Metascore
29

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Forced to work under slave-like conditions in a "prison for profit" program, the inmates of a mostly African-American female prison try to take over the institution.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 13
  2. Negative: 8 out of 13
  1. A compelling, highly charged film that brings a contemporary perspective to classic prison picture elements.
  2. Reviewed by: Walter Dawkins
    60
    Film explores the abuses rampant in woman's prisons and the powerlessness of the inmates, while telling the uplifting story of one inmate, Frances (LisaRae).
  3. Although the film loses its way in the late going with a preponderance of melodramatic elements that dilute the more compelling social message, for much of its running time it packs a visceral punch, thanks in large part to a strong cast headed by LisaRaye, N'Bushe Wright and Mos Def.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    38
    There's no question that Civil Brand has an ambitious premise, but it feels boxed in by the standard prison-movie formula.
  5. 30
    Civil Brand's aesthetic is pure mid-'70s blaxploitation, and not in an ironic or reverent sense. Even the heavy-handed political rhetoric is in keeping with the neo-blaxploitation vibe, since even bad blaxploitation movies often had revolutionary undercurrents.
  6. Before Civil Brand erupts into over-the-top melodrama (which is pretty early), it shows some interest in its characters, and in its less screechy moments the dialogue has the rough, bantering ring of actual speech.
  7. 20
    Corrupt warden, sadistic guards, new inmate debauched by her surroundings, prison-break hostage drama--could have come straight from an old George Raft vehicle.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1

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