SPOILER ALERT! .. fan-ta-stic. first you have a prison thriller filled with well-paced tension and suspense, then you have about fifteen minutes of adrenalin fueled thumping heart beats, then a totally convincing desperate flee/story of friendship in desperation.
christian bale and steve zahn are both brilliant. also special credit to jeremy davies who's damaged, institutionalised prisoner is completely convincing.
really, a brilliant film that doesn't fall into the typical blind patriotism of so many others.
if you get a chance, check out the deleted scenes, they are also excellent.