Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) Poster

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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.
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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
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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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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8/10
Tough Game, Tough Play
Tweetienator29 October 2017
Great movie again from director Zahler - like Bone Tomahawk this movie got lots of action, tough violence and some gore and some fine twists in the storyline.

Vince Vaughn plays superb Bradley Thomas, a former boxer running wild in the prison (great: Don Johnson as the Warden of the max security prison).

Brawl in Cell Block 99 reminds me of Bronson with Tom Hardy (2008) and recently My Name Is Lenny (the story about the bare-knuckle fighter Lenny McLean, great performance by Josh Helman).

Those three movies have in common: weird, tough heroes, lots of fights and violence, great acting, and interesting story lines. And all three remind me a little bit of the classic Clockwork Orange (strange behavior, strange characters, weird storyline, violence etc.)

Anyway, all movies, including Bone Tomahawk are highly recommended - if you like your movies spiced up with some violence and the unexpected.
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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.
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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.
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