"This is hell and I'm going to give you a guided tour!" With these chilling words, the warden (Donald Sutherland) welcomes Frank Leone (Sylvester Stallone) to Gateway Prison, a nightmare jail where every minute is hard tim... more »e. The warden wants vengeance for the past; Leone wants only to survive the present. Their explosive battle of wills is the electrifying heart of one of Stallone's most heroic thrillers, LOCK UP. Stallone gives a monumental performance as Leone, a convict driven to break his own cherished code by a warden who will stop at nothing to get him.« less
"Ok, so the guy who did the Amazon.com Editorial review calls the people who enjoy this movie demented, drunk, or having really low standards. Who says you have to take the movie seriously...just enjoy it; I think we all realize that what happens in this movie would never happen in real life, and that's what makes it so cool. I say Lock Up is one of Stallone's more memorable movies for me although it is one of his lesser known roles. This movie probably wouldn't be good if it were played by anyone other than Stallone, but it isn't so it's great. Stallone plays Frank Leone, a man serving a short and normal prison sentence, when he is suddenly and inexplicably sent to Gateway, a hell-hole of a prison, with the evil Warden Drumgoole in charge, played very well by Donald Sutherland. Drumgoole employs a bully named Chink, (played by Sonny Landham) to make sure Leone's time at Gateway is as unpleasant as possible. The most memorable moment in the film for me is when Leone goes after Chink when he crosses the line. On the front of the DVD one critic states, "A surprisingly human film." I must agree. You really start to feel for Frank Leone after he is given such a hard time, and you want to see him exact his revenge like only Stallone can. Stallone just has a certain aura about him, ya know? Like he's almost not human, with larger-than-life characters like Rocky and Rambo in his name, but something more...maybe I am just, demented...but I think a lot of Stallone fans know exactly what I mean."
Derek from Johannesburg
D. W. Hutton | 11/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"BEST PRISON DRAMA MOVIE
After Rocky 1, this is Stallone's BEST movie! (the reason why this is in my DVD collection)..
Anyone that can say that the Shawshank Redemption was a better prison drama, obviously wasn't watching this movie.
The movie shows the tough side and the human side to a man trying to make the best of a bad situation (in prison). Stallone's brilliant performance highlights both these qualities.
There'll never be another Sylvester Stallone - only modern-day imitations.."
Make sure you have a spare key handy!
David Hugaert | Honolulu, HI United States | 07/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Lock Up" features a strong cast with the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos, Tom Sizemore and Sonny Landham. Stallone portrays Frank Leone, who must serve the remaining six months of his sentence at a minimum security correctional facility. Leone's cell is ransacked in the middle of the night and is taken into custody against his will by security guards from a maximum security prison, where Leone is escorted and is promptly given the guided tour of hell. The viewer, as well as Leone, is then given an explanation of Leone's transfer, courtesy of one evil Warden Drumgoole, played by Sutherland. The tone of the movie is set upon Drumgoole's intense greeting: "Welcome to Gateway, Leone". It's payback time, according to the warden, whose administration was publicly humiliated by Leone, whom Warden Drumgoole makes sure never has another pleasureable moment during Leone's sentence. Leone's stay isn't entirely unbearable, for there are a few bright spots here, as our beloved convict-hero makes some fast friends in the prison autobody shop, with the likes of Eclipse (Frank McRae), Dallas (Tom Sizemore) and First Base (Larry Romano). It is here where these individuals share a common bond of friendship, including their love of cars, which is one of "Lock Up's" few tender moments. Ah, but there can't be friends without enemies, can there? Frank finds his enemy at a prison football game, where he is brutally roughhoused by one Chink Weber (Sonny Landham). Things don't get any easier for Leone, as he is constantly belittled and brutally assaulted by Drumgoole's staff. Overall, this is a strong film, with some believable characters, although the plot in certain spots is somewhat weak and unbelievable. For instance, I find it hard to believe that a prison autobody shop, such as this, displays little or no security, as well as a large maximum security prison, like this one, being overseen by just one warden, who, out of hundreds and hundreds of inmates, is so obsessed with just one of them. I'm sure the warden has other responsibilities to be concerned about, which I'm sure are many. But, the one good thing about watching a film of this caliber is that the warden's obsession with one man builds an intense climax that leaves the viewer on the edge of his/her seat the entire length of the movie, thus craving more substantial thrills and dialog. "Lock Up" contains all of the above, and is one film you're sure to come back to time and again. Plus, no other actor can bring more to an action-thriller quite like Sly Stallone, although "Lock Up" probably isn't his best role. That honor would have to go to his Rambo and Rocky roles. When viewing "Lock Up", make sure you have a spare key (and some refreshments) handy at all times, because you never know how long your stay of execution will last!"
Stallone Is Pure Genius
David Hugaert | 11/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The thick plot that this movie boasts, combined with (in my opinion) Sly Stallone's best performance as a professional actor, places "Lock Up" amongst the elite films of our time. It is almost impossible for the viewer not to feel Leone's utter pain and frustration, and by the time the movie has ended, to feel as if he or she, too, was locked up. There is absolutely nothing that this movie lacks...great acting (Stallone is brilliant), pure drama and emotion, and above all else, excitement. Seeing Leone single-handidly take over the prison football game is an image that will remain with me for a long, long time. Furthermoe, Donald Sutherland is equally impressive in a lesser role. The initial meeting between he and Leone is bone-shaking, as Sutherland proceeds to utter the infamous greeting that sets the tone for the flick..."Welcome to Southgate, Leone..." and with that, the viewer's journey through teror, tumult, and ultimate victory has begun. It is a complete shame that this film was not recognized as one of the best of its day. In my opinion, critics of the late-eighties were not ready for the State-of-the-Art performance put forth by Stallone, which set the way for other movies in the near future. Truth be told, Stallone revolutionized the role of the actor in "Lock Up", and it is about time that he recieve his well-deserved due."
Lock Up Is The Best!
nix | Wellington, New Zealand (Nicholas Lal) | 12/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lock Up is the best Sly Stallone film ever! If you want to watch a prison film which is emotional. This is it! OR even if you just want to watch a film. Frank Leone meets the infamous Drumgoole again and is put in a 'hell-hole' prison. A real prison actually, one of the worst in the world. Leone becomes friends with other people who have made mistakes in the past. There's a football match in the mud. Trivia: Stallone nearly broke his leg in the match. It was a rough game. The hardest shot in the film. The film is packed. Truly great and at the top of my list. Get the DVD, it even makes the film better! The picture quality and sound quality are great! I don't know what the DVD reviewer was watching when they rated this. Evryting is good. I love the Bill Conti music which is emotional. And Ever Since The World Began by Jimi Jamison."