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10/10
I'm IN 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
helenweils23 November 2018
I'm watching the first episode for the third time today. I am so impressed with the soundtrack and how effective each song is to each scene. Bravo Ben Stiller 🙏🏻 💜💜💜 So yeah, I'm so in. (I've also decided to never be incarcerated. Oh hell no!)
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8/10
This one sticks!
johan-3003719 November 2018
In these times where raving reviews are just about everywhere, this is one of the solid few. Class A production all through. Reminds me of "The night of..". Very promising.
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10/10
This Show is One You Won't Want to Miss
zacharyjwilcox18 November 2018
3 days ago, I attended the premiere screening of the first episode in Plattsburgh, NY, and I've been thinking about the show ever since.

The lead ensemble is excellent. Paul Dano as David Sweat is conflicted. He almost seems like he's really trying to be a "good" person, but what kind of guidance and support can he expect from his peers in the prison system? Richard Matt is calculating, you can tell he could go off the handle at any second. Patricia Arquette as Joyce "Tilly" Mitchell is absolutely perfect in her role as a middle aged woman unhappy with her marriage and becoming smitten with the idea of escaping to someone that she thinks will bring her more happiness. I wanted to say that she stole the show, but Paul Dano and Benicio Del Toro are just as great - there really are no weaknesses at all. I should also comment that the last two things that I saw Benicio Del Toro in were Avengers: Infinity War, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Both of those films saw Del Toro playing characters that were strange, very quirky. After those two (also enjoyable) films, it was fantastic to see him take this role and make a convicted murderer relatable on a human level, it was a joy to watch on screen. Paul Dano's David Sweat is a character that interests me because even though I live in Plattsburgh, David Sweat is the person that I heard least about in all of the press coverage when these events were actually happening. We all knew about Joyce Mitchell, and of course how things end with Matt, but I don't think David Sweat was personified nearly as much in the media, so I'm extremely excited to see how his story arc plays out. It's even more intriguing because director Ben Stiller was able to contact the real David Sweat in prison, giving this production a very real air of authenticity.

Continuing on with authenticity, it is extremely important to note that extreme efforts were made to replicate what really happened. This show was shot on location. The shots of Dannemora, the prison, Malone, Plattsburgh, even the manhole that the prisoners escaped to, are all the actual locations. Yes, the prison walls really do tower above the rest of the town, as shown in one of the opening establishing drone shots. Governor Cuomo was involved in shooting, as well as many locals who experienced these events first-hand. There were open casting calls in Plattsburgh for extras - hundreds of people showed up, and every single person got an audition. Not everyone was cast, but no one was turned away from an audition. Many of the people in this show really do live here. One excellent scene showed Tilly Mitchell and her husband discussing their weekend plans in the car. Her husband suggests taking her to Plattsburgh for the weekend, to which she responds, "Fancy". It's such a small moment, but the joke was purely for the North Country residents, (as none of us in Plattsburgh refer to Plattsburgh as 'fancy') and the entire theater laughed out loud. I believe this show doesn't single any of the residents out to look 'bad', it merely intends to capture the spirit of the people living in the North Country, and it does an excellent job.

