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Trailer Watch: Starred Up

David Mackenzie’s Starred Up is more or less an exemplary entry in the prison drama genre. Narratively speaking, there isn’t anything wildly original at work, as the hotheaded protagonist Eric Love (Jack O’Connell) is starred up from juvie to the same higher security prison as his estranged father (Ben Mendelsohn). There, he is quick to make enemies amongst both the incarcerated and the administration, with the one exception being a puppy-eyed counselor (Rupert Friend), who claims to see something in Eric worth healing. What sets Starred Up apart are the performances (the charismatic O’Connell has received much notice, but Mendelsohn yet again proves he can do no wrong) and economical script and direction — there isn’t an ounce of fat, no off-exchange, on the film’s bones. Tribeca Film will release Starred Up stateside on August 29.

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