Tough, violent and profane

Jack O’Connell plays the part of a hyper-aggressive and superbly ferocious inmate, Eric Love, newly transferred from juvie to an adult prison. Physically, he seems well-prepared to serve his time, mentally, he doesn't understand or respect the dynamics of an adult prison. His arrival upsets the delicate balance between inmates and guards as reflected, on a smaller scale, by the disruption of an anger management group. The movie doesn't carry a message of prison cruelty or racial segregation, rather, the expected ritual violence hides an undercurrent of desperation in the protagonist. O'Connell is simply brilliant. He effortlessly switches from enraged to vulnerable in seconds. Despite his overt aggression and his tricks with shivs and baby oil, O'Connell reminds us that Eric Love, for all his toughness, is not yet a "hardened convict". He is very young and still impressionable. O'Connell is supported by fantastic performances from Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend.

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