Dance of the Steel Bars

steelbarsVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.81 (8 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Directors: Cesar Apolinario, Marnie Manicad

Writers: Cris Lim, Michael Villar

Cast: Dingdong Dantes, Patrick Bergin, Joey Paras, Ricky Davao, Gabe Mercado, Thou Reyes, Roy Alvarez, Mon Confiado, Kathleen Hermosa

Synopsis: The film centers on the friendship between three inmates. Frank (Patrick Bergin) is an American who was wrongly accused of murder. Mando (Dingdong Dantes) was convicted of killing a gay man, and secretly harbors a desire to dance. Allona (Joey Paras) is a gay inmate who is corresponding with a man outside under false pretenses. When an idealistic new warden (Ricky Davao) arrives in their prison, the three are given a chance to make things better. But the corrupt and ambitious deputy warden has other plans. (Click the City)

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Running Time: 100 mins.



4.0          Pablo Tariman (The Philippine Star)

“Thus far, this is the best of Dingdong as an actor. His dance sequences are credible, his intensity comes from something deep in his being.” (Read full review)

4.0          Karen Pagsolingan (PEP)

“Screenwriters Cris Lim and Michael Villar did a good job of putting everything together, even if there were so many intricate sub-plots and issues.” (Read full review)

3.5          Isah Red (Manila Standard Today)

“Though it has a rather thin plot, the polish that the filmmakers showed in developing the film into a decent oeuvre is admirable.” (Read full review)

3.5          Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“This is really a prison movie with a lot of heart… We have no doubt this can easily be marketed abroad.” (Read full review)

2.0          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“Though the film makes mention of real problems in the Philippine prison system, it approaches it in such a way that it has zero effect. There’s probably a decent movie to be made about the Cebu dancing inmates, but this just isn’t it.” (Read full review)

2.0          Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“Instead of depicting actual efforts of the inmates to change and break common conventions, Apolinario and Manicad decide to manufacture melodramas that are nowhere near as inspirational as a pixelated video of a thousand hopeful orange-suited felons grooving to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.” (Read full review)

2.0          Armand dela Cruz (Film Police)

Dance of the Steelbars delivers the message that it wants to get delivered; only the message grows devoid of effect, as the movie is bound–caged, if you will–by Filipino melodramatic tropes.” (Read full review)

1.5          Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Of course it would take a white man to save brown men from themselves. Black-and-white characters, over-the-top performances, unimaginative plot. Also, hilariously bad cameo acting by Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia.”

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