Prisoners is a dark, harrowing film revolving around the sudden disappearance of two girls, Anna and Joy, on Thanksgiving. Director Denis Villeneuve forces us to watch as the girls’ parents immediately descend into a panic, each coping in their own unique way with the nightmare they have been dealt. When the police, lead by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), find a young, mostly mute hermit in a suspicious RV, they are fairly certain they have their suspect. But when evidence proves to be lacking and the the search reaches a dead end, Anna’s desperate father Keller Dover (played by an unusually grim Hugh Jackman), decides to take matters into his own hands.
The New Daily says: Beautifully shot by veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall and The Shawshank Redemption to name a few), you can feel the bone-crunchingly freezing snow and sleet in every frame of the unrelentingly bleak Prisoners. At nearly three hours long, it’s impressive that there’s never a dull moment, but the story is ultimately quite convoluted and the climax is a little too neat. Regardless, the excellent cast alone is reason enough to see the movie – Jackman and Gyllenhaal are chillingly authentic as intense, brooding, broken men. It’s no walk in the park, but Prisoners is smart, chilling, edge-of-your-seat cinema that stays with you long after the final credits.
Entertainment Weekly says: “Dazzlingly potent, ambitious, and complex movie, a film that forces you to ask questions that have no easy answers. Jackman, in a staggering performance that’s unlike anything he has done before, acts with an unbridled rage.”
Rotten Tomatoes says: 81% – “Prisoners has an emotional complexity and a sense of dread that makes for absorbing (and disturbing) viewing.”
Crikey says: “A two-and-a-half hour opus of suburban horror that moves from a familiar “every parent’s worst nightmare” MacGuffin into a complex quilt of awful secrets made worse by decent people trying to make sense of them”
David and Margaret say: David: “I though the performances were fantastic. I think Hugh Jackman is incredibly good in this and also Jake Gyllenhaal. Four stars.” Margaret: “I minded the explicitness. I’m still giving it four stars.”
The Guardian says: “Guzikowski’s screenplay has to strain and squirm to tie up all its loose ends, and the film will try your patience with some of the later throwaway revelations. A certain dour realist vigour keeps the nightmare alive.”
The New Daily‘s life editor @mjmharry:”Jeeze, just saw Prisoners at the movies. A feel-good Sunday night romp!”
Actor @DevonMMurray: “Must say Prisoners is the best movie I have seen in a while! Was sitting on the edge of my seat for the whole movie!”
Singer @darrenhayes: “Had to walk out of new Prisoners movie. Couldn’t handle the violence. Literally had to get away from it. Seen too much in my own life.”
Kids? How can we put this? Hell. No.
Watch it: If you don’t have children. If you do, make sure you know where they are when you enter the cinema.