(2013)

Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
Mackenzie (whose previous credits include "Perfect Sense" and "Young Adam") applies a sharp kitchen sink realism to this haunting setting and directs it toward an ultimately moving family drama that just happens to involve vicious convicts.
91
The Playlist
The supporting cast all do excellent work too, but this is Eric’s story, and so it’s O’Connell’s film. His performance is a revelation.
90
Though it is, finally, an affecting story of two damaged men bound by blood and something like love (and also a thrillerish catalog of double crosses and shifting allegiances), it is, above all, a study in the patterns of chaos that govern penitentiary life.
88
Slant Magazine
The cautious optimism with which it answers questions about rehabilitation and forgiveness is credible because the characters and setting feel so thoroughly authentic.
80
Empire
A brutal, immersive prison survival story with a breakout performance by British actor Jack O’Connell.
80
The details ring true and the performances smart in Mackenzie’s prison movie. You wouldn’t meet Jack O’Connell’s tasty glare in a boozer, but try taking your eyes off him here.
80
Variety
The pic owes its believability to Asser, who served as a therapist similar to Oliver’s character, drawing from his experience to shape the world. Asser brings more than just realism, however, crafting the central father-son relationship on the foundation of classical Greek tragedy.
70
Some years from now, Starred Up, a rough, violent and, to American ears, half-indecipherable British prison drama, will be remembered as the film that announced a new star, Jack O’Connell.
60
Time Out London
It’s disappointing when Starred Up begins to lapse into soapy cliché.
60
It's halfway-strong, just under-dramatised; goodness, though, if it doesn't show what O'Connell is capable of.

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