- 1 hr 44 min
In the 2008 film Felon, Stephen Dorff plays Wade Porter, a family man who is abruptly pulled into a life of violence and crime after he is convicted of accidentally killing an intruder who broke into his home. Once inside prison, Wade is quickly exposed to the harsh realities of life behind bars. The overcrowded and understaffed facility is run by corrupt guards who turn a blind eye to the rampant violence between inmates.
As Wade tries to adjust to his new life in prison, he finds himself caught between two rival gangs. On one hand, there is the white supremacist gang led by the brutal Lieutenant Jackson (Val Kilmer), who sees Wade as a potential new recruit. On the other hand, there is the more racially diverse gang led by the intelligent and charismatic John Smith (Harold Perrineau), who offers Wade protection and a chance to survive.
Throughout the film, Wade struggles to come to terms with the violence and corruption he witnesses every day. He tries to maintain his humanity and integrity, even as he is forced to defend himself against other inmates and cope with the psychological toll of his situation. Meanwhile, his family outside of prison is also dealing with their own struggles as they try to come to terms with Wade's incarceration and the toll it takes on their relationships.
One of the most compelling aspects of Felon is its exploration of the flaws in the American justice system. The film highlights the harsh sentences and lack of resources in many prisons, which can turn nonviolent offenders into hardened criminals. The corrupt guards and prison officials also contribute to the vicious cycle of crime and violence, perpetuating the very problems they are supposed to be preventing.
Despite the bleak subject matter, Felon is also a character-driven film that offers a nuanced portrayal of its main characters. Stephen Dorff delivers a powerful performance as Wade, who struggles to hold onto his humanity amid the chaos of prison life. Marisol Nichols plays his wife Laura, who must cope with the emotional toll of her husband's incarceration while also trying to protect their family. Harold Perrineau's John Smith is a standout character, offering a complex portrait of a gang leader who is both ruthless and compassionate.
Vincent Miller plays a fellow inmate named Snowman, who befriends Wade and becomes one of his few allies in prison. He also provides some much-needed humor in an otherwise dark film, offering a welcome contrast to the violence and despair that permeate the rest of the story.
Overall, Felon is a gritty and uncompromising film that offers a sobering look at the realities of the American justice system. It is a thought-provoking exploration of crime, punishment, and the human capacity for redemption. With strong performances and a powerful message, it is definitely worth a watch for fans of prison dramas and social issue films.
Felon is a 2008 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 58.