The cast, the acting, the screenplay, the directing are all great. There is some really great cinematography and you can tell a lot of time effort and planning have gone into this to get it right. It's a very good production that is quite gripping from beginning to end. Rarely do I take note of the music that accompanies a movie, but here I can't help but applaud the how well the music is matched to this film; simply excellent soundtrack.
If I have a criticism it's the speed at which some of the events move and how the details which tightly bind the story together cohesively evaded me at times. I think this may have been as a result of the excessive cutting that was done to ensure the film adhered to the prescribed length, but that's only a guess. I lost my way through sections of the plot at times and I found this a tad frustrating as it really impeded my enjoyment at times. Truthfully it was nothing severe, but with a production like this when you are literally hanging on every word, missing pieces is an annoyance.
It is a fairly one sided depiction of life in prison and though I can't comment on the credibility of the scenes portrayed, they served their place as very powerful representations for the purpose of the film. The focal point of the story is quite narrow, so we get a very intense view of the events surrounding our lead but not much else. I think this does limit the depth we get from the other characters at times and perhaps a slightly broader scope would have helped, but once again I'm nit picking, so will leave it at that.
I'm glad the producers didn't make this into a crusade for he detrimental effects prison life has on incarcerated individuals, both while they are inside and when they are released. I could understand why some people may feel this film has done that, but I am fairly certain no message was intended here, and I certainly didn't see one; just a great story well told that has all the elements in the right measures to make great viewing.
Definitely one of the best films I've seen in 2017. There are a probably hundreds of movies in this genre, I'm not sure if this one will reach iconic status like 'The Shawshank Redemption' but it is definitely one which I could (and probably will) watch repeatedly, which in itself is saying something.
Do I recommend you go see it? why hell yes I do! Absolutely.