Civil Brand | Chicago Reader

Civil Brand

Preston Whitmore, who's already written two low-budget prison pictures (Fled and Lockdown), injects a welcome political spin into this women-in-chains melodrama by addressing the exploitative nature of the prison-industrial complex. But spin is all it is, clumsily executed through scenes of a naive corrections officer (Mos Def) poking around on the Internet; the other plot elements—corrupt warden, sadistic guards, new inmate debauched by her surroundings, prison-break hostage drama—could have come straight from an old George Raft vehicle. Neema Barnette directed; with LisaRaye, N'Bushe Wright, Clifton Powell, and Da Brat. 95 min.

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