User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 645 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 645
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  1. Sep 24, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Prisoners does not take long to start off the story, probably less than 10 minutes in, and it prolongs the story which makes a nice effect on the audience. It creates the feeling that the girls have been gone for so long, and toward the end of the film, since its so long, the audience will have lost hope. The story itself is a puzzle, and the audience almost has to put together the pieces, but in the end it does not really connect all the pieces together but rather gets lazy about it and just comes up with some random excuse as to how the kids got stolen. It has a cliff hanger ending which I hate in films, like we've been committed the past 2 and a half hours for this? Also the character development... through the film we understand the 2 main leads pretty well, Keller Dover (Jackman) and Officer Loki (Jake (his first name is easier to spell)) but we don't know who they are, you know what I mean? We get no look at Loki's personal life, or why he is driven so hard to find these girls. We get a glimpse in the first several minutes of the film of Jackman's character, a hunter, a strict parent, an ambitious worker. But so much is unexplained... It is one of those films where while watching it you are on the edge of your seat, not necessarily because of the story but because each individual scene's artistic merit creates suspense, but after the film you walk away feeling like you got absolutely nothing out of that movie. Expand
  2. Dec 13, 2013
    5
    Good cast not such a good movie though
    Think the trailer over hyped it for me too much
    So a 5/10 is suitable nothing special going on
    Watch it if you have nothing else to watch that is the category you put this movie in
    Hope I ain't being too harsh hehe
  3. Dec 9, 2013
    6
    Shot skillfully which helps add to the tension of this otherwise extremely overlong bore. The movie tries to establish too many themes with too many tangents and it adds nothing. Was the ending worth the wait, no...but I was still curious to know what happened.
  4. Sep 22, 2013
    5
    I wanted to like this movie much more than I did the actors do a fine job and the direction has its merit. Problem is that it's such a heavy-handed allegory about a post-9/11 America grappling with the ethics of revenge vs. justice, a holy war, and use/effects of "rendition"/torture against innocents and perhaps not-so-innocents. That some audience members laughed at some of the momentsI wanted to like this movie much more than I did the actors do a fine job and the direction has its merit. Problem is that it's such a heavy-handed allegory about a post-9/11 America grappling with the ethics of revenge vs. justice, a holy war, and use/effects of "rendition"/torture against innocents and perhaps not-so-innocents. That some audience members laughed at some of the moments that were meant to be terrifying convinced me either the public has developed a callous jadedness towards these very important issues or the film is clumsy in how it tackles them. This wasn't a "bad" film, just one that could've used fewer nonsensical twists-and-turns that too nicely allow an allegorical frame for what at its heart is about the terrifying idea of how innocence can be lost to random evil. Expand
  5. Sep 22, 2013
    5
    'Prisoners' is a very moody film, beautifully shot, acted and suspenseful. HOWEVER, unlike the movies to which it's been compared to by some (Mystic River, Silence of Lambs, Zodiac), Prisoners also borderlines on the 'ridiculous.' There are a lot of 'holes' in the story/plot that ultimately disappoint. In terms of story I would say that this film is more like a hybrid of: "The Lovely'Prisoners' is a very moody film, beautifully shot, acted and suspenseful. HOWEVER, unlike the movies to which it's been compared to by some (Mystic River, Silence of Lambs, Zodiac), Prisoners also borderlines on the 'ridiculous.' There are a lot of 'holes' in the story/plot that ultimately disappoint. In terms of story I would say that this film is more like a hybrid of: "The Lovely Bones" "Mystic River" and "Extremities"
    (which starred Farah Fawcet). Overall, it's a worthwhile film for the performances and cinematography. The movie could have been great had it been edited down and fleshed out a bit more.
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  6. Sep 27, 2013
    4
    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 willGood 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
  7. Dec 18, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Not bad, but if you are older and know a lot of movies, you notice when they steal scenes from other, previous movies that nobody seems to remember. The ending, well, didn't Rose do the same thing in Titanic The stuff he had to drink to drug himself, only to be buried then The Vanishing...
    Anyway, good entertainment, a bit too long maybe...
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  8. Sep 30, 2013
    4
    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
    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.
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  9. Nov 19, 2013
    5
    I'm still trying to understand how this movie got such a high rating from both users and critics .

    I hated this movie for its dragging style, irrelevant plots and a mediocre script.

    The End was not at all convincing after all jackmans character did may be there is some message in the end .but that wasn't enough to make it a good movie.
  10. May 10, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I liked it for the most part, but was kind of disappointed.The movie has great actors, and they did a great job.It also did a good job of keeping me guessing, but the ending was kind of annoying for me.It just felt incomplete for me, and I didn`t get any real satisfaction out of anything that happened. Expand
  11. Oct 31, 2013
    5
    It has suspense but any movie where two little girls are kidnapped is going to have suspense even if it isn't well-written. 'Prisoners' is such a movie. Most of the time you see either an incompetent detective or a desperate father torturing someone who, for unknown reasons, doesn't tell him what he knows about the crime. The third act is bad and the closure of the story is unacceptable.It has suspense but any movie where two little girls are kidnapped is going to have suspense even if it isn't well-written. 'Prisoners' is such a movie. Most of the time you see either an incompetent detective or a desperate father torturing someone who, for unknown reasons, doesn't tell him what he knows about the crime. The third act is bad and the closure of the story is unacceptable. At least Jackman is great, he convinces you that he is full of anger, pain and regret.
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  12. Sep 23, 2013
    6
    The actors tried hard to give their characters some depth (eye twitch Jake) but the story felt like something a 9th grader wrote for his creative writing assignment. I felt like it moved from one predictable moment to the next while, all the time, jumping up and down and waving its hand "Look at me! See what I did here? Isn't it cool?" I may have sat for the 153 minutes and walked awayThe actors tried hard to give their characters some depth (eye twitch Jake) but the story felt like something a 9th grader wrote for his creative writing assignment. I felt like it moved from one predictable moment to the next while, all the time, jumping up and down and waving its hand "Look at me! See what I did here? Isn't it cool?" I may have sat for the 153 minutes and walked away entertained, but that is the only expectation met. The quality of the entertainment was sorely lacking. Expand
  13. Jul 18, 2014
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A dumb and very strange detective named Loki, fights against something on his mind, we never now and even don't care about.
    A father that tries to rescue his daughter, no matter what and another one that weeps.
    Everything in this movie is boring but the worst thing about it is that they try to encourage my sympathy for a **** animal abuser !!

    At the end, Prisoners is a lower graded SVU episode.
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Metascore
74

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
    88
    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
    80
    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
    89
    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.