User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 501 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 501

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  1. Sep 1, 2014
    8
    With several incredibly strong performances and beautiful direction, this film reaches every aspect of our emotions. It is not often that a film of this measure can hold our suspense, but this one does.
  2. Aug 30, 2014
    10
    Absolutely dark and atmospheric. Prisoners has tense editing and performances, which makes up for a truly disturbing viewing of a terrible situation, it has all the ingredients of greatness.
  3. Jul 26, 2014
    9
    The direction and the performances are absolutely amazing. I don't usually go for big acting, but it worked for me in this movie. If there's anything wrong with it it's that, in the end, it perhaps doesn't live up completely to its full potential. But even though that might mean that it misses the mark (and only barely so) of becoming an instant contemporary classic, it's still the best crime thriller in recent memory and one of my favorite films of the year. Expand
  4. 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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  5. Jul 4, 2014
    8
    What's so good about "Prisoners", is that the script is very thoroughly written. The big reveal in the end does not have to be a big reveal - the film drops clues every now and then to put the viewer into the detective's role and solve the mystery before the protagonists. Also, I found Jake Gyllenhaal's performance delightfully delivered.
  6. Jul 1, 2014
    10
    This is my second favourite film of all time behind shawshank redemption, this film is just perfect, there are so many twists and the story grips you right from the start. also fantastic acting.
  7. Jun 29, 2014
    10
    Prisoners is an incredible, realistic thriller with brilliant performances. Hugh and Jake are amazing and the movie jumps from one scenario to the next. Jake, a detective is trying to find Hugh's daughter and her friend who have gone missing. They track down many leads and come up with little. They apprehend someone but they have no evidence and he won't answer their questions. Hugh knows he is the one who kidnapped the girls. Hugh then takes matters into his own hands in order to find the whereabouts of the missing girls. This movie holds your attention until the end credits, which is what I love best in movies. One of the smartest and intense dramas you'll ever see. Expand
  8. Jun 19, 2014
    10
    This movie caught me off guard...I figured here we go another kidnapping type movie but it was more than that...Hugh jackman and Jake gylanhall performance was believable a real touch home movie that will leave you guessing till the end....What a thriller...must watch...10/10.....
  9. May 26, 2014
    7
    Prisoners is a prime example of why I will never understand Hollywood. You've got a truly great story, an all-star cast, and a world renowned Director, making his American debut. Prisoners was considered to be an Oscar caliber film before it was even released, yet for some reason they had to make it nearly three hours long. If there was enough story for a three hour film, then I'd be all for it, but Prisoners has a good 45 minutes worth of repetitiveness, that does nothing to help the movie, in fact, it takes something away from the film. The story begins on Thanksgiving, when two little girls go outside to play and disappear. Feeling that the police aren't doing enough to find the kids, one father (Hugh Jackman) decides to take matters into his own hands. Hugh Jackman stars in a role I wouldn't have imagined him playing in a million years. Based on his other roles and what I know about the man, this doesn't even seem like the kind of role he'd be interested in, but he gives one of the strongest performances I've seen all year, I really didn't know he had that in him. Jackman is paired by Jake Gyllenhaal, another guy who I couldn't see playing a tough as nails police detective, but he too surprised, giving a very strong performance. The cast isn't the problem and the story isn't the problem, what bothered me about this film was how much of it was unnecessary. Did we really need dozens of scenes with Jackman and Dano or all the talk and sadness amongst the families? This was a great all-around movie, but it was so long, that by the end, I'd stopped caring about what was happening and just wanted it to be over. Don't get me wrong, I highly recommend this film for a unique twist on classic story, great performances from an unlikely cast, and the work of a Director who his known around the world for his signature style, but just a word of caution. Prisoners is a very long film, that at many points seems to go around in circles. When they eventually do get to the point, it's outstanding, but it takes a while to get there. Expand
  10. May 25, 2014
    8
    Damn This was a great movie had me guessing all the way till the vary end I mean I was able to put some things together through out the movie but all the twists were just crazy an too much. The film follows two families trying to deal with thier daughters coming up missing and the dectective (Jake Gyllenhaal) trying to find out what happened to them. The cast was amazing and everyone did a great job Jake Gyllenhaal does a great cop now doubt about that with End of Watch and now this. Hugh Jackman was on another level though it was the best proformance I have ever seen from him.

