Lockdown (2000 film)

Last updated
Lockdown movie poster 2000.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Luessenhop
Produced by Mark Burg
Jeff Clanagan
Oren Koules
Stevie Lockett
Written by Preston A. Whitmore II
Music by John Frizzell
Cinematography Christopher Chomyn
Distributed by Columbia Pictures (UK)
TriStar Pictures (International)
Rainforest Films (US)
Release date
September 15, 2000 (UK & International release), February 14, 2003 (US release)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$449,482 [1]

Lockdown is a 2000 drama film, directed by John Luessenhop and starring Richard T. Jones, Clifton Powell, David Fralick, and Master P. The film was produced by Master's P's No Limit Films, [2] a division of his No Limit Records label.



In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Avery Montgomery (Jones) is taking time off from college to spend time with his girlfriend Krista Wells (Melissa De Sousa), and help raise their young son. Avery is an avid swimmer and develops to a championship level, and as a result of a particularly impressive win which catches the eye of a scout, he gets the opportunity for a possible scholarship at a college.

Cashmere (Casseus), a drug dealer, happens to be one of Avery's best friends, despite the fact that their personalities and lifestyles are quite different, Avery being the one who stays out of trouble. With their barber friend Andre "Dre" Wells (De'aundre Bonds) who is also Krista's Brother, the trio have been friends since childhood.

Earlier in the day before the swim meet, Cashmere had a run-in with Broadway (Sticky Fingaz), another dealer who works under Cashmere in the hierarchy. Broadway happened to be short on money in his return, and it angered Cashmere, who proceeds to kick Broadway down a flight of metal stairs and pull out a gun to assert his power, threatening to kill him if he does not pay back what he owes.

Broadway runs off, but vows to get revenge and, after an attempted robbery later in the day where he shoots and kills a woman at a drive-through, he wipes off his gun and tosses it into the backseat of Cashmere's open convertible when he is out of the car, which looks similar enough to Broadway's car to be mistaken for it.

After the swim meet, Cashmere and Dre, who are there to cheer him on, convince Avery to come out and celebrate his big victory. At a certain point, Dre, who is riding in the back seat, finds the gun, and questions Cashmere about it but Cashmere has no idea where it came from. As they were arguing over how to get rid of it, some cops spot them and, thinking they were ones who committed the murder as their car looks similar to Broadway's, pull them over. One of the officers orders them out of the car at gunpoint, which they obey, but a few moments later Cashmere's pit bull runs toward the officer, who shoots the dog dead. Cashmere pulls out the gun in anger, but is shot in the shoulder and knocked down.

After being wrongfully convicted of Broadway's crime, the three are sent to the same prison to serve a ten-year prison sentence. Each man experiences different events: Cashmere beats up and threatens his cellmate; Dre is raped and turned to a prison sex slave by his psychotic White Supremacist cellmate named Graffiti (David "Shark" Fralick), who controls much of the prison's drug flow and is the leader of a neo-Nazi gang; and Avery meets and befriends an old cellmate named Malachi Young (Clifton Powell) who has been in jail for 18 years and is nearing the end of his sentence. Cashmere begins to work for Graffiti's rival, Clean Up (Master P), another drug trafficker who Cashmere knew prior to getting locked up.

Meanwhile, Charles Pierce (Bill Nunn), the college scout who Avery met on his fateful night, believes that Avery was wrongfully convicted and decides to help him appeal the sentence, along with his daughter, a lawyer. Avery is resentful and resistant at first, towards both Pierce and Krista (at one point yelling at her to never come back because it "would do them both better") but eventually accepts their visitations and attempts to help.

Graffiti continues to successfully smuggle drugs into prison by swallowing packets of drugs brought by his girlfriends. In a fight for the control of the prison drug trade, Clean Up successfully executes a plan to kill a rival drug dealer, a former professional football player working for Graffiti, and the man is killed with a barbell crushing his windpipe, which is made to look like an accident. A corrupt guard named Perez who is on Graffiti's payroll warns the neo-Nazi not to retaliate but Graffiti and the gang kill one of Clean Up's men anyway. His dead body is found in the prison laundry room, and the warden orders a lockdown to punish the prisoners. The prisoners suffer isolation in their cells while Graffiti continues to rape Dre.

