Starred Up

Starred Up

David Mackenzie (2013)

bbfc_rating|ages_18_and_over Certificate


Our Score
A new British star is born in this brutal but rewarding drama, with Jack O'Connell as a violent young offender transferred to an adult prison. There he must defend himself not just from other inmates but overzealous and corrupt wardens, too. Presented as a harrowing immersive experience, the film starts with O'Connell's Eric being inducted into jail, a dehumanising and humiliating process that is only a curtain-raiser to the everyday hell that is life on the wing. Scorning the best efforts of well-meaning volunteer counsellor Oliver (Rupert Friend), Eric stubbornly resists any attempt to rehabilitate him. However, a glimmer of hope appears in the unlikely form of Neville (Ben Mendelsohn), an older con with a fatherly air. That's because Neville is Eric's father - but will his form of tough love be Eric's salvation? It's a question this moving but unsentimental film pursues to its stunning climax, and though the depiction of prison justice sometimes recalls an overcooked version of Hogarth's A Rake's Progress, O'Connell commands the screen as the troubled yet somehow sympathetic antihero.


An inmate in a young offender's institution is transferred to an adult prison when he proves too violent to control. He is reunited with his father, who has spent most of his life behind bars, and comes to realise that his survival in this brutal new environment hinges on learning to control his rage. Drama, starring Jack O'Connell and Rupert Friend.

Cast & Crew

Eric Love Jack O'Connell (2)
Neville Love Ben Mendelsohn
Oliver Baumer Rupert Friend
Deputy Governor Hayes Sam Spruell
Hassan Anthony Welsh
Tyrone David Ajala
Dennis Spencer Peter Ferdinando
Ryan Ashley Chin
Governor Cardew Sian Breckin
Officer Self Tommy McDonnell
Director David Mackenzie
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: Violence, swearing, nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 21 Mar 2014