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Cell 211 [Import]


Price: CDN$ 33.11 & FREE Shipping. Details
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
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10 new from CDN$ 20.26 3 used from CDN$ 27.19

Product Details

  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Kimstim
  • Release Date: Aug. 30 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0051T46YG

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By Tommy Dooley HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Jan. 12 2012
Format: DVD
This great film from Spain (with French participation in Canal+ etc) is pretty basic in terms of plot. The main protagonist is one Juan Oliver (Alberto Ammann) - he is starting work as a prison guard in Zamora. He is keen to make a good impression so pops along in his civilian clothing a day early, just to see how things are done. He wants to make this career change work as he has a wife, Elena, who is six months pregnant.

On arrival he is shown around by his new work mates, they explain the facility is falling apart and as they do so, a piece of the ceiling collapses and hits Juan on the head, rendering him unconscious. They take him into the empty, but spooky, Cell 211. This happens to coincide with the signal for the riot to begin. Juan is out cold and his new colleagues decide to make a brave but strategic withdrawal, leaving him in the cell.

This is also no ordinary wing it is the Segregation Wing as we would call it (DSS in Spain). It houses the worst prisoners including lifers and those with full blown AIDS. It is run by a rather unsavoury character called Malamadre (Luis Tozan - who is very impressive). Juan comes around and realises that he is in the middle of a riot and quickly realise that his best bet to survive the carnage is to pretend to be a new inmate.

What unfolds in less than predictable, it is taught, well acted, brutal and gripping. The plot turns and twists are informed more by lack of professionalism on the part of the authorities than on the guile of Juan - but that plays a big part too. The inmates are all believable especially the Colombians and the ETA guys who are in a separate part of the wing, but the prisoners know all about it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great movie! July 16 2010
By A. Chouza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I really liked this movie,,, great prison thriller with believable characters and plot...

sadly it hasnt really gotten much press or attention (maybe due to the fact that it is spanish and wasnt promoted properly)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Best "prison" movie I've ever seen, subtitles and all! July 20 2011
By Joni Ruth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
If you've seen one prison movie, you've seen them all, right? Wrong! Go make your popcorn and listen because I'm trying to "do you a solid" here. What about the movies, "Escape from Alcatraz" or "The Great Escape," you might ask? I hear you, but set aside Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen for a moment, because once you've seen "Cell 211," you may just realize you've been "talking out of the side of your neck."

It is Juan Oliver's first day as a prison guard at a maximum, high-security facility. While the old guards show him around and joke about the inmates, a riot breaks out in another part of the prison. A guard is knocked down as an inmate grabs his keys. More and more angry inmates spill out of their cells. Fires are set as guards in riot gear try to contain the prisoners. But when Juan is hit on the head by falling debris and loses consciousness, the guards panic! With a band of angry inmates coming right at them, they drag their new comrade in a cell, slam the door and run.

Juan awakens in a dark cell to the smell of urine and sounds of chaos. Confused, his head throbbing, face down and grit in his teeth, Juan realizes his only hope of survival--either become an inmate and live or die a prison guard on his first day at work!

Juan soon comes face to face with Malamadre, the "baddest of the bad" who has the power to get whatever he wants. Surrounded by prisoners with fists in the air, Malamadre booms out his plan for a total takeover. Hoping to win Malamadre's trust and buy himself more time, Juan ventures to point out a hole in the plan. The room falls dead silent. Juan knows the prison layout, its security devices and the politics of negotiating, but will this knowledge help him? Or, is it just a matter of time before he is found out? To make things even more problematic, the media arrives and starts broadcasting outside the prison. The inmates gather around the TV jeering and whistling at the pretty female newscaster who is interviewing some guards from earlier in the day. Hey, check out this bitch! Shhhhh... But wait, man, that new guard looks like... naw, Malamadre's pet boy? No way! Yeah, but look, Dude... as all eyes turn toward Juan.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Spanish Prison Riot that packs a punch! Jan. 12 2012
By Tommy Dooley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This great film from Spain (with French participation in Canal+ etc) is pretty basic in terms of plot. The main protagonist is one Juan Oliver (Alberto Ammann) - he is starting work as a prison guard in Zamora. He is keen to make a good impression so pops along in his civilian clothing a day early, just to see how things are done. He wants to make this career change work as he has a wife, Elena, who is six months pregnant.

On arrival he is shown around by his new work mates, they explain the facility is falling apart and as they do so, a piece of the ceiling collapses and hits Juan on the head, rendering him unconscious. They take him into the empty, but spooky, Cell 211. This happens to coincide with the signal for the riot to begin. Juan is out cold and his new colleagues decide to make a brave but strategic withdrawal, leaving him in the cell.

This is also no ordinary wing it is the Segregation Wing as we would call it (DSS in Spain). It houses the worst prisoners including lifers and those with full blown AIDS. It is run by a rather unsavoury character called Malamadre (Luis Tozan - who is very impressive). Juan comes around and realises that he is in the middle of a riot and quickly realise that his best bet to survive the carnage is to pretend to be a new inmate.