    The realism is what makes the film how the families try to deal with what is happening to them and what they will do to get their children back. Sure some will say it was hard to watch at times but I guess it's the realism that helps with that. I never really had a hard time watching the torture scenes and seeing all the reviews I was thinking it was going to be a lot worse then it was. The ending leaves off without the whole stroy wrapping up but i actually liked it though I can see why other would be upset by it.

    Overall I give it a 8.5 Third best film i watched this year beating out Mud. This movie is a great watch but i think it's one of those movies that you can really only watch once.
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  11. 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
  12. May 8, 2014
    9
    Canadian director Denis Villeneuve gives us a strong film that is filled with heartbreaking moments. Jackman puts on his strongest performance yet, Gyllenhaal is just masterful.
  13. May 3, 2014
    8
    A great performance by Hugh Jackman, a mind-blowing story that is not that complex, a story that can be put in 1hr 45 min, but turns out that this movie is overly long, with unnecessary scenes that make this movie 2hr 30 min and slow, which brings the suspense down.
  14. Apr 26, 2014
    10
    Literally the best movie I have seen all year. Extremely well made, with heaps of plot twists and exciting visuals. Will definitely have you biting your nails!! Beautifully produced, loved every second of it. MUST WATCH THIS FILM!!!!!
  15. Apr 22, 2014
    9
    Prisoners is one of the most intense movies I have ever watched especially near the ending. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time with my heart racing also the whole time. I couldn't guess what was going to happen next which is why this movie was so thrilling. I am upset that this movie didn't win any Oscars as it is one of my favourites of last year and deserves Oscars. If it came out during the Oscar movie season I am sure it would have had more consideration. Expand
  16. Apr 14, 2014
    8
    I give it a 8.5 out of 10. The film is tense, the cinematography is outstanding, the pace is perfect to the point I can say the two hours and a half fly like it´s nothing, enjoyable from beginning to end, unpredictable when it comes to the fate of the characters, you are invested the whole time, you care about it, the acting is on point and pretty much perfect from absolutely everyone in the film, and I mean it, everybody and many more good things. The only thing I could say against it is that it definitely is not an innovative film, we have seen this type of story many times before. That´s why I´m not giving it my strong 9 out of 10, which is like the biggest score I usually give a film. But so damn good. In my top 10 films of 2013. Expand
  17. Apr 4, 2014
    10
    a realistic thriller without police with i.q 150 where just looking at the crime scene already know who the suspect was.brilliant performances and photography near perfection.
  18. Apr 3, 2014
    8
    PRISONERS (153 min): directed by Denis Villeneuve
    Posted by: Jessica Hinman
    While two families come together to celebrate the holiday dedicated to giving thanks, something very precious was taken from them, their daughters.
    The two girls intended to slip outside for just a few minutes, but to their family’s dismay, they never returned. The community all gathered and helped the two
    families search for their daughters. As the scenes unravel, you begin to question the probability of a fairy tale ending.
    This heart stopping, twisted crime drama appeals to the young adult and older audience because of its use of language and violent scene content. The cast consists of Jake Gyllenhaal who plays Detective Loki, Paul Dano who plays the mentally disabled suspect Alex, Terrence Howard who plays the father of the Birch family, Viola Davis who starred in the “The Help” plays the wife of Franklin Birch, and Maria Bello is the wife of Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman). When the investigation doesn’t seem to be moving quickly enough, Dover decides to take matters into his own hands. The scenes that follow make you ask yourself, “Just how far would I go to find my child?” This incredible cast takes you on a journey of emotions: from fear, to anger, to horror, and finally drops you off at guilt.
    This 153 minute movie takes its time to build you up and make you think you know exactly what is happening. Then it throws you off a cliff and says “Gotcha!”
    Prisoners is one of the best films of the year! Four stars go to this stomach-wrenching film that captures every parent’s most dreaded nightmare of losing their child.
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  19. Mar 31, 2014
    0
    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
  20. Mar 28, 2014
    9
    Hugh Jackman was what made me get this movie, and I don't regret it. It's an interesting thriller with good end to it, but at times predictable, visually interesting, and grabbed my attention to the end, I didn't feel bored for a minute. Hugh, despite anything negative, was at his best, he has definitely earned another medal for me, as well as Jake, which was surprising, he isn't one of my favourites. So all in all I enjoyed the movie, it was definitely worth watching. Expand
  21. Mar 25, 2014
    10
    i think hoolywood sometimes makes really good movies, some of them are making you feel nervous, sky, scared, and prisoners is one of the few movies that makes that, the acitng is amazing, the cinematograohy pfffff beautifull, but the most important thing is the script, its the best script i saw.
    BEST MOVIE EVER
  22. Mar 11, 2014
    2
    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
  23. Feb 14, 2014
    0
    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
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  24. Feb 9, 2014
    3
    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!
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  25. Feb 7, 2014
    9
    Deep, dark, and disturbing. "Prisoners" provides a complex and excellently written plot with characters that feel human. It's also takes a look at how far a parent will go to protect their child. All of this is backed by an excellent cast who all give amazing performances. It's the type of film that gives us a look at the morally gray side of humanity. It's not for those who shy away from violence, but I recommend it to those who are looking for thriller that will keep them on the edge of their seats. Truly an outstanding movie. Expand
  26. Feb 3, 2014
    9
    what can dad feel and do, If dad can not find his girl? you can follow the Hugh Jackman in this film for to understand dad emotions.. deep story perfect roles..
  27. Feb 3, 2014
    10
    'Prisoners' deals with kidnappings and serial killers. But there's a twist. This time the father of the abducted child loses hope in the law and runs an investigation in parallel with the police.

    Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is an ordinary father until his daughter is picked up in the vicinity of his house along with the daughter of his good friend Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard). At
    first he trusts in the detective assigned to the case, David Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), to find their daughters. But when the man suspected in the kidnapping, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), is released due to lack of evidence, he takes matters into his own hands and abducts him in turn. Dover devises crueller forms of torture when Alex doesn't budge. The Birches get involved. Dover tries his best to keep his imprisonment of Alex a secret.

    Two cases attract Loki's attention as he looks for the girls. The connection between them and the main case becomes apparent as the plot advances. A man runs from him during a candlelight vigil for the girls. He has a sketch made and hunts for him earnestly.

    There are a few red herrings and then a few Chekhov's guns. There are a few clues for those who keep a watchful eye. By the time the movie ends you feel sorry for some characters you might have been hating until that point. Unfortunately, not much can be revealed about that without risking to spoil the whole experience for the viewer. Prisoners is the sort of film that forces you to think about it for a while after you're done watching. There were a few puzzles I was still mulling over in my head and had to discuss with people to get their take on it. But rest assured that everything that is worth including is included in the theatrical edition.

    The two investigations eventually end up at the same place, and the ending is bittersweet. I think it was well done, contrary to what everyone else has been saying about it.

    Roger Deakins lives up to his name. Every scene was exquisitely shot. The film was well edited. At a running time of two hours and twenty six minutes, Prisoners is a fast paced drama that never relents and constantly surprises and amazes at every turn. The characters were well drawn. Hugh Jackman depicts the anguish of a grieving father with poignant scenes. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays the detective as a distinct, somewhat eccentric, and extremely dedicated man married to his job. I couldn't find any weaknesses in the script. The plot only progressed after making sure that everything that could be done to find the girls had been done. There were no imbecile moves made by anyone that contributed to the advancement of the story, except perhaps for one scene near the end, where Dover turns his back on someone he had reason not to. The tension and the sense of thrill was retained through the majority of the length of the film.

    It was an intelligent film made for an intelligent and vigilant audience, but the way it was shot and edited it also held the attention of those who don't have an attention span to boast of, so the element of urgency is perhaps what may have intrigued them and kept them awake.
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  28. Jan 23, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Prisoners is an Oscar worthy film it could probably win. I 'm not sure if the movie or anyone is nominated but Gyllenhaal gives the best performance in this as Detective Loki a Twitchy,Calm Determined detective. Jackman and Terrence Howard are both friends who lose their youngest daughters from Kidnapper(s). This movie is Amazing, Dark, Gritty, and Perfect my favorite movie of 2013. People thought this movie was too predictable but i didn't especially know who the Kidnapper is I definitely only suspected the correct person minutes before that person was revealed. Anyway this is a Must See Expand
  29. Jan 18, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is great, it has great suspense, that kept me on the edge of my seat, the acting is great, Hugh Jackman delivers his greatest performance, but I did had a,( in my opinion), terrible ending, but this movie is still great, and one of the year's best. Expand
  30. Jan 15, 2014
    9
    I honestly regret not seeing this film sooner because it is just amazing! The story is a fantastic mystery that kept me hooked the entire time and the performances from Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal are all top shelf stuff. Pretty much everything about this movie is incredible and it didn’t fail to entertain me in the slightest. Expand
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.