High powered lawyer Claire Kubik finds her world turned upside down when her husband, who has been living under a false name, is arrested by military police and placed on trial for the murder of villagers while he was in the Marines.
Robert Redford stars in this action drama as General Irwin, a respected three-star tactician whose career ends in disgrace when he's court-martialed and sent to The Castle, a maximum security military prison. Irwin quickly butts heads with the facility's autocratic warden, Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini), who runs his command with an iron fist, even killing prisoners when he deems it necessary. Irwin rallies his fellow convicts into a rag-tag army and leads them in a revolt against Winter, an action that the warden is ready to repel by violent means.
In the opening minutes of the movie, Colonel Winters remarks "My God, they should be naming a base after him!", referring to the arriving prisoner General Eugene Irwin. In real-life, the U.S. Army already has a Fort Irwin, located in the Mojave Desert in California, although it is named for Major General George LeRoy Irwin. See more »
During the first firing of the trebuchet, the filmmakers reversed the image. It shows Tower #4 and the smokestack behind the trebuchet and it firing the stone to the left. If this was true, they would be shooting the rock away from the admin building. See more »
[declining fellow inmates' suggestion to have Col. Winter reported to his superiors for his crimes]
I'm not fighting anyone or anything, anymore.
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The Last Castle is a fine if somewhat predictable jail movie of redemption and determination against the odds. Having seen the previews I thought nothing of ever seeing the film, but saw it on the shelf in the video store and thought it would pass an evening.
It did that very well, and is worth seeing for at least one reason. Although Robert Redford puts in a solid performance, James Gandolfini steals this movie with his simpering, bully-boy performance. Despite knowing from the opening scene that he will undoubted lose against Redford's disgraced general, Gandolfini's depiction of a man in authority but with little power is very subtle and worth watching.
The rest of the film has some clever moments, but you see everything coming - Redford inspiring the other prisoners, the inevitable conflicts and the finale. The Last Castle is worth seeing once.
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