Incarceration Nation


A Movie Review by Torrey Real

This is an excellent movie, which portrays the ridiculous “Mandatory Minimum” sanctions and leeway, given to prosecution, based on current legislation. This film has a fast-paced, high-action story line fashioned after true events. It accurately mirrors the veracity of how quickly one’s life can be turned upside down leading up to the trial; and the immediate and damaging impact on the families involved, especially when a family member is an easy mark or pawn.

The Rock’s character is an extremely concerned parent who happens to be a successful business owner, is remarried, with children with his second wife. His son is a naive and sympathetic teen who gets snatched up by law enforcement after receiving a mailed parcel from a friend. The cops intend to send a hard-hitting message to all potential and violating drug offenders. The Federal Prosecutor is an unwavering, hard-nosed, striver for convictions and re-election; played by none other than Susan Sarandon—whose role was dead-on mark with the cold and callous temperament of the “immune and privileged.”

No amount of favors called in could sway the objective of the prosecutor, which is to entrap and convict as many dealers as possible, leading up to major indictments and apprehensions of upper-level or kingpin traffickers. The writer of the script seemed to have an accurate portrayal of the harsh sentence impositions and terror-induced plea bargains—tactics used to frighten detainees to reduce their time by becoming a “snitch” or cooperating operative; or face formidable prison terms.

The misfortune of this practice is that it allows unscrupulous characters to snare others by means of treachery in order to gain favor or abatement of their impending charges or jail time while some first-time offenders, and sometimes innocents, are languishing inside a prison cell, without bail, awaiting their day in court; or sentenced to disproportionate durations; and true miscreants get short sentences, then, more often than not, return to their chosen profession before incarceration, continuing the cycle of cruelty.

Now, because this is a Hollywood rendition, based on true events, the message may be missed by the average, everyday citizen; focusing more on the entertaining aspect of this edutainment, instead of the informative, educational, and tragic factors, which may have sparked its creation. However, I can assure you, that for those of us who are the by-product of such shady tactics permitted by rogue conviction-hungry prosecutors; adversely affected family members; and/or witnesses (neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc.) to the fearful, loathsome, and repulsive treatment of individuals, whose company and companionship was once enjoyed, we appreciate the effort that went into this ripple-inducing project.

I give this movie a two-thumbs-up rating. And look forward to future motion pictures, screenplays, and developments which encourage agitation, and thorough review of the daily injustices taking place in our semi-declining nation. My advice to future moviegoers: Don’t judge a feature by its title, because we all see the fallacy in trying to do it with books and their covers.

Write to Torrey Real:

Torrey Real #EL-1916


301 Morea Road

Frackville, PA 17932