80

Los Angeles Times

By Kevin Thomas
A compelling, highly charged film that brings a contemporary perspective to classic prison picture elements.
Full Review
60

Variety

Film explores the abuses rampant in woman's prisons and the powerlessness of the inmates, while telling the uplifting story of one inmate, Frances (LisaRae).
Full Review
50

The Hollywood Reporter

By Sheri Linden
Although the film loses its way in the late going with a preponderance of melodramatic elements that dilute the more compelling social message, for much of its running time it packs a visceral punch, thanks in large part to a strong cast headed by LisaRaye, N'Bushe Wright and Mos Def.
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40

TV Guide

By Maitland McDonagh
There's way too much of the usual bonding, beatings, petty humiliation by guards, cat fights in the yard and trips to the hole.
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40

L.A. Weekly

By Ernest Hardy
There are also strong flickers here of a film that might have been.
Full Review
38

Premiere

By Peter Debruge
There's no question that Civil Brand has an ambitious premise, but it feels boxed in by the standard prison-movie formula.
Full Review
38

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
Exploitation shamelessly posing as empowerment, Neema Barnette's self-congratulatory drama about women in prison promises to reveal shocking truths.
Full Review
30

The A.V. Club

By Nathan Rabin
Civil Brand's aesthetic is pure mid-'70s blaxploitation, and not in an ironic or reverent sense. Even the heavy-handed political rhetoric is in keeping with the neo-blaxploitation vibe, since even bad blaxploitation movies often had revolutionary undercurrents.
Full Review
25

New York Post

By V.A. Musetto
The cast includes rappers Da Brat, Mos Def and MC Lyte. Their fans might get some pleasure from Civil Brand. Everybody else best stay away.
Full Review
25

Chicago Tribune

By Robert K. Elder
Plagued by continuity problems, ham-fisted storytelling and a problematic voiceover by Da Brat, Civil Brand feels less like a prison movie than a prison sentence.
Full Review
29 out of 100
Generally unfavorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.