AndersonVision Best Films of 2017: #15 – Brawl in Cell Block 99 (RLJE Films)


“Brawl in Cell Block 99” stuck with me after I first saw it. So, I watched it five more times. The film plays like a Walter Hill movie where you wonder if Charles Bronson/Powers Boothe/Fred Ward/Michael Pare is starting to get off on their situation. Vince Vaughn plays boxer turned drug runner Bradley. Bradley has a certain way of doing things, so committing some dark acts once he gets locked up isn’t too wild.

Many modern viewers will take issue with the onslaught of violence and having such a male dominated movie. Those people are morons and should be ignored while preparing to watch this film. “Brawl in Cell Block 99” is about how systematic violence can become second nature to most. It’s not that you enjoy being the hell out of people. It just becomes a job and a means to advance out of the mire. As Vaughn says in the film, “South of OK, North of Cancer”.

The throwback efforts to the Grindhouse era was quite noticeable, but the movie rises above film nerdom aesthetic wank. You will feel every hit in this movie, as Vaughn fights his way to the top. Plus, Udo Kier is amazing in it. Check it out.


  • R
  • 2 hrs and 12 mins
  • RLJE Films


  • 96%
    Film Score - 96%

The Plot Thus Far

A former boxer-turned-drug runner lands in a prison battleground after a deal gets deadly.

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