Jack O’Connell

’71 Review

There are many different types of war movies. They run the gamut from traditional (Saving Private Ryan, which defined the modern template), larger-than-life biopics (Patton), exploitation takes (Inglourious Basterds) and deadly serious ones (Schindler’s List). And as we’ve moved further away from the most filmed conflicts (WW2 and Vietnam), there’s been a slew of war-on-terror films ushering in a new era of kinetic and brutal war pics (like Black Hawk Down, The Hurt Locker and Lone Survivor). (more…)

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Starred Up Review

Starred Up (2014)

Dir: David Mackenzie

Prison’s long been a ripe setting for drama and The Prison Movie is a storied genre with many stellar entries. The past few years have seen some standouts from Europe, including the surreal Bronson from Danish auteur Nicolas Winding Refn, and the Godfather-esque Un prophète from French visionary Jacques Audiard. You can now add the incendiary Starred Up to that list, as it’s a first rate masterpiece of the genre that delivers a cracking blow to staid senses.

Jack O’Connell gives a star-making performance as the 19 year old inmate Eric Love who’s been prematurely transferred to adult prison (“starred up” in UK slang) after a string of mostly unnamed offenses. The inhumanity of the intake system of prison is laid out in deliberate detail in the opening scenes as you begin to (more…)