User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 533 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 533

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  1. Sep 21, 2013
    I absolutely hated this movie.
    Judging by the critic reviews, it only got a high score from them because it's pretty and the style is interesting, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that all the user scores are so high.

    I will admit that it's a visually pleasing movie, but not only does the mediocre plot drag on forever, it also relies on cheap tricks (like the plot
    "twist" near the end) and doesn't fill the expectations built up in the trailer (the truth behind the story was completely unbelievable)

    And even though most people seem to think the characters are well thought through, all I saw was tropes. Hugh Jackman's character is the ruthless badass who'd do anything to protect his child, his wife is a stereotypical mother, doing nothing but crying for her lost child.
    Detective Loki is the excellent detective with no social life, and the villains are your cookie cutter Hollywood serial killers.
    Joy's parents seemed to be the only characters who weren't one dimensional, yet they had some of the least screen time.

    One could argue that it's more about the message than the story itself, but an interesting message doesn't make up for a drab plot and poor character design.
  2. Sep 22, 2013
    ...Terrible...First off, this was produced by Mark Wahlberg so you would think it would be, at the very least, mildly badass. Plus it has Hugh Jackman, Jake Gillyhall, the Black Guy from Ironman, and the kid from There Will Be Blood plays an assburger.
    That aside, the movie starts off like any other kidnap movie. Happy family, parents not paying attention, rapist scoops up the goods.
    Pretty standard. The suspect gets off clean, the police dont even contemplate anyone else as a possibility and Hugh Jackman takes justice into his own hands. Which sounds exciting right? Wrong. The plot proceeds to drag on for 2 and a half hours of blatantly cut and dry detective work, some moralistic struggles with Jackman and the mom giving Wolverine crap for not protecting them better. Which pisses me off cuz at least HE didnt spend the first week after their kid got snatched up drowning his sorrows in Zoloft and Puffs Plus Tissues. All that aside, this team of Oscar Award winners couldn't make up for the horrendous plot. Kinda makes me wonder if Jackman actually read the script or if that ability was taken with his kid. In the end, all I could feel was that the real Prisoners in this story was the audience themselves. Expand
  3. Sep 23, 2013
    This is classic case of STYLE over SUBSTANCE! It is beautifully shot, the music is spot on... it's moody and pulls you IN. It is very visually engaging. The story and plot have more holes in them then a golf course!! The torture scenario is just ridiculous, no one would go along with this... nor take it this far.
    Also, the audience is deliberately mislead throughout, to engage viewers,
    so they're scratching their heads, but when it all starts to unfold... it's just an unbelievable mess. I WAS engaged during the movie... it was the ending and then all the thought in hind-sight that made me hate this more and more. I feel like I was held 'prisoner' tricked into waiting for something that didn't pan out. It's a RENTAL folks. You'll enjoy it a lot more at home when you're not paying or expecting something truly worthwhile. Expand
  4. Sep 27, 2013
    Good movie, good plot. I would have given this movie a 9/10 if it wasn't for the fact that 90 seconds [the last 90 seconds] ruined the whole movie. What were the producers thinking????? They had a slam dunk kick ass movie if the ending did'nt suck, and it sucked bad, bad enough to ruin the entire movie. Please dont waste you money, but if you do, dont say I didnt tell you that you will leave the movie theater discussed and angry. I feel like I was robbed and that is not a good feeling. At best, only because of the ending, this movie should not get a higher rating then a 6/10. Expand
  5. Feb 14, 2014
    This movie rating is too high .i'm tries too make it appropriate by give this score.
    i felt really disappointed because the plot of it much weaker than most of each TV series like Sherlock , Blacklist , mentalist , criminal mind.
    but i'm accepted only for the good performance of artiste.
    in my opinion this movie doesn't deserve good score because story is too bad, too common.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Spoiler alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    especially the last scene is unacceptable it's too stupid Hugh Jackman die for nothing
  6. Nov 17, 2013
    I was first intrigued to see it by the trailer and it really did seem like a great thriller. With Jackman, Gyllenhaal, Leo, and Davis in the cast, I think it was right of me to expect a first class motion pictures. But to my surprise, the movie sucks.

    the first one hour runs smoothly. I love how they get into the real problem (kidnapping) so quickly into the opening and how it slowly
    starts tearing the two families apart. Right at the moment it starts dealing with past unsolved kidnapping cases that Det. Loki thinks are related to the current case, it all drops dead to the point that I feel like I'm being held hostage to stay in the theater with a gun to my head just to see the movie ends.

