User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 540 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 540

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  1. 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
  2. Jan 15, 2014
    8
    I was rather impressed with this film. It kept me interested all the way to the end with the extra element of mystery, which challenges the viewer to make sense of everything. The acting by all major characters was great particularly Hugh Jackman showing fear and rage at the same time. It's been a while since I seen a film like this.

    The writers of this film definitely succeeded in
    creating a story that is cryptic and compelling. At the end I thought back over the film to see how objects, people, and other things were connected to what occurred. I didn't even understand why and how things occurred or were connected which created a lot of discussion afterwards. My partner and I shared our thoughts of what we understood; it took both of us to make sense of it all. Good writing and that correct application of it certain shows when it takes two educated people to understand everything.

    This film also made me think about justice and what I would do: is the law always correct? Should we take the law into our own hands? Are laws too black and white? Whether intended or not this opens a dialogue about right and wrong, trusting police, and rational thinking.
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  3. Jan 14, 2014
    7
    Prisoners is a pretty good film, but has its faults. The early scenes of two families dealing with the unimaginable are great, and Gyllenhall is solid as the detective. As the plot unfold, it is at once riveting, unbelievable, shocking, and hokey. I was either rolling my eyes or holding my breath. The length feels a bit unnecessary. Overall, worth a watch if you like the actors and crime films full of twists. Expand
  4. Jan 10, 2014
    9
    Faced with every parent’s worst nightmare, is it ever justifiable to take matters into one's own hands? This very accomplished thriller definitely asks the question. The whole cast is amazing but the director needs to take a lot of credit for stitching together the parallels of their approach to the same incident through the remarkable dramatic performance of Hugh Jackman as a father in distress which is equaled by the quietly assured one of Jake Gylenhall of the investigator in charge of the case. Expand
  5. Jan 7, 2014
    9
    Maybe a bit long bit thrilling throughout. Sometimes I forget how good of an actor Hugh Jackman is because of movies like Wolverine that I have no interest in, but he is riveting here. He drives a powerful screenplay that is tense and foreboding. Definitely not for those who are squeamish, but there is a moment in this film as powerful as anything in 12 Years a Slave that will break down your defenses that is almost in itself worth the price of admission. Expand
  6. Jan 4, 2014
    9
    Great movie with top class acting all around, the movie sticks with you after you have left the theater. One of the best movies of the year. It is a little too long but it does pay off.
  7. Jan 3, 2014
    8
    Literally just finished watching this and my heart is still racing. Jesus Christ this movie is tense.
    Hugh Jackman plays the father of one of two children abducted on Thanksgiving, I think that this year it's between him and Tom Hanks for Best Actor. With the exception of Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki (Best Supporting Actor 2013), the cast is reasonably unknown. That doesn't mean that
    they don't all do a brilliant. But there is one performance in the movie, by an actor who before watching this was unknown to me, which is amazing. Paul Dano as Alex Jones. Give that man an Oscar. No give him a new type of award which is better than an Oscar. A award or something. He plays a strange, creepy alleged pedofile who is the supposed culprit behind the kidnapping of the two girls. The one word which comes to mind when I think of his character is slimy. He's a mix of Hannibal Lecter, Gollum and the late Michael Jackson. Super creepy! I would watch the 150 minute movie all over again just for his performance. Best actor in the whole film, he totally compensates for the plot hole riddled script and some boring scenes. Much like the recent movies Captain Phillips, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty one of my favourite things about Prisoners is that it stays realistic the whole way through and does not exaggerate action scenes or the climax. This is probably why it gets slow moving and quite boring in the middle, but it's still riveting stuff overall. I am not the type of movie reviewer who pays attention to the score, however, from what I have heard it was extremely effective at building up tension and always fit the scenes it was being played too. Finally the ending is extremely hard to understand. Once I had checked that I was right on Wikipedia it made sense. But as the credits started to roll, I asked myself the question: "What the just happened"?
    Overall Prisoners is a hugely enjoyable movie. Sure it has plot holes the size of small villages and the ending isn't very easy to interpret. But those things are redeemed by Hugh Jackman's brilliant lead and Paul Dano's chilling, shiver inducing performance as the alleged pedofile who can best be described with the word: slimy. Ridiculously tense and very intelligent Prisoners is undoubtedly worth a watch.
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  8. Jan 2, 2014
    8
    Prisoners is one of the most thrilling films of 2013. A thrilling,dark film that deals with the subject of child kidnapping. The movie has an incredible atmosphere, and Roger Deakin's gorgeous cinematography helps set a haunting,bleak mood that permeates throughout the entire film. Rain is always falling, snow covers the ground, and darkness covers everything. The characters involved go through hell, and you as the viewer are engaged every step of the way. This is the best performance I've seen from Hugh Jackman,no doubt about that. I haven't seen him give a performance like this since Darren Aronofsky's 2006 film "The Fountain". Jackman immerses himself into the role of the father who will do whatever it takes to find his missing daughter. The other performances are great as well, but it's Jackman's that really stands out. Prisoners is one of the best movies of 2013, but it does have a few problems. The biggest one is that the script leaves a lot of plot-holes and the final act is rather unsatisfying.It's not a big gripe of mine, but the movie does fall apart a bit in it's final minutes. Nonetheless Prisoners is still a great film,especially for those who are fans of dark,mystery thrillers like Zodiac and Se7en. Expand
  9. Jan 2, 2014
    10
    Prisoners is a mind blowing and very moving movie. Hugh Jackman was absolutely outstanding as the main role as the father. Unbelievable. Also credit to Jake Gyllenhall but god, Hugh Jackman definitely stole the show. Story was intense and dramatic and connecting with the characters was almost instant. This movie truly showed how far a father would go to protect his family. Throughout the entire movie, I couldn't help but thinking, that if this happened to me, I would be doing exactly what Hugh is acting out. Must see Expand
  10. Dec 29, 2013
    8
    İzlediğim en iyi Dram filmlerinden bir tanesiydi, Özellikle Hugh Jackman şahane bir performans göstermiş, Acılı bir babanın yapacaklarının sınırı yoktur. ve bu filmde bunu görüyoruz
  11. Dec 29, 2013
    9
    The film, Prisoners, is a very dark and disturbing film. The actors did a great job in their roles. The parents presented with reactions that make viewers unable to help but reflect by putting themselves in their shoes, and the choices they would make if their children were kidnapped. The awkward guy with the glasses was especially amazing an unforgettable character. The film is a battle between morals and mystery. The ending was inconclusive, only leaving viewers with a question revolved around the reasoning behind the name of the film. Basically, this is a great film, and a must- watch" film of the year for me.

