The Last Castle

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Director:Rod Lurie
Writers:David Scarpa and Graham Yost
DreamWorks; R; 120 minutes
Cast:Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo

What would happen if people who spent time behind bars wrote the scripts for prison movies? Would they continue to be about honorable men held captive by cruel wardens? Possibly. The Last Castle follows this archetypal storyline. Robert Redford star as General Irwin, an upright army man trying to hold his own against lordly Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini), the keeper of the high-security prison where Irwin's locked-up. Their battle of wills thrusts Irwin into a position of leadership among the inmates. This is Redford, so even though his character didn't asked to be a hero, it all happens rather naturally, with the appropriate standoffs, losses, and victories.

The Last Castle is a very well-oiled prison drama. It moves like clockwork?never surprising, steadily decent. Mark Ruffalo, as a fellow prisoner, stands out as a strong foil to the primary match between Redford and Gandolfini.

Sure, The Last Castle is about criminals tried in a court of law revolting against government officials. But that doesn't stop it from being massively patriotic fare.

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