Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on the eponymous novel by one-time San Quentin inmate Edward Bunker, Animal Factory portrays the manufacture of a hardened criminal out of the middle-class clay of a newly imprisoned and once promising young man. (Silver Nitrate Releasing)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 80
    Tender, poignant, and homoerotically charged, this complicated father-son relationship is brought to life by two brilliant actors and a director who's canny enough to give them all the room they need.
  2. One of the least sensationalistic--and therefore, more unsettlingly plausible--visions of prison life ever transfigured into big-screen drama.
  3. 75
    A genre-busting film that deserves to be seen.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    In one of his best leading screen turns, Dafoe makes a potentially unlikely construct into a fascinating, full-blooded figure.
  5. 70
    Willem Dafoe steals the picture with his comic timing.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    There's something surprisingly sweet at the center of this grim prison drama.
  7. 50
    You come away with the sense that you should have come to care (or at least to know) more about its central characters than you do.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jul 1, 2012
    Animal Factory, while not outstanding, is one of the most charming and effective prison films I have seen in a long time. Actor/director Steve Buscemi has done a great job, and despite the minimal creativity in terms of cinematography it's easy to see past the film's shortcomings thanks to a stellar cast. Willem Dafoe is absolutely brilliant, demanding the viewer's attention but not overplaying the role - he portrays his character with a sly, subtle perfection that is a delight to watch. Edward Furlong is also great for the most part, and the supporting cast - especially Mickey Rourke, playing the surprising role of a prison transsexual - are all excellent too. The cast potray their characters really effectively, bringing a charismatic flair to the film that draws you in emotionally, and Buscemi shows great talent as a director in his ability to bring the best out of his actors. Though there are a few somewhat baffling scenes, and a surprisingly low-key ending, Animal Factory is a great credit to everyone involved. Expand
  2. Feb 24, 2013
    Animal Factory is the second film directed by Boardwalk Empire Star, Steve Buscemi. The story is about what happens to a young guy who is convicted of a serious crime and sentenced to Federal prison. We've all seen Oz and other shows that take you inside, but this is different. In Animal Factory, you see prison from a totally new perspective, through the eyes of someone who is basically still a child. You see that even if you can figure out how to survive, you still witness untold horrors. Edward Furlong is very underrated and great as always. Willem Dafoe is also very good in what is an unusual role for him. The movie also has some great cameos, including Mickey Rourke as a drag queen claiming to have a vagina. It's clever, well written, and isn't what you expect from a prison movie. Expand

See all 3 User Reviews