Critic Consensus: Prisoners has an emotional complexity and a sense of dread that makes for absorbing (and disturbing) viewing.
PRISONERS, from Oscar (R)-nominated director Denis Villeneuve, stars Oscar (R) nominees Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in a story that poses the question: How far would you go to protect your child? Keller Dover (Jackman) is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect's release. Knowing his child's life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? (c) WB … More
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as Detective Loki
as Keller Dover
as Nancy Birch
as Alex Jones
as Gracie Dover
as Holly Jones
as Franklin Birch
as Ralph Dover
as Eliza Birch
as Anna Dover
as Joy Birch
as Captain Richard O'Ma...
as Father Patrick Dunn
as Bob Taylor
as Officer Carter
as Officer Wedge
as Forensics Guy
as Mrs. Milland
as Check Out Girl
as Detective Chemelinsk...
as Desk Sergeant
as Police Clerk
as Sex Offender #1
as Sex Offender #2
as Sex Offender #3
as Chinese Waitress
as Police Station Repor...
as Police Station Repor...
as Woman at Vigil
as Woman Motorist
as Cop in Hospital
News & Interviews for Prisoners
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Critic Reviews for Prisoners
The last half hour, despite the occasional jolt of excitement, is an embarrassment.
I was shocked to learn this is an original screenplay and not an adaptation. Everything about the story stinks of a crappy novel someone bought at an airport.
This film haunted me for days and weeks after seeing it, and the feeling still lingers.
Prisoners is in the best thriller traditions, but goes deeper into a reflection of one of the greatest moral dilemmas in modern society ... choosing to not only be memorable, but to matter.
Prisoners is a devastating ordeal through the Villeneuve's impressionistic prism. It's a testament to all involved that you want to revisit the ugliness of the story for the artistry of its construction.
Audience Reviews for Prisoners
With fantastic performances (Gyllenhaal deserved an Oscar), an extremely complex script so well written in every single detail and a phenomenal direction that invests in a slow-burning tension with perfection, Prisoners is for sure one of the best films of the year.
Grim, ugly and violent. Good acting but not enjoyable as a viewing experience.
After a man's daughter is kidnapped, he resort to torturing the police's prime suspect in order to discover her whereabouts.
As a thriller, this film follows the basic genre conventions. It's tense, mysterious, and occasionally compelling. However, it seems the film's ambitions are beyond a basic genre film. A lot of the film's exposition establishes Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) as a survivalist -- a right-wing, anti-establishmentarian -- in order to explain his extreme behavior later. But this theme remains undeveloped. I can imagine a good film that questions whether a man's personal moral compass should override the moral compass that most reasonable people agree to, but by the second act, the film devolves into torture porn and the generic dramatic questions overtake the film's philosophical musings.
Jackman has never been an impressive actor, and what depth we see in Keller comes from the script, not his performance. The same can be said of Jake Gyllenhaal, and unfortunately the plot renders Maria Bello catatonic halfway through the film. The best performance is by Paul Dano, who never fails to impress.
Overall, as a thriller, Prisoners fits the genre, but as anything more, it's close but not quite.
|Keller Dover:||He's not a person anymore.|
|Keller Dover:||We hurt him until he talks or they're going to die.|
|Detective Loki:||With all do respect Captain, go fuck yourself.|
|Alex Jones:||They didn't cry until I left them.|
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