Brubaker (1980)

Fact-based drama starring Robert Redford as Henry Brubaker, the new inmate at a run-down Southern prison that's become notorious for corruption and violence. After he witnesses several instances of gross misconduct and defuses a tense… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: June 20, 1980
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
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Critic Score: 75% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Linda Deutsch
Associated Press

Brubaker is a grim, often powerful prison movie based on the true story of convict torture and mass murder in a Southern penitentiary.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Brubaker is a well-crafted film that does a harrowingly effective job of portraying the details of its prison, but then it populates it with positions rather than people.

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James Plath
Movie Metropolis

I never felt that I was wasting my time watching 'Brubaker,' only that it could have been a more dramatic and taut prison movie-which is odd, because it's directed by Stuart Rosenberg ('Cool Hand Luke').

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Michael Blowen
Boston Globe

Brubaker is a dramatic movie with a social conscience and a welcome change from the primarily fluffy-headed film fare of the summer of 1980.

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

It's interesting to note that Brubaker, before it devotes itself entirely to the protagonist's exploits, boasts a first act revolving around the happenings within the central penitentiary...

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Emanuel Levy

Inspired by fact, this politically conscious prison drama is well written (script was Oscar nominated), but only decently acted by Redford, who might not have been the right choice.

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Gary Arnold
Washington Post

... a vivid, entertaining and shamelessly manipulative "crusading" melodrama about the impact of a reform warden on a barbarous penal institution.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

The first half-hour is powerful stuff, but after Brubaker reveals his true identity, the movie begins to falter, with the one-dimensional nature of the characters (particularly the warden himself) eventually stripping the story of any dramatic charge.

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Dennis Schwartz
Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

It was hard to sit through two hours of such brutality and misery and say you enjoyed it.

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More reviews for Brubaker

Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Red Lats
Brubaker is a prison drama - a little like Shawshank Redemption, but in this one, it is Brubaker that is fighting corruption in prison. It is almost too… More
Byron Brubaker
Good message. Sure, the end is somewhat sappy. Redford as Brubaker plays a good reformer. I've read another review that said this is very similar to… More
Mister Caple
Classic Robert Redford from the early 80's. A gripping movie from the director of "Cool Hand Luke".
Cameron Johnson
Brubaker sounds like something someone would grunt out, or rather, what Robert Redford might grunt out in the shower. Redford might just be playing a warden… More
Lady D'arbanville
Based on the real life story of Tom Murton, this sure is a worthy tale to tell, however I found the whole film pretty boring and I have to say Robert Redford… More
Jeffrey Meyers
It's no Cool Hand Luke (Rosenberg's earlier film), but Brubaker is still a great prison drama. Depressing as it may be, it's a fact-based story,… More