Overall, this story is quite serious - the subject matter is gritty no matter how you slice it. However there are moments of levity that are unexpected in a prison show, but are very much appreciated. One way that this is accomplished is with the fantastic musical score. One of my favorite moments was a montage of prisoners working at sewing machines, while LunchMoney Lewis' 'Bills' played over the scene, a great nod to the fact that the prisoners are essentially slave labor. This is a serious show that is likely going to get pretty dark once the prisoners escape, but there are also (at least, in the first episode) moments of subtle humor that will pleasantly surprise you, without detracting from the experience at all. This is a show that you'll definitely enjoy watching, and then keep talking about it after it airs. Finally seeing this show after living through both the real-life events, and all of the buzz surrounding the filming is very satisfying. Ben Stiller has done an excellent job with Escape at Dannemora, and I'm very excited to see what he has for us next.
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8/10
Saw The First Episode at the Premiere
julietkwan15 November 2018
Just a while ago I finished the first episode at the world premiere of "Escape At Dannemora." It's very interesting. Ben Stiller does a really great job directing a serious drama with comedic effects about two inmates and a female prison guard. The episode I saw, which is a great introduction to the series, is beautifully shot and well acted, and well written. Patricia Arquette is really good in this, Benicio del Toro is such a great character and Paul Dano is such a fascinating character it's overwhelming of how damn good it is. It's an 8/10 because it has some pacing issues and makes the episode very centered on one character, which I guess is alright. I find it hard to believe that it is a 7-episode-series because it could be a feature film on its own, but it will be interesting to see where they go with this show and how they extend the story. I do also think the audio is a bit muffled and the pacing has problems, but the music is great and the whole feel of the show is just so good. I can't wait for the show to premiere and for people to really enjoy this.
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9/10
I Watched Ep 1 About 4 times...
debrahnava-5249627 November 2018
WOW!! So invested in these characters! Patricia Arquette is simply mesmerizing. Benicio & Paul are in their element and at the top of their game! Ben Stiller's direction is magical. I can't get the ELP theme song out of my head. Excited to see how the story proceeds despite knowing the outcome.
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10/10
Oh, this is too good
bethanyprior8 December 2018
I remember reading about this in the news, but to understand the conspirators as portrayed here with such sublime, ugly truth telling is just a joy to watch. In reading previous reviews, it appears not everyone is clued into the fact that Tilly is not a reductive character study of all things trashy or an amalgam of regrettable flaws-no, this is a real live person walking the earth. Patricia Arquette becomes Tilly. And oh my, how delightful it is to watch her!
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8/10
DON'T TELL ANYBOOOOODDDYYYYYY.
Amyth477 December 2018
My Rating : 8/10

I'm hooked. Great camera work, well-thought out storyline and interesting characters. Benicio Del Toro has always been an acting tour de force and this might end up being his best yet. Impressive performances from Patricia Arquette and Paul Dano who have transformed themselves superbly for their roles. The real surprise for me and many others would be the directing chops of Ben Stiller. Props for giving this an honest treatment, choosing great filmmaking locations and the use of music adds a really nice touch to this prison break drama.

Looking forward to the next episodes and of course a thrilling series finale! My favourite moment so far is easily Benicio Del Toro's guttural - DON'T TELL ANYBOOOOODDDYYYYYY.
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9/10
Really enjoyed first episode
eddieo196921 November 2018
Now I came across this show by chance without any knowledge about it. The first part that grabbed my attention with the cinematography, throughout the episode there were some wonderful shot. The second was the cast I wasn't expecting anything so seeing such a great cast was a wonderful surprise. The writer seem to have hit the spot I found myself being sucked into the atmosphere. My only problem is that it's based on a true story and I know where it ends up, it's a pity as after the first episode I sort of want to cheer for the criminal but knowing the history of the real people it's difficult as the real people weren't very nice. 9 stars on the first episode
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10/10
Excellent
ssim1241 December 2018
From the first episode this show is an instant winner 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽, Patricia Arquette, Benico Del Toro and Paul Dano deserves Emmys they did an outstanding job 🏆🏆🏆🏆
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8/10
Excellent performances
evening122 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Director Ben Stiller is off to a magnificent start with this series about the 2015 prison break at Clinton Correctional Facility in Upstate New York.

Here we see the story of Joyce "Tillie" Mitchell, a dowdy, 50ish woman who runs a sewing workshop at the prison. She has entered into a sexual relationship with one of her wards, David Sweat, who is incarcerated for killing a sheriff's deputy. They have rushed trysts in an adjacent storage room, a seemingly open secret among the inmates who labor over needles and bobbins.

Lurking on the sidelines is inmate Richard Matt, played with incredible intensity and subtlety by Benicio del Toro. Behind bars for killing his boss and a guy at a bar, he's a kind of fixer; inmates approach him when they want perks or privileges, which can be arranged through a corrupt prison guard (David Morse) who's tight with Matt. (Though paints are contraband, the guard encourages Matt's talent as an artist, going so far as to commission a birthday portrait of his girlfriend.)

