The Castle is an unlikely last stop in the brilliant career of three-star General Irwin. Court-martialed and stripped of his rank, Irwin has been sentenced to the maximum-security military prison, which is run with an iron fist by its warden, Colonel Winter. Winter can't help but respect the once-legendary general, but it isn't long before that respect turns to resentment and then open hostility as Irwin continually confronts the warden on his methods. Setting out to break Irwin by whatever means necessary, the colonel's tactics only fuel Irwin's defiance and cause the other prisoners to rally behind the general in his new mission: to seize control of the prison and remove Winter from his command. The men imprisoned in The Castle have been told that they are no longer soldiers... but they are about to prove that they can still fight a war.
Robert Redford plays the three-star General Irwin, who is sent off to the Castle, a maximum-security military prison, after a court-martial. His nemesis is Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini), the martinet warden who runs the Castle. Eventually Irwin is roused to action by his fellow inmates who have suffered brutalities and leads a ragtag army against Winter. Mr. Redford couldn't have picked a better time to star in a flag-waving paean to patriotism, in a movie whose last act is constructed around a battle sequence actually involving Old Glory. The movie is exuberant, strapping and obvious - a problem play suffering from a steroid overdose. Elvis Mitchell
2001-10-19 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of The Last Castle