TIFF 2017: ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’ Review

RLJE Films

Craig S. Zahler is back with his first film since the phenomenal Western Bone Tomahawk and man did he knock it out of the park. Brawl in Cell Block 99 follows Bradley (not Brad) who’s played by longtime comedic actor Vince Vaughn. Bradley is a drug runner for his friend Gil because of a need for money to provide for his wife and unborn baby (commonly referred to as koala). When Bradley is arrested after a drug deal gone wrong things unravel to create a truly violent final act.

Zahler does a great job building the tension until the brawling starts. When the violence starts it becomes one of the most shocking movies I’ve ever seen. With bone crunching (literally) sound effects and brutal gore Zahler proves once again no one does gory violence like him. Vaughn seems to enjoy himself as the Bryan Mills of Cell Block 99 getting to beat crap out of everyone. It’s a very convincing performance and probably the best dramatic performance I’ve ever seen from Vaughn. Other performances by the likes of Udo Kier and Don Johnson were also a blast to watch. If you’re looking for the most brutal film of the year go no further than Brawl in Cell Block 99.

Rating: 9.5/10

Public Screenings: September 13th 9:30PM, September 16th 6PM

For additional TIFF 2017 coverage, click here.

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