Starred Up

Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 26, 2014
    60
    Starred Up isn't just violence for violence's sake. Rather, it is a surprisingly layered, hard-hitting human drama, one that cuts to the bone -- albeit with a homemade prison knife.
  2. Reviewed by: Daniel Green
    Aug 26, 2014
    60
    Having constructed such a dramatically enticing set-up, it's thus disappointing to see Mackenzie fall back on familiar generic tropes with such a frustrating sense of inevitability.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Mar 18, 2014
    60
    It's halfway-strong, just under-dramatised; goodness, though, if it doesn't show what O'Connell is capable of.
  4. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Mar 18, 2014
    60
    It’s disappointing when Starred Up begins to lapse into soapy cliché.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Aug 27, 2014
    10
    Smart script, powerful story from start to finish, realistic style and terrific performance from Jack O'Connell, MacKenzie successfully makesSmart script, powerful story from start to finish, realistic style and terrific performance from Jack O'Connell, MacKenzie successfully makes "Starred Up" hitting your feeling and your mind as hard as the prison life always be. It's easily one of the best prison drama film I ever seen. Full Review »
  2. May 7, 2016
    8
    Starred Up is a truly refreshing breath of fresh air into the prison subgenre. Often, these films can feel quite repetitive. Yet, here, it isStarred Up is a truly refreshing breath of fresh air into the prison subgenre. Often, these films can feel quite repetitive. Yet, here, it is a truly unique offering that may touch on similar notes as past prison films, but has a lot of worthy topics to bring to the table. Jack O'Connell is honestly mesmerizing here as he commands the screen and struggles with the world around him due to his damaged past. O'Connell's brilliance and passion are matched perfectly by Ben Mendelsohn in a truly aggressive, yet truly gentle father role. Rupert Friend and the rest of the cast also do quite well here in this film from director David Mackenzie. Thanks to the good writing and solid direction from Mackenzie, O'Connell's performance is allowed to take center stage and really tell the story at times. This film is packed to the absolute brim with emotion from its actors and its stories and it truly makes good on all of the emotional drama it presents. Overall, Starred Up is a fantastic character study that really makes you feel as though you are in prison with the characters. Full Review »
  3. Feb 13, 2016
    6
    Decent enough British prison drama that falls short of greatness. Tightly scripted, well acted and well directed, it suffers from a real lackDecent enough British prison drama that falls short of greatness. Tightly scripted, well acted and well directed, it suffers from a real lack of emotional depth.
    The main character, although going an emotional change in himself as the film progresses, doesn't engage the audience enough to make them care for him. He's just a really nasty bastard, and ultimately ends up in an 'adult' prison because he's aggressive and violent. The film tries to pitch the idea of a group therapy session allowing him to open up and connect with fellow inmates within that group... But the film makes no effort to explain why only those particular inmates make it into this 'anger management' therapy session, when it seems everyone in the prison suffers from extreme violent tendencies!
    All in all, it's worth watching if you enjoy your films violent, excessively profane, and don't expect too much development through a cohesive narrative and compelling characterisation.
    Full Review »