Film Review: Prisoners


Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners follows religious man Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), who is facing every parent’s worst nightmare when his six-year-old daughter, Anna, goes missing with her young friend, Joy. As minutes turn to hours, panic sets in when the only lead, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), is released due to a lack of evidence. With Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) doing all he can to find the missing girls and their captor, the frantic Keller 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?

Prisoners is a chilling, dark, and at times terrifying, dramatic thriller that will result in you questioning your own morality. How far would you go? Not as far as Hugh Jackman does, that’s for sure.

The direction is fantastic, with the somewhat disturbing story being handled excellently and the character studies breaking through, Most of all, Prisoners is a great mystery, not letting anything slip and keeping you guessing until the very last minute, literally. I’d be surprised if anybody saw this conclusion coming, but if you were doubting the character set up then shame on you!

The performances are all fantastic, with Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal giving excellent leads. Whilst Paul Dano doesn’t have an awful lot to say, it was his role that impressed me most, however. I’m not much of a fan of his bigger roles, but when he has a small role for a big character, he really does know how to leave an impact.

The cinematography really suits the story, too, with the bleak colours and woodland settings making you feel just as alone as the missing girls and their father searching for them. It was obvious that Roger Deakins was behind this as it’s the only time I ever have anything to say about how good a film looks, as he always captures the settings and atmosphere perfectly.

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