    The "maze" plot is totally unsolved and it was really a huge let-down for me. Then comes the snakes in the boxes. While it was pretty scary and intense (despite the poor VFX), it was also left unsolved. WTF was that? And finally, the ending did not payoff the two and a half hours spent at all!! Seriously, even killing Jackman's character is much better than leaving it hanging on like that.

    At last, despite my man-crush on Gyllenhaal and genuine love for Leo, I wouldn't want to see the movie for another run even if it was for free.
  7. Dec 17, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I am watching this movie now. (spoiler coming) But what I see is a sadist using the disappearance of his child to torture another human being --and two weak characters, the underused, underwritten, undeveloped, almost forgotten parents of the other child. Oh, and an essentially passive detective. Expand
  8. Sep 30, 2013
    Hugh Jackman. Nominated for Oscar. Jake Gyllenhaal. Nominated for Oscar. Viola Davis. Nominated for 2 Oscars. Terrence Howard. Nominated for Oscar. Melissa Leo. Won Oscar. Maria Bello. Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Cinematography. Roger Deakins Nominated for 10 Oscars This list of Oscar nominees who acted and worked in this movie is not full. Take a number of excellent and famous actors, the best cinematographer and a mediocre script. The result will be a strange mix. A beautiful picture with decent performance and plenty of suspense. But, as they say, a spoonful of tar spoils a barrel of honey. The script has so many impossible, improbable holes in it.
    If it were a movie like "Die Hard" or "Mission Impossible" where you expect impossible and improbable, and the whole point is pure entertainment. But this movie pretends to be a serious crime drama. Well, it is rather another "could have been"... It it were seriously edited and cut to, say, 100 minutes instead of 153, then, maybe, it would be quite good of a movie. I was disappointed.
  9. Mar 11, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. i watched this because i miss "true detective". thought it might have a similar vibe. wrong. it's tricked out schlock.. hugh jackman overacts loudly and badly, the red herrings pile up, and the absolute worst is that paul dano is tortured horrifically and, in the end, the film wants us to believe it'll all be ok for him in the end. ugh. avoid. Expand
  10. Feb 9, 2014
    This movie is terrible if you like your films to make a modicum of sense. It's truly an unbelievable mess which only angered me as I watched it to its ridiculous conclusion. The cast is great, the acting is good too I just wonder why no-one was screaming at the director and asking the simple question if everyone in this town is retarded or has an IQ below that of a chimp. Like others have said it is well shot and the music is suspenseful and the core of the story is really good, but the characters are a major let down and the script was weak. There are so many holes in this that the leaps the characters make, for this film to progress its story are truly ridiculous. This was no thriller, there was no suspense and seemed pretty obvious to me despite the lengths the writers went to as an attempt to confuse the audience. Its shallow nonsense that's all I can say. It does not deserve the score it currently has (8.1).

    On the other hand if your the kind of person that believes that movies should have no real substance or that you don't understand what that means. Or your the kind of person who just wants to sit back let the movie play and wash over you while munching popcorn and having a conversation, then this film is excellent!
  11. Mar 31, 2014
    this movie is Absolute waste of time .. i am so sorry for mark Wahlberg ..this movie is so much worse than movie 43. i am glad that i did not waste my money and downloaded it for free

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 30, 2013
    Is torture ever justifiable? A twisty, compelling, brilliantly acted (if sometimes difficult to watch) thriller, Prisoners, asks this question not in the usual contemporary context — anti-terrorism — but instead as a gruesome option deployed as a response to every parent’s worst nightmare.
  2. Reviewed by: Emma Dibdin
    Sep 25, 2013
    A simmering pressure cooker of a thriller, Prisoners is an unforgiving but emotionally rewarding experience sustained by powerhouse performances, taut scripting and Villeneuve’s tonally assured direction.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Sep 25, 2013
    It's a veritable shoo-in for an Oscar nod this year, and one of the more disturbing films to come out of a major studio in ages.