Prisoners - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Prisoners Reviews

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Top Critic
Mara Reinstein
Us Weekly
September 19, 2013
A frustrating puzzle in which the pieces don't quite fit together
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Sheila O'Malley
RogerEbert.com
September 20, 2013
Aspects of "Prisoners" are effective, but for the most part it's rather ridiculous (despite the fact that it clearly wants to be taken super-seriously), and there's an overwrought quality to much of the acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Vincent Mancini
FilmDrunk
September 20, 2013
Dark subject matter like this feels that much more perverse when it's totally phony.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Matt Patches
IGN Movies
September 19, 2013
Has the sheen of a prestige picture and the guts of Law & Order's best episode.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.5/10
Neil Pond
American Profile
September 26, 2013
Raises many questions, in its brutally direct way, as it plows through a minefield of raw nerves, shattered emotions, shifting moral boundaries and unnerving religious overtones.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
September 18, 2013
Nothing more than a cheap thriller with some pseudo-philosophical nonsense tacked on.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
September 20, 2013
The directorial instincts of Villeneuve lean toward the lurid, though he seems to think he's making a grand and brooding statement about the human condition. Prisoners is a compelling but unpleasant film, captive to its own schlocky hubris.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Tony Macklin
tonymacklin.net
September 21, 2013
Prisoners is like a hyper kid got on an elevator and pushed all the buttons, so that it stopped at every floor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
Stephen Silver
EntertainmentTell
September 19, 2013
Great acting, in the service of a plot that keeps getting more ridiculous. I was with it until the snakes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Bill Gibron
Film Racket
September 19, 2013
Prisoners wants to be operatic and epic. It never quite succeeds.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Anders Wright
San Diego Union-Tribune
September 20, 2013
Begins as a story that has intriguing and seriously complex moral and ethical implications before giving way to what is a fairly by-the-numbers, beat-the-clock serial-killer thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jeffrey Lyles
Lyles' Movie Files
September 19, 2013
Too much of brilliantly good thing. It's like watching the director's cut that goes a bit deeper into the character development and filled with scenes the filmmakers loved, but realized weren't essential for the final cut.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Rob Gonsalves
eFilmCritic.com
July 15, 2015
The last half hour, despite the occasional jolt of excitement, is an embarrassment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
ChristyLemire.com
September 22, 2013
It's got lofty aspirations but it also wants to wallow in the muck - to thrill you and sicken you in equal measure while also being About Something.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Eric Melin
Scene-Stealers.com
September 20, 2013
Swims in the murky waters of moral complexity, content to skim the surface without engaging fully with the questions it raises...delivers a disappointingly convoluted mystery plot in an attempt to give the audience what it thinks it wants.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
David Jenkins
Little White Lies
September 26, 2013
A hulking gothic whodunit which sadly falls to pieces in its final act.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
September 20, 2013
Prisoners has got more pedigree than a Westminster dog-show winner. It's just not very good. In fact, it's worse than not-very-good; it's could've-been-really-good-and-isn't.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
October 4, 2013
Jackman is still in his phase of high-masculine misery... The entire performance is an exclamation point, and he swings it like a baseball bat.
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
September 17, 2013
You never sense that any of the players is inhabiting a character. Instead they seem to be dispiritedly reading lines off of an internal teleprompter ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 19, 2013
It's preposterous schlock masquerading as art.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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