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A loving husband and father finds his promising future transformed into a waking nightmare when he's convicted of involuntary manslaughter after accidentally killing the burglar who broke into his home in this gritty prison drama starring Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer. Wade Porter (Dorff) would have done anything to protect his family, and when they were threatened he did what any caring family man would have done. But somehow everything went wrong, and now Wade has been sentenced to spend three years in a maximum-security prison. It's a place where the rules of society have been all… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's still white-knuckle tense, and held together by dozens of small, well-observed moments."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"Written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh, and filmed at the New Mexico State Penitentiary near Santa Fe, Felon is one of the most realistic prison films ever made."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"The plot expands and gets more complex as the story progresses, and the dramatic tension ratchets up"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"This tough, uncompromising, cautionary thriller should be a wake-up call about America's outrageously archaic laws insofar as defending the sanctity of home and family."
‑ Susan Granger, SSG Syndicate
"While the film is violent and decidedly tragic, the overall sensation of watching it is nothing you haven't experienced before with numerous films, from Death Warrant to Lock Up to Oz."
‑ Jordan Hiller, Bangitout.com
"Stephen Dorff's powerhouse perf as an ordinary Joe trapped behind bars with warring ethnic psychopaths propels "Felon" well ahead of its expose/exploitation brethren while still avoiding the pious learning curves of Frank Darabont's prestige prison dramas"
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"A good cast and disciplined direction add some distinction to Ric Roman Waugh's Felon, which is basically the old tale about an innocent man corrupted by a stay in prison."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"...establishes itself as a gritty, thoroughly compelling prison drama that rarely relies on the various tropes of the genre."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Felon ventures outside the prison walls so often that the audience doesnâ(TM)t get a prolonged sense of the claustrophobia of confinement; the rage being displayed actually dispels the sense of isolation and boredom."
‑ John P. McCarthy, Boxoffice Magazine
"Former stuntman Rick Waugh turns writer/director to make a compelling and gritty drama that is as much a commentary on America's failed justice/prison system as it is about the devastation suffered by an honest family man imprisoned for killing a burglar"
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Tough, brutish prison drama with an easy windup, but good acting and an uncompromising take on the prison system."
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
"A subplot involving corrupt guards makes the movie even duller than the score that sounds like a rusty squeezebox."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"Dorff, who was last spotted as a scary sexual sadist in Shadowboxer, gives a mesmerizing performance evolving from stunned civilian to brutalized inmate and dangerous prison thug, then transforming into a tested man who rediscovers his own humanity."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"Kilmer and Dorff, who was also an executive producer, immerse themselves in difficult roles and the film's overall air of social commitment will surprise viewers drawn in by its exploitation-movie promotion."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Felon flounders in convincingly resolving its protagonist's plight."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Felon on Rotten Tomatoes