Starred Up

Starred Up ★★★★½

Wow! This is a brutal, incisive piece of filmmaking that is rigorous in its details and features acting of startling complexity. Jack O'Connell gives an intense, powerhouse performance as Eric and is equally matched by the ever brilliant Ben Mendelsohn in one of his best roles as Eric's father Neville. Their relationship at the center of the film is troubled, but hides a deep affection. It's surprising emotional in such a violent and uncompromising prison drama. Director David Mackenzie deserves top marks as well for the gritty authenticity he brings to the proceedings. I think it's safe to say that this is one of the best films of the year. Poignant, intense and quite possibly essential UK cinema.

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