Prisoners review

Prisoners PosterGenre: Drama, Thriller.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davies, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano.
Year Of Release: 2013
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 153 Minutes
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Synopsis: “When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?” IMDB

I will start off saying I was very apprehensive going into “The Prisoners”, I have personally never been a fan of Gyllenhaal’s acting I always found his style to be boring. Hugh Jackman on the other hand I am a huge fan of being a lover of X-Men for roughly half of my life.

Hugh Jackman in this film was truly a spectacle to behold, he commands the screen with every second he is on it, his performance as a broken father really resonates with the audience, he really makes you pull at your own moral compass. How far would we truly go to save our blood, Jake Gyllenhaal gives an equally as good performance as Detective Loki (yes his name really is that cool). Gyllenhaal is equally as powerful. He incredibly embodies the troubled detective void of his emotions, culminating in real feeling ticks and twitches you begin to feel really embody the characters progression.

I would personally say it is career best performances from Jackman and Gyllenhall, but that is to not take away from the rest of the cast, Terrance Howard is truly back to the quality of acting that won him his Academy Award nomination for “Hustle & Flow” and the performance he gave in “Crash”. While Paul Dano might not have had as much screen time as some of the other actors, he was truly superb playing the emotionally and intellectually stunted Alex Jones who is said to have the IQ of  ten year old.

While the film is not entirely perfect, Denis Villeneuve makes and incredible film for his Hollywood debut and first English language film. His use of tension building is second to none in recent years, “edge of the seat” stuff in a understatement, you start at the edge of your seat, by the end of the film you are on the floor. It has a wonderful noir feel to the film, and the use of Roger Deakins’ cinematography was a true spectacle to behold, his work has been nominated for twelve Academy Awards so he is doing something right.

Aaron Guzikowski writes some of the most enjoyable scenes I have seen in a thriller film for a long time, it is hard to believe that he is so early in his writing career considering his amazing grasp of twists and turns and brings a true mystery to the audience. There is a few moments of the film that are predictable but that happens with ANY film written, however for a relative newcomer Guzikowski is superb in his work.

Overall, the film a truly a roller coaster ride of emotions that will keep you enticed from start to the end filled with powerful performances from the entire cast. The film does have a pretty long running time which may scare a few people off, but I assure you it is worth the long watch, that is if you are open to some violence and a few torture based scenes. If you get passed these aspects you will be in for a treat of a wonderfully shot, brilliantly directed and beautifully acted film by the leads.


Chris "The Boss" Wilson

Chris is a self confessed movie junkie, his favourite film is A Nightmare On Elm Street, yes the 84 version obviously!

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