The surprise film at this year's Dublin International Film Festival, 'The Escapist' is a neat little thriller with a 1970s feel.

Shot in Ireland, the London-based film stars Cox as a convict, 12 years into a life sentence without parole. With his daughter's life hanging in the balance, he has the reason he needs to escape and hatches a plan with a group of fellow-motivated, misfit types.

Much of the drama takes place in the confines of their escape route, with flashbacks and forwards to and from pre- and post prison break. Naturally things don't go to plan, but the unpredictable twist is worth waiting for.

The strong supporting cast is made up of Cox's team: Cunningham - who delivers another bankable performance - Fiennes, Jorge and Cooper. 'Band of Brothers' star Lewis, along with Macintosh, convincingly play Cox's key opposition.

After so many classic prison dramas have been released over the years, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the genre has little new to offer the film fan, but you'd be mistaken. 'The Escapist' does indeed lack the visceral morality and excitement to join the ranks of 'The Shawshank Redemption', 'Midnight Express' or 'The Great Escape' in terms of epic cinema. However, an inventive script and a pivotal performance from Cox make this a prison drama worth watching.

Taragh Loughrey-Grant