Starred Up is an intense UK prison drama directed by David Mackenzie (Tonight You’re Mine), and written by Jonathan Asser, whose time as a prison therapist inspired the film. Starred Up premiered last year at the Telluride Film Festival, and went on to play at several other festivals including Tribecca, Toronto International, and BFI London. It’s earned noticable amounts of critical praise, as the trailer for its impending U.S. release will tell you, with quotes like “An instant classic,” and “Career launching performance” – referring to the lead, Jack O’ Connell – peppered throughout.
19-year-old Eric, arrogant and ultra-violent, is prematurely transferred to the same adult prison facility as his estranged father. As his explosive temper quickly finds him enemies in both prison authorities and fellow inmates—and his already volatile relationship with his father is pushed past breaking point—Eric is approached by a volunteer psychotherapist, who runs an anger management group for prisoners. Torn between gang politics, prison corruption, and a glimmer of something better, Eric finds himself in a fight for his own life, unsure if his own father is there to protect him or join in punishing him. Written by prison system therapist Jonathan Asser, STARRED UP is a merciless, uncompromising portrayal of a dehumanizing life behind bars.
Starred Up will come to U.S. theaters later this year.