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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh
Produced by Dan Keston
Nick Phillips
Christopher Wilhem
Written by Ric Roman Waugh
Starring Stephen Dorff
Harold Perrineau
Marisol Nichols
Anne Archer
with Sam Shepard
and Val Kilmer
Music by Gerhard Daum
Cinematography Dana Gonzales
Editing by Jonathan Chibnall
Distributed by Stage 6 Films
Release date(s) July 18, 2008[1]
Country United States
Language English

Felon is a 2008 drama film about a family man who ends up in state prison after he kills an intruder. The film was written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh, and stars Stephen Dorff, Val Kilmer, and Harold Perrineau. The story is based on events that took place in the 1990s at the notorious California State Prison, Corcoran[2].

Tagline: No rules. No hope. No way out.



Wade Porter (Stephen Dorff) is a loving family man, owns a business, and is a few months away from marrying his girlfriend. However, one night a burglar enters his home. Wade, pursuing the burglar, follows him out onto the front lawn and subsequently strikes the burglar across the head with a baseball bat, killing him. The courts, while sympathetic to Wade's case, are nevertheless compelled by the evidence to reject his plea of self-defence and convict him of manslaughter. Wade's subsequent incarceration forces him into a world unlike any he had known before. First the crowded confines of the county jail, and then 'The SHU', a high security unit of the prison. The SHU is 'hard time'—23 hours a day in a concrete box, shackles, orders, and no warnings. The only freedoms left to Wade are in his head and in the yard. But the yard, as he soon finds out, has been turned into a figurative gladitorial arena for the inmates of The SHU, where prison politics and violence rules, and you had better be good at both. As he struggles to survive inside, Wade discovers two things—the humanity of his cellmate, an infamous multiple murderer (Val Kilmer), and the growing sadism of one of the guards (Harold Perrineau).



The film received mixed reviews from critics. As of January 26, 2009, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 65% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 20 reviews.[3] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 58 out of 100, based on 10 reviews — indicating good or above average reviews.[4] The film had a limited screening in the US.


John Smith - When your life is defined by a single action, it changes the concept of time.

John Smith - Usually I'm quoting someone else's words. The least I can do is give you some John Smith originals. They won't be poetic. But they'll be the truth. Yes, prison desensitizes you. But it also forces you to see what's most important. Family. And loyalty. Because a con like you knows neither exists in this place. So don't run from who you've become, felon. Embrace it. Grow from it. And you'll never lose sight of what truly matters. That's my final piece of advice, Wade Porter. You protect your family at all costs. Even if you're forced to kill again. Because if i had to, I’d wipe out the whole planet to get mine back. So long, friend.


  1. ^ Felon (2008) - Release dates
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (2008-07-18). "Movie Review". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  3. ^ "Felon Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  4. ^ "Felon (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 

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