The characterizations here are strong. Patricia Arquette is mesmerizing as Tillie, a woman who seems alternatingly dim-witted and abusive of her power. She appears pathologically bored with her life and scarily vulnerable to the attention of men. There is a chilling glimpse of Tillie on a blustery upstate street on which she catches the eye of a stranger and slowly breaks out into a monstrous smile. Tilly is rough and impatient with her husband, Lyle, who's heard rumors about his wife but doesn't seem up to the challenge of confronting her.

Sweat (Paul Dano) is portrayed as a joyless and desperate tool of manipulation. He seems to get nothing out of sex with Tillie, but, with his ADHD-type impatience and hair-trigger temper, he seems to have no one else in the world with whom to share a moment of connection.

Music is used to powerful effect in this production, which unfurls in the cold, northernmost reaches of New York State. We hear "From the Beginning" by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; "Girl from the North Country," performed in a haunting duet featuring Johnny Cash; "Bills"; "Booty Like a Cadillac," and "With Her Wine Stain Lips Yeah She Nothing But Trouble" by Nick Jonas. I know the story here, so it's not really a surprise to me, but, as a woman in her Sixties, much of the music is a revelation to me.

A previous dramatization of this story was also superb -- "New York Prison Break -- The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell," a 2017 Lifetime movie. Though famiiliar, the plotline is indeed gripping. But much of the excitement in this tale derives from watching the characterizations unfold.

I am not a TV-series person and have never binge-watched anything. But this production has me eager for the end of Thanksgiving weekend!

My only quibble with this film is that intimate bits of conversation often come across as inaudible. I don't know what went wrong with the sound recording. Given the intensity of this story, this amounts to a significant shortcoming.
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10/10
Great Acting and Directing
pattana7464 December 2018
Still can't believe this is on Showtime, which is not known for quality. Arquette is riveting as Tilly, and Del Toro is like a seductive snake. Excellent acting, directing and musical score make this mini-series entrancing.
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7/10
I liked it .
boneheadbobo3 December 2018
The darkness of the prison areas is a little troubling .But the acting is great .Benicio Del Toro has a face that just captivates the camera . I have a normal size TV so it may be better on a big screen .I often use the caption feature to be able to understand all the dialog on others shows too . But I think it's worth the effort to watch . And seeing the ugly winter climate of upstate NY makes me gad I live in a much milder place .
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10/10
Ignore the 1/10.......This is great!
barrydickson-702213 December 2018
Having watched the first 3eps, this is great! Excellent acting, excellent directing and great cinematography! Also the casting is perfect. Del Toro is great and Dano is fantastic. Reminds me of "The Night Of" in style and substance. Just watch and judge for yourselves! Looking forward to the rest of the series!!!
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10/10
Pleasently intriqued
sissy300621 November 2018
I am intrigued, I want to see more. I am however surprised that Ben Stiller is executive director and producer, never been a fan but this mini series has promise.
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10/10
Love it!
marylee-478332 December 2018
Love this series and have already watched the first 2 episodes twice. The music gave me the chills, so right on! The casting..... well, what can I say except, EXCELLENT! Being from New England, I followed this on the news at the time, very scary when thinking these men were at large. It's too bad I know the outcome, however it's still enjoyable to watch. Kudos to Ben Stiller!
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10/10
Sound people and Foley crew deserve an award!
laura-69 December 2018
Outside of the terrific acting, pacing, direction, soundtrack, the sound effects used in this film totally enhance it, esp. when Matt and Sweat are underground: just creepy and almost other-worldly. So carefully done. Kudos!
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10/10
Seeing is believing
claeyskathleen9 December 2018
This is one of thé greatest series of this moment. Thank you, thank you, thank you. What an adventure, with finally a great woman acting, just what is needed. Patricia Arquette blew my mind. With the support of Paul Dano and B Del Toro and David Morse of course. This is such a great, human story, and for once, no young actors to be seen ( disguised as old...) but the truly original acting skills of these people that make this work. This is what we need more of. I am nervously awaiting every new episode coming out, grinding my teeth for a week until the moment arrives.... it is thàt good! My sincere congratulations to you all! This has made my year! What an experience... Thank you! This should be watched compulsory.
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10/10
Fantastic Show. Ben Stiller has done Amazing.
seanmiller-089729 December 2018
For a directorial debut, this limited serious could not be any better. Ben still is one of the greatest names in Hollywood and this just proves he should be there. Great actors, great story and its almost entirely true. Stiller was on Howard Stern the week before it debuted and after hearing the dedication involved, I knew I had to watch it. It has blown my socks off each week. Oz may get a small run for its money as far as Prison shows:) Fabulous. Deserves a 12 out of 10 STARS. Go Ben!!
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10/10
Loving it!
buffnoel8 December 2018
This is so...good...can' wait until the next episode....Kudos to the cast,and Ben Stiller...Great scenery and acting....!...watch...
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10/10
The golden age of TV is alive and well
mpower11121 December 2018
I'm so happy I am alive to see the golden age of TV before it disappears as did the Godlen Age of movies during my lifetime. Finally filmmakers. mostly in TV these days, are making adult films recognizing the power of characters who have lives like you and me. Many a series depends on clever writing; this one gets by with great writing. which doesn't have to be clever.

