Escape at Dannemora (2018)


“Any joker with a fountain pen can turn your life upside down in this place.” – Lyle Mitchell

Number of Times Seen – 1 (6 Jan 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of two convicted murderers that try to plan an escape from prison with the help of a civilian worker.

My Take on it – This is a miniseries that gives us a very interesting true story.

Some of the aspects of the story feel a bit far-fetched fr reality, but the fact that they really happened makes it that much more amazing to watch.

We see how the plan of the escape forms and what the characters do to perpetuate the motion leading up to a point where they can make their attempt.

The cast is what holds things together tho and the standout is Patricia Arquette in the lead role who is almost unrecognizable in this role because she transforms herself so much in order to become the character.

She was definitely quite deserving of winning a Golden Globe for her performance in this film.

The rest of the cast is also quite good with both Benicio Del Toro and Paul Dano being able to show us multiple sides of their character’s personalities.

We get to see certain parts where they seem very relatable to the viewer while at other points we get to see some dark and disturbing behavior.

The story feels a bit drawn out here and 7 1/2 hours might be a bit more than needed to tell this story just as effectively.

Impressive that Ben Stiller was the director of this entire mini-series especially given the fact that he rarely deals with such dark subject matter.

Bottom Line – This is an interesting story that at certain points seems too far fetched to be true yet they still manage to show how the plan comes together quite well. The cast is great and Arquette is almost unrecognizable in the lead role and completely loses herself in this character. She was quite deserving of winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress for this performance.  Del Toro and Dano are also both great here because they let us see multiple sides of their characters where we can sometimes understand why they do certain things and others where we cannot relate at all because they are too dark and disturbing.  The story feels a bit drawn out at 7 and a half hours and probably could have been just as effective if it was a bit shortened. Stiller does a great job directing such a dark subject especially given the fact that he is usually associated with comedy. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Ben Stiller first received the script (which was written just two months after the escape occurred), he turned it down after finding out that the majority of it was made up due to information about the escape not being publicly available. A few months later, the New York Inspector General released an official report outlining the breakout, leading Stiller and the screenwriters to reconnect and subsequently produce a new script that focused as much a possible on the real story. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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