After the lockdown finally ends, Dre starts injecting heroin and one day snaps and attacks Graffiti. Graffiti eventually gets the upper hand back and starts to beat him up. Avery, who was on his way to see Dre after his girlfriend asked him to look after him, despite Malachi's warnings not get involved, jumps in to protect Dre and starts pummeling Graffiti. A brawl erupts as the other Neo Nazi's come to Graffiti's aid and Malachi jumps into the fight, throwing one of Graffiti's men over the second floor railing, before the COs subdue the inmates.

Malachi, Avery, Graffiti, Dre, and the others involved have to go to a disciplinary hearing, in which Malachi, in an act of sacrifice (after being allowed to go in first upon his request), takes responsibility for the entire incident to spare Avery a discipline record and assault charge. Malachi also intimidates the disciplinary panel by getting into an episode of rage to makes his confession believable, which ends up with him being transferred to another prison. Avery is grateful to Malachi and the old prisoner leaves Avery a parting gift - a copy of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man with a shank hidden inside. Avery soon gets a new young cellmate who he tries to mentor just as Malachi mentored him.

Cashmere and Clean Up approach Dre telling him that he must kill Graffiti or he would soon end up being killed by him. Cashmere offers Dre drugs. Soon, high on drugs, Dre approaches Graffiti at a gospel concert at the prison and stabs him to death as revenge. Dre is himself killed with a blow to the head from the nightstick of the crooked guard Perez.

Soon afterward, Clean Up's drug mule is arrested on intel provided by Cashmere's vengeful cellmate Nate. Furious, Clean Up believes there is an informant who sabotaged his operation. He blames it on the new arrival Cashmere, but Cashmere denies his involvement. Cashmere suggests that Avery must have been the informant as they revealed their drug smuggling operation to him when they unsuccessfully tried to recruit him. Clean Up orders Cashmere to kill Avery.

Krista meets up Mr. Pierce and his daughter, who shows her a file on Broadway and his associate, Lil' G. She reveals that Lil' G was shot and killed during an attempted robbery, and Broadway is now serving a life sentence at Los Lunas State Correctional Facility. Krista goes to visit Broadway in an attempt to get him to confess to the robbery and murder that Avery, Dre, and Cashmere were framed for. Broadway denies any involvement, and flies into a rage when Krista presents a picture of her and Avery's son Jordan to him, and asks him to show sympathy. Broadway, likely affected by the appeals of Krista to exonerate Avery and help his son have a father, hangs himself in prison after he writes a confession to the murder. Charles Pierce and his daughter bring the confession to a judge who grants Avery a release.

However, tensions run high in the prison with the power vacuum after Graffiti's death and soon a riot spontaneously develops in the prison yard, with prisoners from rival gangs jumping in to settle their scores. In the chaos, during which a number of COs and prisoners are killed, including the young inmate that Avery was mentoring, as well as Perez, Cashmere attacks Avery with a shank and they get into a mortal combat. Cashmere is about to kill his former friend when he has a change of heart and wavers. Clean Up then shows up and attacks Cashmere and Avery but ends up being stabbed to death by Cashmere. Cashmere and Avery are about to embrace but a prison guard shoots Cashmere dead, thinking he was going to attack Avery. Avery is shortly released. He enjoys swimming in the pool again and the company of Krista and his son.



The film's prison scenes were shot on location at the then-closed down New Mexico State Penitentiary." [2]


Lockdown was screened at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival and released September 15, 2000 internationally. It closed out the 2001 Hollywood Black Film Festival. [3] Lockdown was released in the U.S. on February 14, 2003.

