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Reviews for Prisoners of the Ghostland ( 2021 )

Genre Dump (IMDB: 5)

On: 10/14/2021 12:00:00 AM By: jeroduptown
Visually, Prisoners is pretty cool. But it's bizarro hodge-podge otherwise. Cage is out to find the governor's daughter in a suit with mini bombs over his arms, neck and testicles.

This was pretty far out there... (IMDB: 2)

On: 10/9/2021 12:00:00 AM By: paul_haakonsen
Sure, the poster/cover for "Prisoners of the Ghostland" definitely looks really interesting, I will say that much. And yeah, I opted to sit down and watch this 2021 movie given the fact that it was a new movie that I hadn't already seen, and also because it has Bill Moseley on the cast list.

Well, "Prisoners of the Ghostland" is a strange movie, even for a Nicolas Cage movie. Even by his standards, then this movie is out there, way, way out there. From the whacked out storyline to the insanely bizarre imagery, props, costumes and sets.

I found the storyline in "Prisoners of the Ghostland", as written by Aaron Hendry and Reza Sixo Safai, to be very odd and bizarre. It was so far out there that the movie suffered from it, as it grew annoyingly and frustratingly tough to sit through, as most of the things made little to no sense, or was just so wacky that you just don't get it.

The acting in the movie was as to be expected. I wish that Bill Moseley would have been given more on-screen time, because he was - hands down - the best thing about the movie. Sure, it was nice to see Sofia Boutella on the screen, but she seemed to be running on auto-pilot. And this was, for better or worse, just another notch in the strange movie career of Nicolas Cage.

The characters and the dialogue throughout the course of "Prisoners of the Ghostland" was pretty bad, and that reflected rather poorly on the overall movie.

I am sure that there is an audience out there for director Sion Sono's movie "Prisoners of the Ghostland". But as it happened to be, then I wasn't the target audience. And I can't claim to have found much enjoyment or entertainment in this particular movie.

My rating of "Prisoners of the Ghostland" lands on a generous two out of ten stars.

Cage again (IMDB: 3)

On: 10/8/2021 12:00:00 AM By: ks-60500
Cage in Pig quite impressive which I watched a month ago and after this, give me a feeling in back to square one. Cage really a non dead tree in movie world. He may be the actor appeared in most movies in all times. Story itself just soso for sci-fic theme.


On: 10/6/2021 12:00:00 AM By: andrewchristianjr
Strange post-apocalyptic that makes you wonder what is going on, so weird? Is this from a manga? What are the cowboy hats gun, weird musical dance & outfit all about? Surely for prisoners of the strange-land that you can't escape...

Wild and Weird, with great visuals; first half is better (IMDB: 8)

On: 10/5/2021 12:00:00 AM By: inkblot11
The Hero (Nicolas Cage) is anything but heroic at the start. He and a scummy pal Psycho are bank robbers. But, their last attempt goes sour when Psycho shoots the entire bank staff and the customers. This includes a small smiling boy who loves the banks gumball machine. While Hero is a prisoner of "The Governor" , Psycho is transported by bus when the vehicle crashes with a truck of nuclear waste. This makes a Ghostland where people go to never return. Meanwhile, the evil Governor is incensed when his granddaughter Bernice ( Sofia Butera) - in fact his courtesan - runs away into the Ghostland. He springs Hero and dresses him in a suit equipped with explosives. His order? Go into the Ghostland, bring back Bernice in 5 days or you will blow yourself up. My oh my isn't that special! Hero has no choice. Out-of the safe city gates he goes. He will meet ghosts, clock towers, mannequins, sword fighters and more on his quest. Will Hero bring back the girl? This is one wild and weird film which is an amalgam of other movies, including The Road Warrior, Robin Hood, Waterworld, Westworld, Johnny Mnemonic and more. Much is in Japanese with subtitles truly adding to the enjoyment. It's biggest asset is it's art direction, which is truly breathtaking. Here is a new world, part Wild West and part Samurai, which will amaze and delight. No, it doesn't always make any sense and it loses some steam midway. But, with Cage as the never predictable Hero, many will want to tune in.

