(R, 1:34:30, Released 2000)
|Genres:||Mystery & Suspense, Drama|
|Release Date:||Oct 20, 2000|
|DVD Release Date:||Jan 9, 2001|
|Starring:||Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Seymour Cassel, Mickey Rourke, Steve Buscemi, Tom Arnold, John Heard, Danny Trejo, Edward Bunker, Michael Buscemi|
|Directed by:||Steve Buscemi|
|Synopsis:||Actor-turned-director Steve Buscemi follows up on his restrained 1996 directorial debut Trees Lounge (1996) with this gritty, understated prison drama. Twenty-one-year-old suburban kid Ron (Edward Furlong) got busted for dealing drugs and slapped with an especially severe jail sentence. Though he tries to keep a low profile at prison, he soon attracts unsavory attention of various sex-starved goons. Fearing rape, he appeals directly to Earl (Willem Dafoe), a fellow prisoner who runs the place like it was his own fiefdom. Though Ron's request is strictly against this rarified culture's baroque rules, Earl takes him under his wing, and soon he is a part of Earl's inner circle. Slowly Ron learns the breadth of Earl's power, ranging from the easy procurement of drugs to the violent dispatching of a prisoner who gets out of line. As Ron grows increasingly indebted to Earl, he wonders how he is expected to repay him. Yet Earl, who shows his fondness for the lad with fatherly tenderness counterbalanced with repressed yearning, never pushes his advantage. Other members of the cast include Tom Arnold as a salivating hill-billy and an almost unrecognizable Mickey Rourke as a cross-dressing prison queen. This film was highly praised at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
April 29, 2012
Steve Buscemi proves here the extent of his talent, both as a screen presence and as a fine director. Willem Dafoe and Edward Furlong share great chemistry and Danny Trejo brings in a few laughs to the more realistic and gritty prison drama than that of The Shawshank Redemption. It isn't deserving of it's forgotten film status, it has brilliant performances and it is consitently interesting. Dafoe should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance which was even more powerful than Robbins or Freeman in Shawshank. A powerful and realistic film about having to adapt to your surroundings.
April 28, 2012
Somewhat edgy, somewhat anticlimactic. Buscemi's directing is superb but his casting is hit & miss.
April 21, 2012
Earl Copen: Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven.
"On the Inside the Rules Are Brutal and the Stakes Are High"
Steve Buscemi can definitely direct. Animal Factory was his follow up to the very good character driven alcoholic drama, Trees Lounge. Like his debut, this film has a very gritty, independent feel to it. Animal Factory is also very character driven as well, and the performances are good across the board, especially Willem Dafoe; but would you expect any different. Edward Furlong is well cast as the new fish in the prison. His character stands out as a small, young, and inexperienced inmate, that is thrown into a prison with ruthless criminals. He is taken under the wing of a institutionalized convict named Earl. Earl shows him the ropes and helps him out of some situations that he wouldn't have been able to get himself out of. The great thing about Animal Factory is how it makes you like the criminals without inserting any doubt of their innocence or guilt. We like Earl because of how he helps Ron, despite the fact that he is a ruthless and drug addicted criminal.
Animal Factory doesn't go out of its way to insert any added drama. It feels very held back, when lesser films may have chosen to insert dumb little subplots to make the viewer feel more at home. This is one of those movies you appreciate even more when you look at some of the other efforts from the genre. Where those movies go wrong, this one doesn't. It doesn't simplify or intensify any part of the plot in order to get reactions from the audience. This may put off some viewers, but I really respect movies that are try and succeed at doing just that. This is just a realistic portrayal of prison life, shot in a real prison, with real inmates. It can't get much more realistic than that. It isn't a Shawshank Redemption caliber film, but it is a damn good one. Entertaining and powerful, without being melodramatic or overblown.
May 26, 2010
Directed by Steve Buscemi, Animal Factory is a tough prison drama following young convict Edward Furlong as he is taught the ropes of life behind bars by institutionalized inmate Willem Dafoe. Its lack of either melodrama or sensationalism is admirable, and solid writing and good performances for the most part make this a worthy and interesting window onto the ins and outs of prison existence. Willem Dafoe and Danny Trejo are completely believable as the two hard bitten convicts who take Furlong under their wing. The message is that imprisonment may just mean that otherwise good kids who have made a mistake will be transformed into career criminals if they are surrounded by men who will do nothing but take advantage of them or teach them nothing but the "tricks of the trade". Unfortunately the weak link in the performance chain is Furlong himself, who doesn't really capture the transformation of character to get the point across. I also felt the ending was a little bit of anti-climax, but as a whole it's one of the better prison films I've seen and well worth a look for its more realistic approach .
September 25, 2009
Steve Buscemi isn't just a pretty face ;o) He?s a brilliant director! Great cast, great film!
