In the far future of 1998, the Manhattan Island has been sealed off with walls and mines to create the largest maximum security prison in the world . Entirely unpoliced inside, the island is run by the inmates themselves, organised into vicious gangs lead by The Duke of New York. A plane carrying the president of the United States crashes right into the heart of this nightmare, and the authorities find that they are unable to mount an effective assault to get him back.
Enter Snake Plissken, a former war hero and current convicted bank robber. Due to be dumped in Manhattan due to his crimes anyway, Snake is made an offer he cannot refuse: rescue the president within 24 hours, or the explosive pellets that have just been injected into his neck will detonate!
What could have been a terrible film is more than redeemed by the talent involved in making it. John Carpenter was at the very top of his game in the early eighties, and the cast he somehow assembled fit their rolls perfectly, with Kurt Russel being especially good as Snake. The script is full of excellent twists and is never boring. The film's one flaw is that the actual escape happens pretty abruptly due to a coincidence rather than good planning by the characters, but that is easily overlooked due to the amount of other craziness in the film.
Recommended if you like this sort of thing. IMDB