    Hopefully there's a sequel to answer all the unanswered questions, but could suffice without one as it is also pleasant to think deeply after a movie for a change.
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  12. Dec 28, 2013
    9
    simply awesome.may be the best movie of this year.Best Acting in a leading role huge jackman do his best.I chose him oscar for this position.O my god what a movie....!!!!
    jack gyllenhaal i was not your fan before this movie...and huge jackman too....
  13. Dec 28, 2013
    8
    Reminiscent of David Fincher's Zodiac in both length and scope, Prisoners is a disarmingly disturbing and effective drama that only gets better as it creeps along. Hugh Jackman anchors the film with an explosive performance, and Melissa Leo is award-caliber in a supporting role.
  14. Dec 22, 2013
    9
    I'm not a fan of crime thillers but Prisoners was one of mt this year's favorite movies. Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman are both great actors and they nailed it this time.
  15. Dec 21, 2013
    10
    My eyes were literally GLUED to the screen for 2.5 hours. I thought it would let up after 45 minutes. Nope. Acting is perfect. Shots are gorgeous. The plot suspends your sense of time. Every scene is captivating. And great ending. Best movie in a long time. How is this misunderstood by some? Don't get it. But hey, that's why art is subjective I guess.
  16. Dec 21, 2013
    7
    Good acting, good atmosphere, but overall a pretty contrived film loaded with loads of cliches, like text book looking nonces, macho cops who hardly say a word, and your predictable whodunnit style plot twists. I like the 90's TV drama feel of the film and there is something nostalgic about it, but I think our expectations have been lowered by all the crap coming our way these days, hence this films great reviews. Expand
  17. Dec 20, 2013
    9
    I witnessed many surprises this year and 'Prisoners' is one of those made me stun. With the big names in it, the movie revolves around a mysterious incident that puts two families into the sorrow. The deeply moving characters and its emotions are the movie's plus point and of course the great performance by the great actors as well. It is refreshing to see Hugh Jackman in a role the father to a missing child.

