVD above average movie, damn, ValKilmer was doing a lot of bad stuff theses days, i enjoy conspiracy butexcept that the past 2-3 years... and he comes out with that, don't besurprised if he win prize for actor in a supporting role, he'sexcellent, he prooves why here he is a top dog !! Someone laugh at merecently when I said that stephen dorff was an excellent actor in theleagues of Christian Bale, both debut in war movies (ok Gate for Dorffbut still..) in the 80s-90s, except that Dorff did a few bad things, ithink he can come back with something as good as this, an excellentactor, remind me of a young Kiefer Sutherland !
It's really nice to stumble upon good movies when you don't expect it.Nowadays, we are becoming more and more guided by the marketing thatgoes behind the movies, to realize when we actually go see them that weare often left unsatisfied.Felon is a movie about a man who is working hard to create a life forhimself and his family, he has worked hard to establish his ownbusiness and feels as though he is finally ready to start reaping thefruits of his labour. Then, life brings a unexpected twist and he findshimself in prison. From this point on, we see transformations of a manwho is forced into a new world where he has no control.This movie is a great glimpse of the extreme conditions that theAmerican correctional system can create. It also displays very well howpeople can get corrupted by power. All the actors in this movie shineand portray perfectly their characters. The story is very well told andby the end of the movie, you are left reflecting on how thecorrectional system has so many flaws and how it drives people tobecome their worst, both as inmates and as guards. However, the filmalso shows that even in these circumstances, there are great acts ofhumanity and compassion.A very good movie, definitely worth the watch. 8/10.