"The Escapist... not only works as a brilliant, twisting existential expansion of the traditional prison break film; it also works as a crackerjack example." — Cinematical. Starring Damian Lewis, Joseph Fiennes, Brian Cox, Seu Jorge.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
The Irish takeover of action genres (see In Bruges) gains further momentum with the best escape movie since The Tunnel. Brian Cox stars as aging lifer Frank, the brooding brainpower behind the break. Keeping his crew close, he's got less to fear from the screws than from prison kingpin Rizza (sleazily malevolent Damian Lewis) and his psycho brother. An A-list cast (including Joseph Fiennes and Seu Jorge) refashion US B-movie prison types for the global 21st century. Director Rupert Wyatt maximises the tension by cutting up the escape itself and interweaving the painstaking preparation. — BG
"The Escapist... not only works as a brilliant, twisting existential expansion of the traditional prison break film; it also works as a crackerjack example of the traditional prison break film... The Escapist wrings jagged tension out of a fractured timeline... And while there are a few twists, there are also the pure pleasures of the [genre]... Wyatt and co-screenwriter Daniel Hardy may be exploring and exploiting the genre, but they're also smart enough to respect it for what it is." — James Rocchi, Cinematical
"The film is meticulously crafted and filled with minute details of place and plot. Director Rupert Wyatt subtly melds story and visuals to fashion an exhilarating ride through the prison milieu and the internal workings of the characters. His insightful mix of frenetic and static camerawork prompts a visceral reaction that amplifies the speed and urgency of the escape. Cox delivers a tour-de-force performance, reminiscent of classic screen heroes, that is impressive both physically and emotionally." — Trevor Groth, Sundance Film Festival