- 1 hr 25 min
Cellmates is a 2011 comedy-drama film directed by Jesse Baget and featuring an all-star cast including Tom Sizemore, Stacy Keach, and Kevin P. Farley. The story centers around an unlikely friendship between two inmates in a Texas prison in the late 1970s, one a racist senator and the other a Mexican-American barber. The film explores themes of racial prejudice, redemption, and the power of friendship. The film takes place in 1978, as U.S. Senator Armando Garcia (played by Stacy Keach) is sentenced to 30 days in a Texas prison for a drunken assault on a local sheriff. He is placed in a cell with a Mexican-American barber named Emilio (Tom Sizemore), who is serving a life sentence for murder. Despite their differences and initial mistrust, the two men eventually strike up an unlikely friendship. Senator Garcia is initially portrayed as a stereotypical racist politician, but as the film progresses, we see a more complex and sympathetic side to his character. He is struggling with personal issues, including alcoholism and marital problems, and using his time in prison as an opportunity for introspection and self-improvement. Throughout the film, he gradually comes to see Emilio as a human being rather than a racial stereotype, and the two men bond over shared experiences and interests. Emilio, meanwhile, is a more sympathetic character from the outset. He is a skilled barber who takes pride in his work and dreams of opening his own barbershop someday. He is haunted by the memory of the murder he committed, but also filled with regret and remorse. He initially keeps his distance from Senator Garcia, seeing him as just another privileged white man who doesn't understand the struggles of working-class minorities. However, as they spend more time together, Emilio comes to see the Senator as a flawed but ultimately decent human being, and the two men begin to open up to each other in meaningful ways. The film is filled with colorful supporting characters, including a hard-nosed prison warden, a sympathetic chaplain, and a group of black inmates who initially clash with Senator Garcia but eventually come to appreciate his efforts to bridge racial divides. The dialogue is sharp and witty, with plenty of humorous moments to balance out the more serious themes. Overall, Cellmates is a heartfelt and entertaining film that tackles important social issues with humanity and humor. It is a testament to the power of human connection, and the transformative potential of even the most unlikely friendships. The performances are excellent across the board, with Keach and Sizemore in particular delivering nuanced, nuanced portrayals of characters who are initially at odds but eventually find common ground. If you're looking for a moving and thought-provoking film that also happens to be a lot of fun, Cellmates is definitely worth checking out.