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Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Summary: A loving family man with a promising future, Wade Porter suddenly loses everything when he accidentally kills the burglar who broke into his home. Convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Wade is sentenced to spend the next three years inside a maximum security facility where the rules of society no longer apply. Forced to share a cell with a notorious mass murderer and subjected to brutal beatings orchestrated by the sadistic head prison guard, Wade soon realizes he’s in for the fight of his life and must become the toughest Felon of them all if he’s to survive the block. For what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. And in state prison, only the strongest will survive. (Sony Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. 75
    Felon's dialogue is overheated and some of its plot twists are preposterous, yet it's still white-knuckle tense, and held together by dozens of small, well-observed moments.
  2. Mr. Dorff’s hot-wired portrayal of a prisoner under physical and psychic siege gives Felon its emotional through line as Wade’s attitude metamorphoses from stunned disbelief, to terror, to despair, to fury and finally to hope.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    70
    The most startling performance comes from Val Kilmer as Wade's hardened cellmate, a man who combines bitterness with wisdom.
  4. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    60
    Harold Perrineau gives unintentionally comic expression in Felon to the delineation between his character's public and private scruples.
  5. 50
    A good cast and disciplined direction add some distinction to Ric Roman Waugh's Felon, which is basically the old tale about an innocent man corrupted by a stay in prison.
  6. Val Kilmer, as a polite horn-rimmed sociopath with a heart of gold, keeps showing up to drop Nietzschean pensées.
  7. There are times when a Kilmer performance is like watching a clock move: well-timed and oddly compelling, even though it's totally predictable. That's the case with Felon, which doesn't belong to Kilmer but which he steals anyhow.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    8
    Felon surprise me a lot when I first saw it. The movie had a limited release and then it went direct to DVD. It plays a strong message about prison life and it's not a pretty picture.

    Stephen Dorff plays ordinary Wade Porter a working class man with a beautiful wife and son. He receives good news about future plans with his business. He has the perfect life until one night an intruder enters his home to rob. His first mistake was to chase after him outside of the house. He accidentally hits him in the back of the head with a baseball bat thinking he had a gun which he didn't. He gets charged with murder but the district attorney has compassion and lets him serve three years in jail but will be release on good behavior in fifteen months if he keeps that way. He goes to jail and that's when he enters a world that he really can't understand. He goes through a lot of crazy stuff especially a brutal and psychotic correctional officer. He then meets John Smith played by Val Kilmer who is a veteran in prison and at first a little bit distant to him. Throughout Wade's time there they form a somewhat friendship; and Smith starts teaching him ways to tolerate prison life. The key thing that makes this movie work is the performances which are very top notch. Val Kilmer we miss you on the big screen when are you coming back. Thunderheart, Top Gun, Tombstone, The Doors those were awesome movies where you great and hopefully Macgruber doesn't suck. Kilmer plays John Smith to the core and he's very imposing, Kilmer did his research. Dorff played a very sympathetic performance and convinced me all the way. I seriously thought he was a lost cause ever since from being the villain Decon Frost in Blade which he was pretty good. These two actors own the movie and they have great chemistry. The movie loses a potential fifth star because the prison scenes are very brutal and unforgiving and it's not an easy movie to watch. I understand prison life is not easy and I can't say I have experience it, I can only imagined it and hopefully never experience it. However, the movie would make audience feel a shock is coming on every reel when we're suppose to care more about the characters and plot not the next blow to the head. Although Felon surprise me a lot and it's worth to watch for the performances of Kilmer and Dorff.
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  2. Dec 10, 2013
    7
    A good solid movie but not a memorable one. My main concern is how predictable the plot is, it never felt like something unexpected would happen and it rarely did.

    Plot 7
    Maybe it would have been better if it evolved at a slower pace, it never feels like months had passed, which kinda remembers me of that movie "A Hijacking". A movie that is focused on the drama of being trapped somewhere for a long time has to give the viewer a good sense of time passage.

    Acting 9
    All actors were great.

    Cinematography 9
    I really liked the moving nature of the camera and the final montage

    Drama 6
    Not only the plot organization didn't help, the movie failed to make me feel the problems of the main characters, it just doesn't feel like a big deal and it doesn't feel like anything is at stake.

    Its a good movie worth watching, but there's nothing special about it.
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  3. Jun 13, 2013
    5
    it's one of those movies that you can't like, or hate.
    most movies that you can't like or hate, have a good scenes and bad ones,
    but this is
    different, the fact that they tried to give you a taste of prison and prisoners without actually going deep didn't work at all, it's make you feel that the story is shallow,
    the performances were ok but Harold Perrineau can't act at all,
    they give him a well-dressed character but he wasn't able to fill his role,
    and that actually left a big gap opened,and then the story and how they tried to convince us about the reality of prisons, it just didn't work.
    Expand

See all 16 User Reviews

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