Prisoners Is An Intense, Suspenseful And Shocking Thriller

How far would you go to protect your family?  That question is at the heart of Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s first major release Prisoners, and by the end of the movie you’ll be asking yourself whether you would be willing to go as far as the father does in the movie.

When Keller Dover’s (Hugh Jackman) six year old daughter and her friend go missing on Thanksgiving he does what any distraught parent would do, and that is turn to the police for help. Unfortunately after Detective Loki’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) superiors let the man Keller believes is guilty go free he is forced to take matters into his own hands.  Believing that the window to finding the two girls is quickly closing he begins his own investigation and kidnaps the suspect and begins an intense regiment of torture to try and get the man to speak.  How far he is willing to go however and manage to keep his sanity is the question, especially after doubts begin to rise on whether or not the man is actually guilty.

Prisoners is one of the most intense thrillers to come out in the last few years.  It is sure to be controversial and raise a lot of debate on whether or not what Keller does in the movie is going too far to find his daughters.  Hugh Jackman’s performance is intense, but it is Jake Gyllenhaal who really shines in this movie.  His ability to draw you into his world is phenomenal, but this is nothing new because it is hard to name any movie he hasn’t shined in.  The story twists and turns as it unfolds under Villeneuve’s masterful direction, and no clue is hidden nor obviously waved in your face.  It’s up to you to make a leap to solve the case, or wait for the characters to catch up.  There are also some extremely powerful scenes in the movie that can bring tears to your eyes or cause you to be angry along with the characters on the screen.

Prisoners can be tough to watch at times, and some may find themselves watching from behind their hands, but it is worth the viewing.  The movie had been caught up in development hell for quite some time with different people signed on to direct and star in it, but in the end it seems like the right people were attached to the project. Denis Villeneuve may have turned heads with his lower budget projects, not to mention received an Academy Award nomination, but after this movie more people will know who he is.

Article Written by: Roderick Thedorff – September 19th, 2013

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