October 22, 2008
Nothing new here. Entertaining, but not special. Prison sucks, join gangs or die, and escape at the end. Clean cut.
July 27, 2008
Not bad But it's a typical prison movie & has nothing special
April 24, 2011
Animal Factory is the second film directed by Boardwalk Empire Star, Steve Buscemi. The story is about what happens to a young guy who is convicted of a serious crime and sentenced to Federal prison. We've all seen Oz and other shows that take you inside, but this is different. In Animal Factory, you see prison from a totally new perspective, through the eyes of someone who is basically still a child. You see that even if you can figure out how to survive, you still witness untold horrors. Edward Furlong is very underrated and great as always. Willem Dafoe is also very good in what is an unusual role for him. The movie also has some great cameos, including Mickey Rourke as a drag queen claiming to have a vagina. It's clever, well written, and isn't what you expect from a prison movie.
fb100001266995067June 3, 2012
I will never understand why this film got so much critical acclaim. Yes Dafoes performance was absolutely stunning everyone else was very rubbish especially furlong. I felt zero emotion from him whatsoever his character was annoying. Another major problem is that they make this sound like a very corrupt and Bad prison but yet they didn't show it. Yes there were scenes of violence and a scene of attempted rape but they didn't get in detail enough to make you feel it. All that Dafoes performance offered was to point out how bad the other performances were. It was plain and boring and I can't think of more than one thing I liked about. This movie does not get my recommendation.
July 14, 2008
August 9, 2007
I found this film pretty boring. It mostly shows what life in prisons is like. If you want to see a good film like that, I'd say Shawshank Redemption is a way better option.
January 11, 2013
Buscemi directs an average movie about a young man in prison. The cast is pretty good but there really is nothing new in Animal Factory. Its watchable and decent but hardly anything groundbreaking
November 5, 2010
Pretty good, the performances were great. And it was quite interesting to watch. Recommended to anyone who likes prison films.
November 15, 2009
It was a bit anti-climatic. Needed to be jazzed up a little bit. Otherwisde, it was an excellent movie on prison life. Not to mention, scattered of weird cameos and charactors portrayed by B grade actors (Tom Arnold) and one A list actor (Rourke).
August 25, 2009
This film was instantly hypnotic, plainly and elegantly stated in absolute realism. rough and realistc, extremely well acted, and excellent direction.
This film is strongly driven;
Edward Furlong, Willam Dafoe, and my favorite Performance Mickey Rourke.
November 9, 2008
A brilliant film in every way. Probably the best prison film you will ever see, if you can avoid seeing Shawshank. The acting is perfect.
August 12, 2008
This one totally slipped under the radar. A friend of mine let me borrow this and promised that it was a great movie. I tend to agree for the most part. Luckily I was a fan of HBO's Oz, in which this movie plays out like a 1.75hr episode of the show. Willem Dafoe is a great actor. I have never seen him give a bad performance. Once again, Edward Furlong is stuck in the supporting role. Aside from Brainscan, he has never had top billing (probably because of the rating of Brainscan). He does have talent but you really don't see him popping up anymore. It was a great surprise to see Tom Arnold pop up as some hillbilly trying to make Furlong his bitch. I can say that this was a good movie, but don't see myself watching it that many more times. It was good once and that is the extent of it for me. Seems that Buscemi can actually make it as a director. Hopefully someone with throw him a few scripts. Also, it was great to see Mickey Rourke play a drag queen named Jan the Actress. The story was average and flat but the acting was great. I would check this one out if you ever get a chance.
November 9, 2007
Furlong and Dafoe's chemistry is off the charts. Buscemi managed to make this prison movie stand out.
April 3, 2007
This was a very good prison film especially seeing as how it was Steve Buscemi's first and if I'm certain only shot at directing. This was a movie that hasn't ever really gotten a lot of attention but really is a great film with an awesome cast.
Edward Furlong gives a great performance as a 21 year old sent to prison for the first time and completely unaware of what he is getting into. But he becomes friends with a character played by Willem Dafoe and Dafoe gives yet another great performance. Something that we have gotten used to seeing out of him. Dafoe teaches Furlong all about prison and the things you have to do to survive. Other great acting jobs in this movie were given by Danny Trejo and Mickey Rourke. Mickey Rourke plays a cross dresser in this film and man does he make an ugly woman.
All in all a very good underground film that not many people have heard of full of great performances.
August 9, 2006
Willem Dafoe and Eddie Furlong say 'Hasta la vista, baby' to originality in this pic that proudly boasts Every Prison Drama Cliche in the Universe. See this only if you're interested in watching SPOILER ALERT Tom Arnold finger John Connor's asshole.
June 2, 2006
This is quite an impressive piece of work. Buscemi did a wonderful job directing a stunning cast. I'm not one to watch prison movies, but this was a real treat. Willem Dafoe is a beast!