Aug 242019

Could be argued Lock Up was one of Stallone’s best movies of the 1980s and its one where he felt right in his element and although the story isn’t the strongest, it still was highly entertaining and consistently thrilling.



Lock Up

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 109 min. – $22.99 | September 10, 2019

Date Published: 08/24/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: John Flynn
Writer(s): Richard Smith and Jeb Stuart and Henry Rosenbaum (written by)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos, Sonny Landham, Tom Sizemore, Frank McRae, Darlanne Fluegel

Features: Featurettes, Interviews, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 1.85
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

The studio provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
The screen captures were taken from the included Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K transfer.

THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

“This is hell and I’m going to give you a guided tour.”

Plot Synopsis: Sadistic prison warden Drumgoole (DONALD SUTHERLAND) is bent on taking his revenge against Frank Leone (SYLVESTER STALLONE), the only prisoner to have escaped from his institution. He drags the inmate back to his maximum security hellhole and proceeds to have his guards torture him mercilessly. In addition to the warden, Frank tangles with fellow prisoner Chink Weber (SONNY LANDHAM). When Frank learns that Drumgoole plans to kill his girlfriend (DARLANNE FLUEGEL) on the outside, he plots his escape once more.

Quick Hit Review: Although I vaguely have heard of the 1989 prison-thriller Lock Up, for one reason or another never had the opportunity to watch it, never owning the movie on any format, not even VHS (and I did have a decent VHS collection back in the day). With that, this being my first viewing, this was one hell of a thriller. Stallone is perhaps at peak form in terms of his 1980s offerings, though Rambo: First Blood Part II is also well done, however here he does show some good range and better character development.

For his part, Donald Sutherland is great as the sadistic, revenge-filled warden, never going over-the-top which would have been easy to do and the battle of the wills between he and Stallone’s Leone was well done. The film does also feature some wonderful character actors from John Amos portraying one of only two sympathetic prison guards; Sonny Landham as Leone’s vicious prison-mate; Frank McRae portraying a teddy bear convict with a thing for cars; and last Tom Sizemore in his feature film debut…



This release does come with a glossy slip cover and inside the redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All of the features are available on both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs. Although the features look plentiful, these are all thin promotional crap and nothing new or all that interesting.

Making of (6:35) is an older promotional featurette from 1988/89 with on-location interviews with the cast and crew.

Sylvester Stallone Featurette (3:11) is a profile on Stallone and his character, pretty much the same thing as the ‘Making of’.

Behind the Scenes (8:13) – Sort of a fly-on-the-wall featurette, taking viewers inside the East Jersey State Prison where the movie was made.


  • Sylvester Stallone (5:04)
  • Donald Sutherland (0:21)
  • Sonny Landham (0:42)
  • John Amos (0:17)
  • Darlanne Fluegel (0:42)

Original Trailer (2:24)


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Lionsgate releases Lock Up onto the 4K Ultra HD format where its presented in the original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and 2160p high-definition transfer. For the most part, the movie does look really good with fine sharpness throughout and despite being a darkly lit movie for the most part; there was some minor pops of color, albeit nothing outstanding or a huge difference over the Blu-ray. However, black levels did look stark while detail was still noticeable and the natural film grain was left intact.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, so no upgrade to Atmos, but even so, it’s an effective enough lossless track. Dialogue did sound clear enough through the center channel and the front and rear speakers do get an okay workout with ambient noises such as the sounds of prisoners in and around the cellblock.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Could be argued Lock Up was one of Stallone’s best movies of the 1980s and its one where he felt right in his element (compared with Cobra, a movie seemingly better suited for Schwarzenegger IMHO) and although the story isn’t the strongest, and it is basic, along with Sutherland’s one-dimensional villain, it still was highly entertaining and consistently thrilling.





The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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