Punishment Park
Punishment Park (1971)

With the war in Vietnam is escalating, there is massive public protest in the United States and elsewhere. President Nixon declares a state of national emergency and the Federal authorities are given the power to detain persons judged to be… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1971
DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
J. Hoberman
Village Voice

Shot during the post-Kent State "law and order" election of 1970, Punishment Park can seem so outrageous as to verge on camp, but few other movies capture so painfully the rhetoric and desperation of the times.

Chris Barsanti

a troubling document from a time when the country seemed about to tip into chaos

Shane Burridge

Watkins' convincing cinema-verite style contradicts what we know is an historical untruth

Full review…
Anton Bitel
Eye for Film

an extraordinary film - provocative, incendiary and deeply depressing. Go out of your way to see it and spread the word, while you still can without being arrested.

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Jeremiah Kipp
Slant Magazine

Punishment Park is told in the pseudo-documentary style that defines most of the obscure body of work by British filmmaker Peter Watkins.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It is a polemic exercise between the Left and the Right, with no room for the middle point of view.

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Phil Hall
Film Threat

A wooly curio.

Leo Goldsmith
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

The film is as widely applicable to our own factious state of the union as it was to that of America in the 1970s.

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More reviews for Punishment Park

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Stella Dallas
one of the best political films from the turbulent period of leftist activism of the late 60s and still just as relevant today, what with guantanamo bay still… More
Ed Fucking Harris
A furious faux documentary made in 1971, that really encapsulates the social unrest and animosties from both sides of the fence of that era. The deal is… More
Eric Broome
The premise of this Peter Watkins mockumentary is an instant grabber. We're dropped into an alternate Vietnam-era America. The government is abusing an… More
alan jay
Searing and provocative message film about the turmoil in the early 70's and how the government could have reacted; Watkins is excellent as posing… More
Walter M.
"Punishment Park" is a chilling pseudo-documentary about political prisoners being sentenced before a judge and tribunal in violation of the… More
Dimitris Springer
For what purpose regimes order, guide, attract the public's notion?Why,by focusing in their weaknesses of,whatever that means...or to justify their… More