Title refers to the U.K. practice of moving exceptionally violent juvenile offenders to adult prisons. One such graduate is feral 19-year-old Eric [the explosive Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, ’71)]. One of his fellow inmates is his prison-powerful lifer dad (the always good Ben Mendelsohn), whose abandonment of the boy at age 5 is one of the causes of his viciousness.
David Mackenzie’s viscerally authentic film is brutal to be sure, but also a deeply humane look at the emotional life of inmates. A twisted family drama. The script is by a former prison therapist. You may be reluctant to see this; overcome it. Japanese title: Namo naki Heino Nakano Ou. (106 min)