STARRED UP – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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I’ve never been to prison, so I can’t know for sure, but Starred Up could be the most realistic depiction of the horribleness and the ineffectiveness of institutional incarceration that I’ve ever seen. The title might sound sort of dreamy, but it refers to the status of a young offender in the British penal system who is prematurely moved to an adult facility, which is what happens to 19-year-old Eric (Jack O’Connell)… and so, right there, is the first level of awfulness, when a young person who might have a shot at genuine rehabilitation is thrown into the midst of hardened criminals. Read more>>

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her AWFJ.org archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).