The Archer

Lauren is a nice kid, a good student, a champion archer whose post-medal celebrations turn sour and result in her arrest. The judge has all the reasons in the world to go easy on this first-time offender, not to mention the extenuating circumstances that all but exonerate her, but instead he throws the book at her. Off she goes to an open-ended sentence at a “reform school” that looks and feels a lot more like a sadistic prison.

There she finds dozens of girls just like herself, imprisoned for very minor offenses. But it’s their jailers that cause the most concern: there are no checks on their behaviour. They can get anyway with anything, and do. But the cruelty, humiliation, MV5BNDU1ZWYyN2UtNGY5MS00NjE2LTk1N2ItNGE5MDcxZmEzMTY3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDM4NTU5Njc@._V1_SX1776_CR0,0,1776,778_AL_and sexual perversion isn’t just for kicks, it’s also serving a purpose. Because every time a girl fights back, her sentence is extended. And that’s very good news when you’re running a corrupt, for-profit scheme.

So one day Lauren (Bailey Noble) and her new friend Rebecca (Jeanine Mason) decide to make a break for it. No one has ever escaped successfully, but desperation drives their attempt. But to protect the prison’s ugly secrets, its warden will literally hunt them like animals to make sure he doesn’t get exposed.

This film has an incredibly strong female in its lead, and Noble was the perfect choice to play her. She’s got grit and determination but we still believe her as a somewhat naive high school student. Their flight into hills is tense and taut film making, and though the prisoner on the run thing’s been done before, this one is a fresh enough take to grab and hold your attention.

The Archer is inspired by the 2011 conviction of two judges in Pennsylvania when a federal investigation uncovered millions of dollars in kickbacks for their sentencing teenagers to a for-profit youth detention centre.

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15 thoughts on “The Archer

  1. raistlin0903

    Hmm, this really sounds like a film I definitely want to check out now. I always love films that have strong female leads in them and also feature a good enough storyline to make it worthwhile. Great review, thanks for sharing this one 😀

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  2. Brittani

    I remember Noble from True Blood and I’m not sure that I can still buy her as a teenager, but this film seems interesting. It reminds me a bit of another film that’s name is escaping me right now, but I’d probably give it a shot.

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  3. J.

    Ah, good old rotten corruption providing inspiration, eh? Reminds me of two flicks I saw on Netflix… a documentary out there about similar cash influenced sentencing and a Canadian flick about kids being dragged off to these reform school prisons. I can’t remember the titles, though. Bah. But they were good. Anyhoo, this sounds good.

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  4. Katrina Morrison

    Nice review Jay. I appreciate that you added the factual inspiration behind this movie. The good prevailing over evil, always makes a good story. Plus, I am a sucker for Films that include true Women power. The Archer is a must see 😊

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  5. Liz A.

    Sounds like an exciting film. Too bad it’s based on stuff that actually happened. (Sad that stuff like this continues to happen.)

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  6. Christopher

    It’s a terrible thing to say that as I was reading the review I kept thinking, “This is a documentary, right?” I’m all too aware that the growth of the for-profit prison system has created a push to put people to jail for the most minor offenses–and the younger the better.
    Hopefully this and other films like it will make people rethink what the for-profit prison system is doing.

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