Starred Up (2013)

Starred Up (2013)

Starred Up: A Gritty and Intense Prison Drama

“Starred Up” (2013) is a gritty and intense prison drama directed by David Mackenzie. The film delves into the brutal and unforgiving world of a young offender transferred to an adult prison, exploring themes of violence, redemption, and the complexities of the father-son relationship.

Plot and Content

The film centers around Eric Love (Jack O’Connell), a volatile and troubled teenager who is “starred up,” meaning he is prematurely transferred to an adult prison due to his violent behavior. Inside the prison walls, Eric must navigate the dangerous and chaotic environment, encountering hardened criminals and corrupt guards.

As Eric tries to survive in this brutal world, he forms an unlikely bond with a fellow inmate, Neville (Ben Mendelsohn), who becomes a mentor figure. Through their relationship, Eric begins to confront his own demons and grapple with his troubled past. Simultaneously, Eric’s strained relationship with his estranged father (played by Rupert Friend) adds further complexity to the narrative.

Style and Reception

“Starred Up” is known for its raw and realistic portrayal of prison life, capturing the harsh realities and brutality that permeate the environment. The film’s handheld camerawork and gritty visual style contribute to the sense of authenticity and immediacy.

Critics praised “Starred Up” for its powerful performances, particularly Jack O’Connell’s explosive portrayal of Eric Love. The film’s unflinching exploration of violence and its examination of the cycles of anger and redemption resonated with audiences, earning it critical acclaim.


“Starred Up” is a gritty and intense prison drama that offers a compelling and visceral exploration of violence, redemption, and the complexities of human relationships. If you appreciate raw and unfiltered storytelling, authentic performances, and thought-provoking narratives, this movie provides an immersive and emotionally charged cinematic experience.

Ratings: Not Rated (but suitable for mature audiences due to strong violence, language, and adult themes)

Running time: 106 minutes

Director: David Mackenzie

Screenplay: Jonathan Asser

Release Date: September 9, 2013 (Toronto International Film Festival), March 21, 2014 (United Kingdom)

Genre: Drama, Crime

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