Directed by Rupert Wyatt
A team of inmates plans to escape a London prison.
The Escapist takes a familiar genre and turns it into a “taut thriller that ends on a note of unexpected grace,” said Jean Oppenheimer in The Village Voice. In this “impressive” debut from writer/director Rupert Wyatt, Brian Cox plays an aging lifer who needs to escape prison in order to save his daughter from drug addiction. The film, “as tightly scripted as the meticulous escape plan,” cleverly cuts between the breakout and its planning. While the film flashes back and forth, Wyatt “keeps faces close and words to a minimum,” said Jeannette Catsoulis in The New York Times. He deftly captures the “drama and the cadences of prison life,” while the editing and an “urgent, discordant” score keep the stakes high and the tension rising. The rhythm of the film is intriguing but irritating, said Stephen Farber in The Hollywood Reporter. The music is “deafening,” and the intercutting makes The Escapist “inherently static.” Still, the unexpected ending will cause you to overlook its faults and appreciate the moving story of “self-sacrifice and redemption.”