Nonsensical Mash-Up (IMDB: 3)

On: 10/5/2021 12:00:00 AM By: jfgibson73
Nicholas Cage continues his streak of incredibly odd film choices. I didn't like this one as much. At first, I was enjoying how wild it was, throwing all kinds of different, silly elements together. Eventually, it just felt like they didn't have much of a story, and the crazy stuff started to get less entertaining. I think the filmmakers thought they were being artsy, humorous, or both. I didn't feel that way.

Skip this. (IMDB: 1)

On: 9/30/2021 12:00:00 AM By: kenzibit
Nice theme and concept but useless plot and performances. I think Cage made it for himself.

Reminder to myself in the future: Never watch Nicolas Cage movies again. (IMDB: 5)

On: 9/28/2021 12:00:00 AM By: DallahOG
Poor me thought Nicolas Cage was gonna be in A good movie in 2021. I'm really disappointed cause I remember watching the trailer and it got my attention & for some reason thought it was gonna be A good movie. Gotta admit I 100% regret wasting time on this as anyone with A mind would do & the crazy thing is someone actually rated it 10 ! Not recommended at all.

Really should have been more fun than it was... (IMDB: 7)

On: 9/28/2021 12:00:00 AM By: Jeremy_Urquhart
Guess the idea of a Sion Sono directed film starring Nicolas Cage that dips its toes into almost every genre was too good to be true ??

Not that this is terrible, as many of its technical aspects are competent. It's more just that it's bafflingly boring when it comes to its characters and overall narrative, and the pacing is pretty awful. You can tell right from the start, too. There's like two or three scenes that feel like opening scenes, and then the scene that sets up the plot afterwards just goes on and on and on, and that's just the first 20 minutes. Things don't improve a lot from there.

Unhinged Cage is fun, as is some of the action, and the film definitely has an interesting look to it at times, but it's strangely dull and lifeless for much of its runtime, and is easily my least favourite Sono film of the half-dozen or so I've watched so far.

The worst movie I've watched this year so far. (IMDB: 1)

On: 9/25/2021 12:00:00 AM By: silvermistvio
As the title says it all, this is truly the worst movie I've watched. It's terrible, boring and ugly. I really quite understand some contents of this movie. The chantings are the most annoying thing of all. I really hate that.

Believe me, watching this movie is a total waste of time. Even you're bored and don't have anything to watch, DO NOT watch this one. There are a lot of good or great movies out there. Just ditch this and go watch the other movies. If you watch this, I'm 99.99% sure that you'd regret just like I did.

Confusing mess (IMDB: 3)

On: 9/25/2021 12:00:00 AM By: drunken_munki
The plot is less complex than 'Escape From New York' but stuffed with so much random filler. Everything else is even worse from the acting to the visuals; leaving you with a confusing and insulting mess.

3/10 an insult to Japanese culture.

I honestly don't get the hate (IMDB: 6)

On: 9/24/2021 12:00:00 AM By: Agent10
So I looked at the rating for this film on this illustrious website and was aghast. This was well after watching the movie mind you. So what the heck people?

Now to begin with, the story is pretty razor thin. Basically, Nic Cage needs to rescue a concubine from an evil redneck who goes by the moniker "The Governor." As Cage tries to track her down with a plethora of bombs strapped to his body, Cage traverses the fine line between a post apocalyptic wasteland and an Asian extreme nightmare. Cage stumbles into a weird society trying to survive, mostly by holding back a clock and keeping time from moving forward. It's a bizarre premise, but it works. And that is it. That's the story. Aside from some offshoot scenes to show how dangerous certain individuals are, there is not much left to talk about.