Box office

At the end of its box office run, Lockdown earned a gross of $44948 in North America. For the opening weekend of February 14–16, 2003, the film grossed $199,000 while playing in 750 theaters. [1]

Critical reaction

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 58% approval rating, based on 12 reviews, with an average score of 5.8/10. [4] Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post wrote, "What makes the movie memorable is its authenticity." [5] Tom Long of The Detroit News wrote of the film, "Despite a low budget and predictable story line, Lockdown has undeniable power to it, fired by some fine performances and a terrifying portrayal of prison life that rings disturbingly true." [6]

Steve Murray of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , wrote, "though over-the-top and simplistic, the film has a punchy B-movie grit and gusto." [7] Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote that, although the film was "competently made and generally credible, [the picture] lacks the writing depth or directorial distinction needed to reinvigorate well-trod bigscreen big-house conventions." He felt that the film would have more appeal "in ancillary markets than at theaters." [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

Simon Adebisi

Simon Adebisi is a fictional character played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje on the HBO dramatic series Oz. Initially a side character, Adebisi later serves as one of the main characters in the first four seasons, beginning with the fourth episode of the first season where he is eventually promoted to leader of the Homeboys gang. After the first half of season four, his character was killed off the show so Akinnuoye-Agbaje could film the movie The Mummy Returns.

Charles S. Dutton American actor, director and producer

Charles Stanley Dutton is an American actor, director and producer. He is best known for his roles in the television series Roc (1991–1994) and the television film The Piano Lesson (1995), the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination. His other accolades include three Primetime Emmy Awards and three NAACP Image Awards.

<i>Prison on Fire II</i> 1991 Hong Kong film directed by Ringo Lam

Prison on Fire II is a 1991 Hong Kong action film directed by Ringo Lam, and starring Chow Yun-fat. The film is a sequel to 1987's Prison on Fire.

<i>Death Warrant</i> (film) 1990 film by Deran Sarafian

Death Warrant is a 1990 American prison action thriller film directed by Deran Sarafian and produced by Mark di Salle. The film was written by David S. Goyer while a student at USC, and was Goyer's first screenplay to be sold and produced commercially. In the film, police detective Louis Burke is going into a prison facility in California as an undercover cop in order to find out who was behind a mysterious series of murders, and finds himself locked up with his nemesis: Christian Naylor, a psychotic serial killer who calls himself "The Sandman," who sets out to exact revenge upon him after getting into prison.

<i>Prison Song</i> 2001 film by Darnell Martin

Prison Song is a 2001 American film directed by Darnell Martin. A prison film, its plot concerns a boy brought up in group homes who has a gift and passion for art. It also marked the film debut of future Oscar-nominated Mary J. Blige as an actress.

Tobias Beecher Fictional character

Tobias Beecher is a main character on the television show Oz, played by Lee Tergesen. He is one of only nine regular characters to survive the entire run of the show. The others are Bob Rebadow, Ryan O'Reily, Miguel Alvarez, Arnold "Poet" Jackson, Sister Peter Marie Reimondo, Tim McManus and Dr. Gloria Nathan.

Vernon Schillinger is a fictional character played by American actor J. K. Simmons on the HBO series Oz. TV Guide included him in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time and the Rolling Stone has ranked him #22 of the "40 Greatest TV Villains of All Time".

Charles "Chucky The Enforcer" Pancamo is a fictional character, played by Chuck Zito, on the HBO series Oz. Pancamo is a member of the "Wise Guys", a collection of Italian inmates connected to the Mafia.

Kenny "Bricks" Wangler is a fictional character in the HBO drama Oz, played by actor J. D. Williams.

<i>Island of Fire</i> 1990 Taiwanese film directed by Kevin Chu

Island of Fire is a 1990 Hong Kong action film directed by Kevin Chu, and starring Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Sammo Hung, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Tuo Chung-hua and Barry Wong. The film was shot in Taiwan and the Philippines in 42 days from 5 April until 17 May 1989. The film's theme song, The Last Gunshot (最後一槍) by Cui Jian, was written as a response to the 4 June 1989 Tiananmen protests in Beijing, China.

Allen (<i>Prison Break</i>) 2nd episode of the first season of Prison Break

"Allen" is the second episode of the first season of the television series Prison Break, which was first broadcast on television on August 29, 2005. The episode is the second to air alongside the Pilot episode as part of the two-part start of the series. "Allen" was written by series creator Paul Scheuring and directed by Michael Watkins. Robert Knepper makes his first appearance as Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell, but was not yet billed as a regular character until the following episode, "Cell Test". Also, Marshall Allman, despite credited, does not appear as L. J. Burrows.

