Helen’s review published on Letterboxd:
I went into this one with high expectations, which I don't really like, but Total Film, several films podcasts and fellow film fans on here have been talking really highly of this one.
So when a film still impresses you after that, you know it's a good'un. Jack O'Connell has looked promising in his smaller or tv roles, but this film really gives him a chance to step up. And step up he does! He single handedly carries this film like a battering ram through it's running time, and I mean that as a compliment.
To say what everyone else has, it's gritty and it doesn't glamorise life behind bars, or anger management issues. It's as much a story of a father and son who have many issues and much unspoken between them as it is about being in prison, this probably gives it a different approach to other prison based films.
There's some great supporting characters in this film, I particularly enjoyed the Group therapy sessions because, call me naive, I'd like to think that working on convicts to help them, actually happens. Even if it can't be achieved, surely it's worth a shot? Anyway, politics and humans aside, this film has a lot of good acting.
One of the better British films I've watched recently and featuring a rising British star. With O'Connell's roles increasing and getting ever high profile I'm quite excited to see where they take him and how he develops.