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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Earnest but uninspired prison drama has violence, language.

Movie R 2019 104 minutes
Imprisoned Poster Image

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An earnest but uninspired attempt to tell a strong story about the Puerto Rican people, this prison/revenge drama comes across as a serious soap opera, flat and full of overly familiar elements. Imprisoned coasts along at an even keel, using montages to show the passing of time and shaky-cam for tense moments -- and telegraphing each dramatic moment miles in advance. The movie has no surprises except for a few times when it simply defies logic, oblivious to the way things really operate.

Fishburne at least seems to relish his villainous role, finding solid middle ground in which Calvin's treachery springs from a place of righteousness, rather than simple mustache-twisting meanness. And it's hard not to care for Maria and Dylan; they have lots of chemistry and a genuine goodness about them that's hard to resist. A handful of legendary character actors, like Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales, and John Heard, have less to do, but their presence is nonetheless welcome. Overall, Imprisoned isn't so much a bad movie as it is flavorless.

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