Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Aug 26, 2014
    100
    This is an unsparing picture, one whose violence, though deftly handled, is bone-crunchingly rough. Yet its emotional contours are surprisingly delicate, thanks, in large part to O’Connell’s performance.
  2. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Aug 27, 2014
    91
    It’s a credit to both Mackenzie’s talent as a director of actors and to the underlying humaneness of his vision that he argues that the right option is the more difficult and less predictable one — and that he does so without relying on sentimentality, unearned sympathy, or a happy ending.
  3. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    Mar 18, 2014
    91
    The supporting cast all do excellent work too, but this is Eric’s story, and so it’s O’Connell’s film. His performance is a revelation.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 18, 2014
    91
    Mackenzie (whose previous credits include "Perfect Sense" and "Young Adam") applies a sharp kitchen sink realism to this haunting setting and directs it toward an ultimately moving family drama that just happens to involve vicious convicts.
  5. 90
    Starred Up is an edgy, teeming thriller, brilliantly disorienting, making strange a world we thought we knew, at least from other movies.
  6. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Aug 28, 2014
    90
    Director David Mackenzie's gripping, convincing and convincingly violent convict drama owes its authenticity largely to the experiences of ex-prison therapist Jonathan Asser, who wrote its screenplay. But the opening 10 minutes are a virtuosic example of virtually wordless filmmaking.
  7. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Aug 28, 2014
    90
    The most tremendous thing about Starred Up is exactly how simple it keeps things, and what a richly nuanced story emerges in the process.
  8. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 26, 2014
    90
    Though it is, finally, an affecting story of two damaged men bound by blood and something like love (and also a thrillerish catalog of double crosses and shifting allegiances), it is, above all, a study in the patterns of chaos that govern penitentiary life.
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Aug 28, 2014
    88
    Starred Up is HEAVY with slang and accents. You won’t understand a third of it. But there’s so much going on in between the lines of dialogue that you won’t care.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 28, 2014
    88
    O'Connell, soon to head the cast of Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken," explodes onscreen in a star-is-born performance. Starred Up is a small indie film in danger of slipping through the cracks at the Hollywood-driven multiplex.
  11. Reviewed by: Elise Nakhnikian
    Aug 26, 2014
    88
    The cautious optimism with which it answers questions about rehabilitation and forgiveness is credible because the characters and setting feel so thoroughly authentic.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  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. Jan 26, 2015
    7
    Starred up is probably what you would expect of a drama in British prison.You have very good stroyline with very good conception and perfectlyStarred up is probably what you would expect of a drama in British prison.You have very good stroyline with very good conception and perfectly directing.The actors are very impressive quite cleverly they drawn us to the point of the movie .Maybe in the movie there was a some cliches but thats not a big deal in picture of the good movie . Full Review »
  3. Jan 24, 2015
    10
    I have not been to prison except to visit a loved one moved from a juvenile facility temporarily to an adult facility long ago. Perhaps thatI have not been to prison except to visit a loved one moved from a juvenile facility temporarily to an adult facility long ago. Perhaps that is partially why I was so moved by this powerful film. Not for kids or the faint of heart. Full Review »