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Snoogans's Movie Reviews (3276)

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Down by Law 

2.5/4 stars

This is not the usual 'prison' film. The basic plot is very familiar, but the realism and well drawn characters are what set it apart from the crowd. Not as much time is spent in the prison as I expected. However, those are the best scenes. It's great at conveying the complete isolation and insufferable boredom that comes with prison time. This is done so by staying within the confines of the one cell. Waits and Lurie are great, but the standout is Benigni. He brings a lively atmosphere to the drab prison setting. All three make an unlikely trio of successful escaped convicts. The road to freedom doesn't feel like a victorious triumph. It's more of a way to redeem these 'wrongfully' incarcerated men and give them a second chance.


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