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The Last Castle
A three-star General is court-martialed, stripped of his rank, and sent to a military prison. His defiance earns the respect, but then the resentment, of the iron-fisted warden. The warden's attempts...  View more >

Starring Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Sam Ball...  View more >

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Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Oct 15, 2001
It's not often that a film strikes on an original idea and then carries it out successfully, but "The Last Castle" achieves that notoriety. The last film to do this in recent memory was "A Simple Plan," which was so original that it made other films appear more formula than ever. The Last Castle does not approach that level of quality, and I'm sure no one will be receiving Oscar® nominations for it, but its originality is no less refreshing.

At 64 years old, most actors are looking at playing roles in senior citizen films that focus on their advanced years. Robert Redford looks like the veteran actor he is, but he's still got his trademark expressions, and his abilities carry this film to a level that would not have been achieved with a lesser actor at the helm. He is completely believable as a military General that, while court-martialed for disobeying orders, has not lost the discipline and honor that defines a true soldier.

Another excellent casting choice was that of James Gandolfini as the prison warden. A soldier who's never seen the battlefield, he treasures his collection of battlefield artifacts, which his new prisoner dismisses as evidence of not understanding what it really means to be a soldier. While someone like Gene Hackman could have played the role in a more evil fashion, Gandolfini balances between evil and cowardice acccurately.

I thought the story was well done and did not stretch the limits of believability too far. The "chess match" between the General and the Warden lends a thought-provoking side to what could have been just another prison action film.

It's well worth the price of admission, highly recommended!
[--- Good ---]by  
Oct 21, 2001
Redford and Gandolfini made this thing work! Their acting was great, however ... the plot was thin. Being presented like a chess match held it together. This movie more than makes up for the shortcomings of the plot.

It provides alot of high-level, thought provoking scenes full of subtleties. It especially provides a lot of 'ammunition' for the analytically inclined. It moved you from 'what you see', to 'what you think'!

There's a lot of ego in Redford's role. The symbolism of the 'castle wall' was a bit elusive. But nobody provides such meaningful facial expressions as Gandolfini, the Warden. Worth seeing!
May 14, 2003
A tired retrend on the prison movies inwhich you know ahead of time that a riot is breaking out. Robert Redfors plays a three-star general who lead the immates against a tyrant warden, played by James Gandolfini. I've seen better prison movies than that.

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