Comin from David Mackenzie,Starred Up is a ruthless,very realistic prison drama that introduce the best from Jack O'Connell. His raw performance is probably the major thing that sustains this movie on a high level. I liked the pace; some slowness was ok for me because that way things increased in intensity+violence. But under that restlessness clever hides acceptance for an absent father figure. 8.75/10 Mendelsohn +
The great plot development and story arc are undone by a lack of emotive parlance. Its heart is diluted with dialogue that's underwritten for proper development and drama, There's a lot of screaming and cursing here, and while that may fit the characters and even be genuine within the prison walls, it grows quite tiresome, creating a disconnect. Otherwise, this would've been masterful, instead of lukewarm.
If it weren't for Jack O'Connell's jawline I wouldn't have bothered finishing it. Very boring and unimaginative. Be prepared to see every prison film cliche mish mashed into one. Pair this with a plot that drags longer than a stubborn old man's dying breath, and you've got yet another pile of shit from this awful director who should have stopped long ago.