<i>Lets Go to Prison</i> 2006 film by Bob Odenkirk

Let's Go to Prison is a 2006 American comedy film directed by Bob Odenkirk and starring Dax Shepard, Will Arnett and Chi McBride. The film was loosely based on the non-fiction book, You Are Going to Prison by Jim Hogshire. It was released in theatres November 17, 2006.

<i>Short Eyes</i> (play)

Short Eyes is a 1974 drama written by playwright Miguel Piñero. The play premiered at the Theater of the Riverside Church, was then produced off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater on February 28, 1974, and transferred after 54 performances to the Vivian Beaumont Theater on Broadway on May 23, 1974. Short Eyes, prison slang for a child molester, was written for a prisoners' writing workshop during Piñero's incarceration for armed robbery.

<i>Jailbait</i> (2004 film) 2004 American film directed by Brett C. Leonard

Jailbait is a 2004 psychodrama film written and directed by Brett C. Leonard. It stars Stephen Adly Guirgis and Michael Pitt and is set in an unnamed prison in California. The film received numerous independent film nominations and was awarded the Lake Placid Film Festival Grand Jury Prize.

Lloyd Avery II American actor

Lloyd Fernandez Avery II was an American actor. He was best known for his character in John Singleton's Oscar-nominated film Boyz n the Hood (1991), as the triggerman who murdered high school football star Ricky Baker and was later killed in retaliation. In 2005, Avery was convicted of double homicide, and later killed in prison by his cellmate.

<i>Not About Nightingales</i>

Not About Nightingales is a three-act play by Tennessee Williams in 1938. He wrote the play late in 1938, after reading in a newspaper about striking inmates of a Holmesburg, Pennsylvania, prison in August 1938, who had been placed in "an isolation unit lined with radiators, where four died from temperatures approaching 150 degrees.".

Dickens Hill

Dickens Hill is a fictional prison in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. The prison is part of a storyline that first aired between 1988 and 1989. The storyline centres on the popular character Den Watts and was filmed on location at Dartmoor Prison in Devon. The episodes were shot in a block of intensive filming, over five weeks, but they were worked into regular episodes of EastEnders later in the year, from September 1988 to February 1989. This was done in order to keep the character Den Watts on-screen after Den's actor, Leslie Grantham, had left the show. Although not part of the original storyline, the prison also briefly appears in 2017 when Max Branning visits his former cellmate, Luke Browning. The prison also appears in a separate storyline in 2018 when Mick Carter is on remand for the shooting of Stuart Highway.

<i>The Escapist</i> (2008 film) 2008 British film directed by Rupert Wyatt

The Escapist is a 2008 drama thriller starring Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Liam Cunningham, Seu Jorge, Dominic Cooper, Steven Mackintosh, Stephen Farrelly and Damian Lewis. It is directed and co-written by Rupert Wyatt, and premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival to considerable acclaim. An Irish-UK co-production, the film was produced by Alan Moloney of Parallel Films and Adrian Sturges of Picture Farm.

<i>Stoic</i> (film) 2009 Canadian film directed by Uwe Boll

Stoic is a 2009 arthouse drama film directed and written by Uwe Boll and starring Edward Furlong and Shaun Sipos. The film is one of two dramas, the other Darfur, Boll planned to direct.

Symmetry is a 2003 Polish drama film directed by Konrad Niewolski.


  1. 1 2 Lockdown at Box Office Mojo
  2. 1 2 3 Harvey, Dennis."Review: 'Lockdown'." Variety (Sept. 22, 2000).
  3. Basham, David. MASTER P, SILKK, C-MURDER CAST IN PRISON FILM," MTV.com. (Feb. 5, 2001).
  4. "Lockdown (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  5. Hunter, Stephen. "Queasy Does It: 'Lockdown' Serves Up Grimmest of Tales," The Washington Post (February 14, 2003).
  6. Long, Tom. Lockdown review. The Detroit News (Feb. 14, 2000). [ dead link ]
  7. Murray, Steve. Lockdown review, Archived 2006-02-12 at the Wayback Machine The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Feb. 13, 2003).