Day-Lewis is smashing as the man caught between his emotions and the social ethic. Not since Olivier in "Wuthering Heights" has an actor matched piercing intelligence with such imposing good looks and physical grace.
Some will write off Prisoners as shameless exploitation. But like Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," to which it's been compared, Prisoners is so artfully shaped and forcefully developed that objections fade.
The movie will wipe you out. Schnabel's previous two films (Basquiat, Before Night Falls) also focused on artists. But this is his best film yet, a high-wire act of visual daring and unquenchable spirit.
Chases so many ideas that it threatens to spin out of control. But with our multiplexes stuffed with toxic Hollywood formula, it's a gift to find a ballsy movie that thinks it can do anything, and damn near does.
It might have all been another Hollywood-formula flick with American might taking on the alien other. But Greengrass gives Phillips and Muse the time, aboard a covered lifeboat, to discover shared beliefs and fears.