Prisoners (2013)


Drama, Thriller


Denis Villeneuve




Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, Dennis Christopher, Dylan Minette, Zoe Soul, Erin Gerasimovih, Kyla-Drew Simmons, Wayne Duvall, Len Cariou, David Dastmalchian, Jeff Pope


When his daughter (Erin Gerasimovih) and her friend (Kyla-Drew Simmons) go missing, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) has no choice but to take matters into his own hands as the police don't really do anything to find the two girls. 


Despite the cast, watching Prisoners never crossed my mind. I barely acknowledged its existence, to be honest. But then Margaret posted "Prisoners" is still so very stupid, a post filled with spoilers. And since I really wanted to read it I figured I should watch the film first. And I'm glad I did it because if I read her post prior to viewing the film I'm pretty sure I would have never given it a chance, and it would have been a shame because Prisoners is a tight and incredibly tense thriller and I loved it.

The story arguably plays a huge role in the film. Although it's far from being believable, it does have some plot holes, some clichées and some parts don't make a lot of sense, it is one of the most gripping and absorbing kidnapping stories I've ever seen. It also raises a discussion on what is right and what is wrong.

Although it unfolds at a very slow pace, this is the kind of story that has the ability to keep you glued to the screen and on the edge of your seat from start to finish because of Villeneuve's direction and some good characters.

The characterization is indeed quite impressive. Both the father, played by Hugh Jackman, and the cop, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, are complex and well developed. Still, I would have loved a little backstory on the cop to understand the character better. But it isn't really the writing that makes them good, it's the actors, especially Jackman who truly delivers the despair of a man whose daughter has been kidnapped. Also worth of a mention is Paul Dano playing the young man who supposedly kidnapped the girls.

However, that's all subjective. Anyone could disagree with me. Something it's impossible to disagree on are the film's cinematography by Roger Deakins and score by Johann Johannsson. The first is simply breathtaking; the second is mesmerizing and adds even more tension.


  1. Glad you gave it a chance. I also really like this one. Despite its flaws it is, ike you said, gripping.

    1. If only all the flawed movies were this good...

  2. Gran bel thriller che mi ha fatto conoscere Villeneuve! Forse ai tempi non ha ottenuto l'attenzione che meritava..

    1. Ma anche adesso, a distanza di anni, mi sembra sia ancora abbastanza sconosciuto. Un vero peccato.

  3. I have read so many people hating this film and I didn't quite get why because it looks so good and I love Hugh Jackman. With your review, it now really makes me want to see the film

  4. Well at least something came out of my post lol :D No, but I'm glad you did like it! Most do.

  5. Because of the casting, I was curious to see what you would think of this one. I am glad you were able to really enjoy it even though it was a slow unfold of the thriller!