Brawl in Cell Block 99 ★★★½

This movie starts out slow, but it's a deceptive tempo. It keeps a steady trajectory down into the darkness, both figuratively and literally, and it's pretty damn dark at the bottom. You know when Udo Kier appears in a movie there is a good chance things are getting serious.

It has a gritty and realistic feel to it, both from how it is shot and how the violence plays out. It doesn't have that much action but when it happens it packs a visceral punch that I have rarely experienced in a movie.

At the core it's a drama about characters trapped in a situation that they pretty much put themselves in, so it's hard to really sympathize with anyone apart from the wife. It's definitely not an "action" movie, but there are definitely parts in there that I would put in the thriller genre.

I liked it, but this is not a feel-good movie by any stretch of the imagination. I wouldn't recommend it as a first date movie. Or any date, really. If you enjoy movies like Se7en, Prisoner and other dark, violent and depressing movies, give it a shot.