''Cell 211'' is a 2009 Spanish film directed by Daniel Monzon. The protagonist, Juan Oliver (Alberto Ammann), is a young man HappilyMarried to the beautiful Elena (Marta Etura), who is 6-months pregnant with their first child, and this is the first day in his new job. All well and right, if that job wasn't as a prison guard and there was a riot in the High Security zone led by the scary convict Malamadre (Luis Tosar) that very same day. Now alone and trapped inside [[TitleDrop Cell 211]], Juan must disguise himself and pretend to be another inmate in order to guarantee his own safety, all while trying to draw a plan to get him out of there.
The problem is that [[GoneHorriblyRight he does it so well]], however, that soon he becomes something of a second in command to Malamadre. And everything gets worse from there. Very, very, ''very'' worse.
Though taking place in a prison, the movie does not follow most of the tropes associated with the prison genre. It won 22 awards, including the Goya award for Best Spanish Film.
!! This film provides examples of:
* AntiHero: Malamadre.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Carlos Bardem ([[PoorMansSubstitute brother to most famous Javier]]) seems to be aiming for a "generic Latin American" accent more than for a Colombian one.
* TheAlcatraz: The GEO team barricades the prison, preventing anyone from escaping.
* BadassBaritone: Malamadre which is also quite badass in general.
* BadCopIncompetentCop: Oh, boy.
* BaldOfEvil / BaldOfAwesome: Malamadre, depending of your pick.
* BecomingTheMask: Juan pretends to be an unrepent convict of murder ("I killed him and I would do it again") [[spoiler: and becomes so when he kills Urrutia]].
* BlackAndGrayMorality / GreyAndGrayMorality: The convicts are not the worst people. Not at by a long shot.
* BreakTheCutie: Juan [[spoiler: and later, Elena. [[KilledOffForReal To the very worst]].]]
* TheCartel: Apache and the other Colombians belonged to one.
* DespairEventHorizon: [[spoiler: Juan, when he learns that Elena is dead.]]
* DirtyCoward: Urrutia.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Juan, his wife and their unborn child die.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: The spark of the revolt is the suicide of the previous occupier of Cell 211, "El Morao", who killed himself after the prison refused to treat him of a brain tumor. [[spoiler: Juan is driven later as well, but fails to hang himself with a belt]].
* FlashBack: The scenes involving Juan and Elena.
* FlashForward: The scenes dealing with the later investigation about the mutiny events.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on a novel written by Francisco Pérez Gandul.
* ImprovisedWeapon: The prisoners manage to built knives and [[ScaramangaSpecial even guns]] out of water pipes.
* IronicEcho: "You do what you can."
* KickTheDog: "Putavieja" has three. First he tortures an inmate in another alley to know how the riot started. [[spoiler: Then he [[MoralEventHorizon kills Juan's pregnant wife]]. And then he reveals Juan's identity to the other prisoners in order to save his sorry ass, but [[LaserGuidedKarma it doesn't work]].]]
* KnightTemplar: Utrilla.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Luis Tosar may look scary, but is actually a really nice person, and a singer to boot.
* NobleDemon: Played to the extreme by Malamadre, a murderer in a high security cell, who ends being the most caring character.
* NoNameGiven: Excluding the ETA members, every convict is either unnamed or known by a nickname like Malamadre ("Badmother"), Apache or El Morao ("The Purple One").
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Alberto Amman's sounds properly Spaniard but his native Argentinian accent comes out in a couple of occassions when his character is specially distressed. This is justified because the character is from Argentina (as briefly seen in a dossier) but lives in Spain and eventually adquired the Spanish nationality -required to be a civil servant- so his actual speech could have evolved with the years.
* OutDamnedSpot: Juan [[spoiler: after he cuts the terrorist's ear.]]
* RabidCop: Urrutia.
* PlayingBothSides: Juan and Apache, though obviously for different reasons.
%%* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: [[spoiler: By the end of the film.]]
%%* SlashedThroat: [[spoiler: Utrilla]]
* TheDragon: Tachuela, for Malamadre. Later, Juan acquires this status too.
* TheStoolPigeon: Apache. Also TheMole.
* TragicMistake: Juan wasn't even supposed to be there. He joined a day earlier, just to make a better impresion.
* WesternTerrorists: Three ETA members are taken hostage by the other prisoners.
%%* WhiteShirtOfDeath: [[spoiler: After Juan kills Utrilla.]]
* WorthyOpponent [[spoiler: Malamadre shares moments of genuine comradeship and ends up giving a lot of credit to Juan when he discovers the ruse]]