User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40

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  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. Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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.
    Expand
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    60
    Harold Perrineau gives unintentionally comic expression in Felon to the delineation between his character's public and private scruples.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.