I will say this...the movie is visually out there. Mixing elements from World Gone Wild and The Good, The Bad and the Weird, the visual aesthetic mixes westerns, Japanese period pieces and DIY post apocalypse. It doesn't always work but it looks wild. In the end, that is the saving grace, because the only real weakness was the script. While I have no issue with reading subtitles, I'm sure the pressure to get foreigners to speak English to help with the marketing was not really necessary. Part of the problem was understanding the character's speech, which was a challenge at some points due to the massive number of people shouting all together.

Overall, between the four main films that XYZ Films has made, this is arguably the weakest. Cage obviously took this one due to the self indulgence of the character, which is fine by me. Oh well, at least it was cool to look at.

When you're on laced shrooms and bad LSD at a Burning Man festival in a Japanese desert. (IMDB: 6)

On: 9/23/2021 12:00:00 AM By: Top_Dawg_Critic
That was director Sion Sono's vision, and he did not disappoint putting it on film.

However, having actors-turned-wannabe-writers Aaron Hendry and Reza Sixo Safai with barely to no writing experience come up with this screenplay, was wackadoodle. I got annoyed with the number of production companies displayed in the opening credits, you'd think at least one would've invested in a seasoned writer to at least look over the final script. Safi and Hendry wrote a bunch of incoherent, convoluted, plot-hole and technical-issue riddled nonsense.

The 103 min runtime, sub-par pacing, and many long dragged out and unnecessary scenes, made this film seem like it was 3+ hours long.

Luckily, with Sono's directing and Sohei Tanikawa's near-perfect cinematography, the eye-candy sets, crazy costumes and props, and stunning visuals kept me hooked. The score was fitting and on point. The casting and performances were excellent, especially Nicolas Cage (who this role was made for) and Sofia Boutella.

It's a shame no one babysat the writers, as this could've easily been a cult classic. But as is, I'm thinking this would've been a much better music video backdrop for Pink Floyd or Metallica album. It's a very generous 6/10 from me.

Beyond stupid (IMDB: 1)

On: 9/23/2021 12:00:00 AM By: seacargm
What the eff is this trash? Did someone smoke some weed and write a script (and I use the word script in the most liberal sense of the word)? Nothing makes sense and don't even begin to try to call this stupidity art. It's just dumb beyond belief. Could not finish watching.

Pretty Good (IMDB: 7)

On: 9/22/2021 12:00:00 AM By: HabibieHakim123
7.5/10I really really wanna give the movie a higher rating than Nicolas Cage's previous movie, Pig, but it is what it is, unfortunately at in the end, the movie still cannot reach that point, but did i still prefer Pig than this?, No, because somehow someway Prisoners Of The Ghostland is simply a better movie, and besides all of that, Prisoners Of The Ghostland is strongly perform by Nicolas Cage and Sofia Boutella, the color, the cinematography, special effect, and Japan as always been a perfect location, Prisoners Of The Ghostland still delivers a good action packed, not perfect in the storytelling and that's the big issue in the film, but it's still worth watching, overall, Prisoners Of The Ghostland is pretty good.

Unfinished Business (IMDB: 4)

On: 9/21/2021 12:00:00 AM By: Tweetienator
I don't know, Prisoners of the Ghostland got some interesting ideas but the whole affair looks unfinished, unpolished. Even the visual quality of the movie would need some serious editing and reworking - everything looks like some takes from pre-production status. How Nicolas Cage and Sofia Boutella got involved into this movie, I can't understand. For sure, Prisoners of the Ghostland is not the worst movie ever but rather a disappointing and unsatisfying experience. Not recommended, or only to those who want to watch everything that got Cage and/or Boutella casted. This is not a trip on acid but rather a hangover after a night with too much cheap beer involved.

