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Lock Up (1989)

Sylvester Stallone , Donald Sutherland , John Flynn  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos, Sonny Landham, Tom Sizemore
  • Directors: John Flynn
  • Writers: Henry Rosenbaum, Jeb Stuart, Richard Smith
  • Producers: Adam Simon, Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,890 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lock Up" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

"This is hell and I'm going to give you a guided tour!" With these chilling words, the warden (Donald Sutherland) welcomes Frank Leone (Sylvester Stallone) to Gateway Prison, a nightmare jail where every minute is hard time. The warden wants vengeance for the past; Leone wants only to survive the present. Their explosive battle of wills is the electrifying heart of one of Stallone's most heroic thrillers, LOCK UP. Stallone gives a monumental performance as Leone, a convict driven to break his own cherished code by a warden who will stop at nothing to get him.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's STALLONE for crying out loud!!! February 5, 2003
Ok, so the guy who did the Editorial review calls the people who enjoy this movie demented, drunk, or having really low standards. Who says you have to take the movie seriously...just enjoy it; I think we all realize that what happens in this movie would never happen in real life, and that's what makes it so cool. I say Lock Up is one of Stallone's more memorable movies for me although it is one of his lesser known roles. This movie probably wouldn't be good if it were played by anyone other than Stallone, but it isn't so it's great. Stallone plays Frank Leone, a man serving a short and normal prison sentence, when he is suddenly and inexplicably sent to Gateway, a hell-hole of a prison, with the evil Warden Drumgoole in charge, played very well by Donald Sutherland. Drumgoole employs a bully named Chink, (played by Sonny Landham) to make sure Leone's time at Gateway is as unpleasant as possible. The most memorable moment in the film for me is when Leone goes after Chink when he crosses the line. On the front of the DVD one critic states, "A surprisingly human film." I must agree. You really start to feel for Frank Leone after he is given such a hard time, and you want to see him exact his revenge like only Stallone can.
Stallone just has a certain aura about him, ya know? Like he's almost not human, with larger-than-life characters like Rocky and Rambo in his name, but something more...maybe I am just, demented...but I think a lot of Stallone fans know exactly what I mean.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not that bad. December 7, 2001
By Rock
Let me start by saying that I'm not demented, I don't drink, and I have fairly stringent standards when it comes to what I watch. That being said, I wish all the critics and haters out there would give Stallone a break, especially concerning this movie. Granted , my entire family, being from Philly, is unabashedly pro-Stallone. Even so, I can say without bias that he does a great job here, mixing prison drama with hard action. Also, you have a triumvirate of great character actors: Donald Sutherland (creepy as usual), Tom Sizemore (hyper as ever), and John Amos, who plays James Evans playing a prison guard ("Junior, you betta put a lock-down on yo' lips!") It won't win the critics' award for Best Film of the 90's, but who cares? Just watch it.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you have a spare key handy! July 13, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"Lock Up" features a strong cast with the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos, Tom Sizemore and Sonny Landham. Stallone portrays Frank Leone, who must serve the remaining six months of his sentence at a minimum security correctional facility. Leone's cell is ransacked in the middle of the night and is taken into custody against his will by security guards from a maximum security prison, where Leone is escorted and is promptly given the guided tour of hell. The viewer, as well as Leone, is then given an explanation of Leone's transfer, courtesy of one evil Warden Drumgoole, played by Sutherland. The tone of the movie is set upon Drumgoole's intense greeting: "Welcome to Gateway, Leone". It's payback time, according to the warden, whose administration was publicly humiliated by Leone, whom Warden Drumgoole makes sure never has another pleasureable moment during Leone's sentence. Leone's stay isn't entirely unbearable, for there are a few bright spots here, as our beloved convict-hero makes some fast friends in the prison autobody shop, with the likes of Eclipse (Frank McRae), Dallas (Tom Sizemore) and First Base (Larry Romano). It is here where these individuals share a common bond of friendship, including their love of cars, which is one of "Lock Up's" few tender moments. Ah, but there can't be friends without enemies, can there? Frank finds his enemy at a prison football game, where he is brutally roughhoused by one Chink Weber (Sonny Landham). Things don't get any easier for Leone, as he is constantly belittled and brutally assaulted by Drumgoole's staff. Overall, this is a strong film, with some believable characters, although the plot in certain spots is somewhat weak and unbelievable. Read more ›
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stallone Is Pure Genius November 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The thick plot that this movie boasts, combined with (in my opinion) Sly Stallone's best performance as a professional actor, places "Lock Up" amongst the elite films of our time. It is almost impossible for the viewer not to feel Leone's utter pain and frustration, and by the time the movie has ended, to feel as if he or she, too, was locked up. There is absolutely nothing that this movie lacks...great acting (Stallone is brilliant), pure drama and emotion, and above all else, excitement. Seeing Leone single-handidly take over the prison football game is an image that will remain with me for a long, long time. Furthermoe, Donald Sutherland is equally impressive in a lesser role. The initial meeting between he and Leone is bone-shaking, as Sutherland proceeds to utter the infamous greeting that sets the tone for the flick..."Welcome to Southgate, Leone..." and with that, the viewer's journey through teror, tumult, and ultimate victory has begun. It is a complete shame that this film was not recognized as one of the best of its day. In my opinion, critics of the late-eighties were not ready for the State-of-the-Art performance put forth by Stallone, which set the way for other movies in the near future. Truth be told, Stallone revolutionized the role of the actor in "Lock Up", and it is about time that he recieve his well-deserved due.
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