What unfolds in less than predictable, it is taught, well acted, brutal and gripping. The plot turns and twists are informed more by lack of professionalism on the part of the authorities than on the guile of Juan - but that plays a big part too. The inmates are all believable especially the Colombians and the ETA guys who are in a separate part of the wing, but the prisoners know all about it.

Director Daniel Monzon has made a brilliant piece of cinema here, and it gets better when you see the budget and constraints he worked in (a budget of just over five and a half million Euros). It may not have an original theme but it does have an original execution. It runs to 113 minutes of mostly edge of the set stuff and I recommend you see this version before the Hollywood one comes out in 2013.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of the Greatest Movies I Have Seen in Ages Dec 14 2012
By wendy forward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Here is a masterpiece of filmmaking and storytelling virtually unknown in the US. (It won most of the major "Goya" awards in its native Spain.) "Cell 211" takes place inside the maximum security wing of a prison near Barcelona. It is like a documentary in its cruel realism (as a criminal defense attorney I have visited many jails and prisons) but perfectly realized as a fiction. The directing, writing, photography and acting are flawless, the story unbearably suspenseful and timely, involving prison and political issues. Anyone who thinks the Western European justice systems are more "humane" than our American system will think again long and hard after seeing this magnificent and harrowing movie. See it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
More than a Thriller or a Prison Movie Jan. 18 2012
By not a natural - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Cell 211 is a thriller and a prison move, and it's excellent in both respects. As with any first-rate thriller, Cell 211 will keep you perched nervously on the edge of your seat while a collection of frightening contingencies holds sway over the lives of the participants. As with any good prison movie, you'll find yourself uncertain, going back and forth about whom to cheer for. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? And what is the source of this doubt and confusion? Am I a hopelessly misguided bleeding heart or what? Yes, a first-rate thriller and a first-rate prison move, but a good deal more.

Cell 211 is fundamentally a movie about the uncertainty that, usually unnoticed, pervades modern life, the risks that are not acknowledged until circumstances and happenstance force them upon us. We are typically oblivious, not even off-handedly acknowledging the things that could go wrong. If it were otherwise, we'd go mad because there are just too many unforeseeable horrors. If you're naturally lucky or exceptionally privileged, the force-feeding of unexpected and terrible outcomes can be minimized. After all, rich people don't become prison guards and rarely go to jail. But the risks, even for them, are never completely eliminated. That's just the way the world works. That's why risk assessment has become formally institutionalized in modern organizations.

Even those who are ostentatiously cynical and who complain about the bad hand they've been dealt or the corruption and incompetence that pervade our world are vulnerable to the nastiest surprises. Cynicism is no safeguard against being taken frighteningly unaware. Pain and loss, even at their most abstract and inclusive, don't exhaust the demeaning, brutalizing, identity destroying outcomes, because they so often come as a complete shock, totally unexpected, taking forms that never occurred to us, and bringing to the fore thoughts and feelings that were once alien to our nature, but now, shockingly, we harbor them.

Why so? Because whatever our character, we have come to trust the world, thinking we know how it works, that there will be no real surprises, passing judgment and making decisions without recognizing that everything rests on a shaky foundation. Modern institutions, whether the criminal justice system, politics, religion, medicine, marriage and the family -- extend the list indefinitely -- provide us with a repertoire of commonsense expectations based on totally inadequate man-in-the-street knowledge. When the expectations aren't met, when prison guards beat to death innocent women and do so with impunity, we become outraged, confused, wary, and mistrustful. But eventually we calm down and go back to equanimity, back to a marginally modified but still intact set of expectations and taken-for-granted assumptions that trick us into making the world livable. Most of the time.

On occasion, however, the failures of modern society and the institutions we take for granted even as we sardonically berate them take a toll too heavy to bear. We see life for what it is, a crap game with rules that are routinely broken in countless ways for countless reasons, and even the people closest to us may let us down, if only because they are mortal and may simply die, leaving us alone. The arbitrary conventions that made the world interpretable and trustworthy are so badly out of whack that we retreat into psychosis, betray brethren, die prematurely from one natural cause or another, ineffectually rebel, immerse ourselves heart and soul in a meaningless social cause, or just quit, which may or may not involve suicide. This is the world that gave rise to a place and locus of activity with the sterile, bureaucratic designation Cell 211.

But let's stop for a moment. This is a prison movie. The convicts deserve to be where they are. What happens happens. Right? In this case there are notable exceptions, conspicuous institutional failures, and these are just the plainly obvious ones, and they are not the only victims. One failure begets another. For the long term, we have a dark, chilling, desperate view of the world in intense microcosm. So, yes, Cell 211 is a thriller and a prison movie, but it's a good deal more. It's life as a crap game loaded with grotesque surprises.

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