Ghostland of disappointment (IMDB: 3)

On: 9/21/2021 12:00:00 AM By: AdrenalinDragon
Unfortunately, this was kind of bad. I felt the movie was all over the place in terms of what was going on and with all the tangents and scenes not really going anywhere. Nicolas Cage is surprisingly bland for most of it, with maybe one or two exceptions. It didn't feel like there were much stakes to it and I was pretty bored for most of it, which is a shame as the premise is pretty cool, but it didn't deliver much.

To give some credit, the set design and aesthetics aren't too bad, as well as the costumes and violence (with little there is). The main villain guy didn't do much for me and I just didn't care at all for the characters. Maybe there were more scenes that were originally there that didn't make the cut? It seemed structurally messy and the weird stuff fell flat for me. This was not worth the journey at all by the end of it.


It's good (IMDB: 7)

On: 9/20/2021 12:00:00 AM By: info-63599
If you'd put Mad Max, Army of Darkness, and The Running Man in a blender and it was directed by Akira Kurosawa on acid, it would be this movie... It doesn't make an oz of sense but it is a beautiful freaking ride anyway ????

Not For Everyone. Probably Not For You, Either. (IMDB: 9)

On: 9/19/2021 12:00:00 AM By: lamestguyever
This movie is, to put it mildly, an experience. If you go in expecting things like fleshed out characters, a cohesive narrative, or even a three-act structure, you will be left frustrated and irritated. Instead of anything resembling a movie, Prisoners of the Ghostland is more of a collection of scenes and moments without any kind of logic or traditional plot applied.

There is a concept of a story: Hero, a bank robber, is tasked with rescuing the Governor of Samurai Town's "Granddaughter" from the Ghostland, a cursed place, blasted and scarred by nuclear radiation. Hero is outfitted in a leather suit with explosives that will detonate if he, in any way, goes against his orders. With Hero setting off in a child's bicycle, the adventure begins.

As others have said, the plotting and pace are bizarre. Nic Cage spends a good chunk of the first half unconscious, having repeated flashbacks to the failed robbery that led to his imprisonment, and his guilt manifesting in visions of a child who was killed on that fateful day. These flashbacks recur through the entire movie, even well into the climax. Granted, the sight of brightly-colored gumballs flying through the air in slow motion is beautiful, but after the sixth or seventh time can become a bit much.

Similar to Cage's previous genre entry Mandy, almost all of the action and chaos is backloaded onto the second half of the story. This is where (in my opinion at least) the movie redeems itself. As a huge fan of Tak Sakaguchi, seeing him face off against Cage is worth the price of admission alone. Even though Sakaguchi does most of the heavy lifting on the action side of things - especially when facing off against a dozen enemy samurai - Cage does a decent job holding his own, especially at his age. As carnage unfolds in all directions, Sion Sono's style comes to the forefront, with gorgeous imagery and bonkers over-the-top violence that the director has become known for.

In short, I really, really liked this one. I even pre-ordered the blu ray the moment I left the theater. However, every negative thing you've been told about Prisoners of the Ghostland is accurate. Whether it was due to time or budgetary constraints, it barely feels like a finished movie. There is no flow to the story, characters come and go from the story without reason, and the movie can't even respect its own internal logic.

With that said, your enjoyment of this will be directly proportional to how much/little you care about conventional filmmaking, and whether or not you can enjoy an unfinished mess that features nonstop sakura blossoms falling while Nic Cage screams "TESTICLLLLLLE" to a crowd of confused onlookers. In other words: The critics and other reviewers are all correct: This is bad. Really bad. Unbearably and oppressively bad.

But it's MY kind of bad.

Convoluted, abstract, ambiguous (IMDB: 5)

On: 9/18/2021 12:00:00 AM By: tris-miles
I love Nic Cage. He's one of a kind, and you can see why the director would choose him for this film. It's wacky, trippy, mad as a box of frogs... but it just doesn't have the gravitas of other cage bonkers films like Mandy, Raising Arizona, or Willy's Wonderland. There are some great samurai moments, sword fighting choreography etc, but the other loony ideas end up being lost in a loose script.