Starred Up

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United Kingdom | 2013 | 106 Minutes | David Mackenzie

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In this powerful, visceral, and gritty drama from director David Mackenzie (Young Adam), an explosively violent teenage inmate intentionally gets himself transferred to an adult prison, planning to confront a very familiar prisoner–his own father.

When 19-year-old Eric (Jack O'Connell), arrogant and ultra-violent, is prematurely transferred to the same adult prison facility as his estranged father (Ben Mendelsohn), his explosive temper quickly finds him enemies with both prison authorities and fellow inmates. Eric is approached by a volunteer psychotherapist (Rupert Friend, "Homeland"), who runs an anger management group for prisoners. Torn between gang politics, prison corruption, and a glimmer of something better, Eric finds himself in a fight for his own life, unsure if his own father is there to protect him or join in punishing him.

Written by prison system therapist Jonathan Asser and directed by David Mackenzie, Starred Up is a merciless, uncompromising portrayal of a dehumanizing life behind bars.

"Tough, violent and profane... anchored by superb performances." - A.O. Scott, New York Times

"Mackenzie isn't attempting to craft a larger-than-life antihero here, but delving into the sociology of this hellish subculture, where prisoners and staff alike coexist in this dehumanizing environment." - Peter Debruge, Variety

  • Director: David Mackenzie
  • Principal Cast: Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 106 Minutes
  • Language: English
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Tribeca