Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Sylvester Stallone
Donald Sutherland
John Amos
Tom Sizemore.
Directors
John Flynn.
Screenwriters
Richard Smith
Jeb Stuart.
Running Time
115 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Vacation
2 Star Empire Rating
Strange Magic
2 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Love
3 Star Empire Rating
Pressure
3 Star Empire Rating
Misery Loves Comedy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

Lock Up
Donald Sutherland discovers his dark side in this sadistic little twist of the little guy (Stallone - not so little, but you get our meaning).


submit to reddit


Plot
Frank Leone (Stallone) is a model prisoner and is looking forward to freedom. Unfortunately, a prison warden from his past has other ideas, dragging Frank to his joint aka Gatewood aka House of Pain aka "the worst shithole in the system."


Review
All muscles and masochism, blood and brutality, Stallone proves as always he can take it as well as dish it out, but this is never anything more than an assembly-by-numbers exercise, geared to his standard brand of sleeveless integrity. With its sombre, predominantly grey-and-white visual style, the film does well by its real prison locations (Rahway prison, East Jersey), but the drama in general and Sutherland’s character in particular stay cardboard and paste.

The plot, falling over itself to keep Sly free of any taint of criminality (the escape was to see his dying stepdad, the sentence for beating up some burglars), at the same time pads out its paper-thin premise with a couple of variations on the old Rocky stand-bys: The Training Sequence and The Match. Lock Up is hardly impressive, but it does pass the time pardonably well. And, with a big electric chair confrontation at the end, it has the good sense to keep its funniest and most exciting scene till the last.


Verdict
A hard-boiled version of Rocky, with enough anti-Balboa brutality to keep our interest.


Reviewed by Tom Tunney

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Black Mass Trailer Breakdown With Director Scott Cooper
Find out what's what with Johnny Depp's take on Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Read Empire's official verdict

Empire Meets Joely Richardson
On Maggie, Arnie and Event Horizon

100 Greatest Movie Characters
The complete list of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

Vote Now For Your Favourite TV Shows
Pick your top five - if you can...

Paul Rudd Is Awesome
Being awesome: from Clueless to Ant-Man

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)