The Last Castle

2001

Action / Drama / Thriller

21
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 52%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 74%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 63130

Synopsis


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1.09 GB
1280*522
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 11 min
P/S 15 / 106
2.1 GB
1920*784
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 11 min
P/S 23 / 82

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Frederick Smith 10 / 10

Despite the setting, this movie has little to do with prisons.

Despite the setting, this movie has little to do with prisons. Rod Lurie's vision, combined with the extraordinary talents of Robert Redford and James Gandolfini, is a morality play set in the most unlikely of locations. We have a man who has risen to the height of his potential, the Colonel, who will never advance above that rank, and is bitter with his role in life. He is an administrator among soldiers who wanted to be a soldier and was instead given the task of maintaining order at a prison. That he could show leadership by helping these men to regain their self respect and dignity has escaped him, and he is content to amuse himself by creating situations which lead to the prisoners becoming the animals he believes them to be. When the General comes to his prison, he thinks he has found a kindred spirit who can appreciate his manipulation of the men. To his disappointment, he finds the General a thoughtful and honorable soldier who has chosen to accept his punishment without excuse or explanation. While the Colonel must fight to maintain control, his methods and his intellect lack humanity and understanding. The General is given control by the prisoners because of his intellect and understanding. He offers the prisoners the one thing the warden cannot, dignity. Rated R for language and violence, this film is not for everyone, and certainly not for the very young. It is, however, an essential element in the creation of a leader, and should be seen by anyone who aspires to lead.

Reviewed by moonspinner55 6 / 10

Highly unlikely, but entertaining nonetheless...

A prisoner's fantasy: decorated U.S. General Robert Redford has been Court Marshalled for disobeying orders during wartime--which resulted in the deaths of eight soldiers--and is sent to a prison for violent criminals (!). He immediately gets on the wrong side of warden James Gandolfini and rallies the inmates to take control of the yard. Fairly typical genre picture with all the usual details, including the stuttering innocent whose bad treatment becomes a catalyst in the warring sides. The film is well-cast and has some fine passages, yet the heavy symbolism (with flying flags, chess moves and endless talk of castles) comes off as self-important in a movie which uses its entire second half to allow violent criminals to run roughshod over security. Redford gives a modest, self-effacing performance--he's so noble he's like visiting royalty; Gandolfini plays his Colonel like an offended child, affecting a soft but precise, lispy voice, giving the one-dimensional role some unexpected subtext. The handsomely photographed film looks great and works its way slyly on the viewer until all defenses are down, but in retrospect its earnestness seems woefully silly. **1/2 from ****

Reviewed by bamabryant 8 / 10

Redford has the ability to fade

Redford's ability to fade into a character is profound. Sometimes an actor who has been in the business a very long time will become larger than any role he plays... John Wayne for example (with a couple of exceptions). He becomes Eugene Irwin in this movie. This movie isn't about Redford's character, just like "The Legend of Bagger Vance" isn't really about Bagger Vance. The Last Castle is about honor to one's self and honor among soldiers, even if they are prisoners. James Gandolfini's portrayal of a colonel who knows nothing of this honor or brotherhood is excellent. He makes you despise his character. Colonel Winters is a deeply disturbing study of corrupt power and jealousy of others' glory. A fine ensemble cast of characters make this movie well worth watching.

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