Tom Morton’s review published on Letterboxd:
Another week, another John Carpenter film that I didn't end up liking quite as much as I wanted to, although in this case I'll point to some suboptimal viewing conditions (the DVD defaulted to some weird surround sound mode that my speakers didn't cope with very well and for some reason I didn't think to change it until 2/3 of the way through because I'm an idiot) and admit that it's probably better than I'm currently giving it credit for.
The cast is great, Kurt is an iconic action hero, Donald Pleasance is THE least plausible American President ever, and the varied residents of New York prison are colourful and weird. Carpenter's also on top form with the score, some of his best work. Despite being a race against time and essentially action-packed, it feels very deliberately paced, which is the one thing I sometimes struggle with a bit in Carpenter's films, and is the main reason why I tend to enjoy them more on a second viewing. I shall pencil that in now.