Escape from Pretoria
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Los Angeles Times
This procedural quality to Escape From Pretoria — combined with an accomplished cast that includes Ian Hart as the anti-apartheid prisoner most opposed to Jenkin’s plan — adds some oomph to a movie that features limited sets, a simple story and none of the Hollywood polish of The Shawshank Redemption.
I highly recommend this film to everyone but especially those who love biopics and prison thrillers. I think it’s important for people to learn this piece of history, and I’m glad that Francis Annan brought his interpretation of these events to an audience that might not be familiar with them.
Francis Annan’s film works effectively as a straight-up jailbreak thriller, well-oiled in greasy B-movie tradition. It’s when it shoots for more historical import that it falls somewhat short.
The Hollywood Reporter
Star Daniel Radcliffe will be the biggest draw here, but the pic's focus on planning and genre mechanics over personalities may limit its appeal for his fans.
The Observer (UK)
A pacy screenplay, co-written by director Francis Annan and adapted from a book by Jenkin, rarely flags, but it’s the nervy camera, hugging the characters at hip height, the better to scrutinise each locked barrier to freedom, that most successfully builds the tension.
Almost everything that’s enjoyable about Escape From Pretoria is a variation on stuff you’ve probably seen in superior prison movies, though Radcliffe’s haunted performance is exceptionally compelling.
Despite an inherently cinematic story and some effective sequences, Escape From Pretoria struggles to transcend a clunky, one-dimensional script.
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