Now comes 'Escape at Dannemora' to join a distinguished line of brilliant TV films beginning with The Sopranos. Breaking Bad, Fargo, True Detective and about a dozen others I could name including the fantastic Game of Thrones. The 90 minute movie is dead; long live the novelistic 8 hour movie. But back to the subject at hand. I've only seen two episodes but I couldn't be more enthusiastic about the writing, the acting,the direction and cinematography of 'Escape at Dannemora'. Good on you, Ben Stiller who knew you had it in you? A grim portrait of life behind bars which reinvents a tired genre. Brilliantly photographed and Patricial Arquette deserves more than one oscar for her performance. We always knew she was a good actress but this performance catapults her to the head of the line. The other cast members keep right up with her, especially Benedicto Del Toro, a really scary man. Well, enough raving, I urge you to get involved with the pathos of this heartbreaking series. .
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2/10
Ben stilled should stick to Frocker movies
jlnazario-9314411 December 2018
Waste of talent with Benicio acting in the dark and screwing fat Meg Tilly.
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10/10
Acting at its best!
marceel-2021910 December 2018
Here you have an example of actors who owns the scenes! One of the best series in decades
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10/10
Great direction, great acting... drama to the max
d-8388310 December 2018
I found this piece incredibly inciteful. The human condition is genuine, Benitio is Benitio at his belacose finest. Arquette is a surprise and deftly plays Tilly so well, Tilly would get lost in the same room with her... It's pretty deep... only slow moving if your not following along... easy to do if you skip a couple of minutes letting the dog out... requires your undivided attention so you don't miss a thing. Not a faced pace situation, and the story goes along like that... you get into the feel of each character, and the agonizing drag of time, yet... suddeyypur there waiting for the next shoe to drop. Kudos to Stiller. A story so immersed in the passage of time, filled with little subtleties that can create an unexpected tensity and anxiousness you never saw coming... worth a watch... and while it's up against some good competition... I see winner here...👍👍👍
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10/10
Making a Shawshank Redemption
hosierandrew10 December 2018
Based on true events with an escape plot straight out of Andy Dufresne playbook. This show has a great cast of character actors and so far a simmering plot that's kept me entertained since episode one (just finished the 4th ep). I can't help but root for these loathsome characters of cheaters and liers. Definitely worth a watch in my humble opinion.
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7/10
I watched an episode because I am from the area
lainie-814049 December 2018
I watched an episode of this out of curiosity as I lived a town over from where the manhunt was taking place due to a sighting in Friendship, NY. While I find it interesting and at times thinking how stupid they seem to be because they are so easily manipulated by Matt and Sweat, I can't help but wonder why this story? There should have been one made about Ralph "Bucky" Phillips from Kill Buck, NY who kept a manhunt going from April 2, 2006 - September 8, 2006. Although he was a despicable person, a murderer, he was quite a character. He kept many rooting for him while hoping for his capture at the same time. It was crazy and mind boggling.

Look into his story. I am sure he will give quite a tale to tell on his own if so inclined to ask.
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