This remake of the 1973 film with Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen tells the story of French convict Henri Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), nicknamed Papillon (“butterfly”), who was imprisoned in 1933 in the Devil’s Island penal colony and escaped in 1941 with the help of another convict, counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek).

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The film was pretty much unnoticed when it came out, so it must have been a disappointment to Universal and director Michael Noer.

Papillon Cover
Universal Studios
2018, 1080p, 5.1 DTS Master Audio, Rated R, Aspect ratio: 2.35.1, 2 hours and 13 minutes
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Damijan Oklopdzic, Christopher Fairbank, Jason Ryan
Director: Michael Noer



Violence: Yes
Sex: Yes
Language: Yes


Was anyone crying out for a remake of the well regarded 1973 film with icons Steve McQueen or Dustin Hoffman? I think not. At 2 hours and 14 minutes this movie is just too long. I found myself checking my watch and wishing I could get my 2 hours + back. It’s not that this is a bad movie. It’s not. But the original film was just better and had actors I knew and could feel some connection with.

Papillon Review

The story both movies are based on is a terrific and compelling. The book is an autobiographical novel written by Henri Charrière. It stayed on the best seller lists all over the world for many months.

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I just don’t think there is a strong appetite for a remake of this kind. You may disagree. It’s violent, raw, and almost every character is disagreeable.


Despite my reservations about the movie, it looks and sounds beautifully. Interior sets were done in Belgrade and Serbia, while exteriors were filmed on Malta and Montenegro. The picture detail is very sharp, and the colors are punchy.


The 5.1 soundtrack really exercised my rear speakers and subwoofer. It’s a stunning mix with a lot of atmospheric effects that had me turning my head. Kudos to the technical crew.


No escaping the meager extras. All you get are a few deleted scenes.