    A similar kinda movie to 'The Lovely Bones' where two young girls are go missing and their parent's never ending search for them begins. With a single clue they begin to dig every detail to bring back their children along with the help of a young cop. As expected character diversion had an important hand in mystify and confuse the viewers without falling for anything to conclude their prediction before it reveal itself.

    Fine photography. It was pleasant to see cool frames where there's no sun glare but always cloudy, shadow and dark atmosphere something like the movie 'The Awakening'. It brought real close to us the real grief of a family that we can almost feel it. Good or bad ending, the way it ends is all matters. In this story they give us an opportunity to take it either way as you want. One thing I was not convinced is the motivation for the abduction. The reason seemed to me a silly but in reality everything can be possible and sometimes it won't need reasons at all. Finally, it is a must not miss movie from the 2013 film calender.
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  18. Dec 19, 2013
    10
    It takes a certain type of crazy and deprivation to kidnap the Wolverine's daughter. Seriously though, this was a great movie with great performances.
  19. Dec 19, 2013
    10
    Prisoners was an amazing movie! The cinematography, the direction, the performances by Gyllenhaal and Jackman were among the best I've seen in recent years. The writing was also great. I cannot believe how criminally under-rated this movie is. It is a long movie so it's possible that people lost attention. But wow, I was touched by this movie, and I would recommend it to anyone.
  20. Dec 19, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One more Hollywood recruiter of foreign talents, Canadian Villeneuve (from INCENDIES 2010) submits his Tinseltown debut with a dark drama about a child abduction, congregated by a swathe of bankable thespians and a virtuoso DP Roger Deakins, it was a considerable success both in box office and among critics, although its Oscar prospect will not likely pan out.

    PRISONERS conventionally chronicles the appalling case with thorough stoicism to supply enormous stretches to the key performers, Jackson and Gyllenhaal are the two leading players, one is a dogged father believes in his own judgment and is pressured to take extreme measures to fish out information of his missing daughter; another is an idiosyncratic cop has to probe into a sordid scenario while his own backstory remains veiled. Through all these years Gyllenhaal has honed up his screen personality substantially and his quirky foibles (the compulsive blinking here) make him more human while Jackman is a tad over-the-top with a more straightforward character development.

    Bello, as the flip side of Jackson, her post-trauma symptom is being fully destroyed, cannot function anymore, a devastating mother is a piece of cake for her; Howard and Davis pair stand for a more neutral ethnic line here, which one can relate to oneself under the context, but their shortcomings are as glaring as they are ubiquitous. Dano, who takes us aback with another ambivalent career-turn, his make-up in the torture scenes is too surreal for general viewers, theoretically we should feel sympathetic for him, but somehow he manages to diminish this feeling with his look of opaqueness, is he a real retarded victim or a lackey enjoys the gore? It is a moot point where lingers great aftertaste. We cannot leave Melissa Leo behind here since she is the hidden culprit, her reasons for killing aside, her performance does enhance the story’s credibility, and although her downfall is ordained, her encounter with Jackson in the ultimate confrontation is gold and only she can emotionally overpower and cramp Wolverine into his redemption into the darkness.

    Villeneuve proves wonderfully he is a dab hand can handle challenging projects like this, the whole production team is top-notch, Deakins’ camera irradiates specifically in the car sequences near the end, alongside the cutthroat editing, a subdued iridescence can never be more ravishing and what’s more praiseworthy is that it thrusts the narrative into its ultimacy with utter urgency and dazzlement.

    PRISONERS sits comfily into my top 10 year-list, PICTURE, DIRECTOR, LEADING ACTOR (2 spots), SUPPORTING ACTOR and SUPPORTING ACTRESS, for my no-gut-no-glory Oscar prediction, I sincerely hope Deakins can sneak in, alas, even so, he is no chance of winning over GRAVITY (2013, 9/10).
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  21. Dec 18, 2013
    7
    A mostly mediocre film with some incredible performances. The plot itself tugs at heart strings a tad too much but its okay since the ending and acting are downright fantastic. Gyllenhall and Jackman are incredible and frankly its surprising to see the lack of love for them in this awards season. Even when the scene seems trite and overwrought with melodrama these two, neigh, the cast seems to ground it with force and believability unlike any other performance this year. The ending too is handled marvelously, making a perfect balancing act between meaningful and happy go lucky. Expand
  22. Dec 18, 2013
    10
    Maybe this movie is one of the best I've seen in m life, which makes it honor his name in Spanish "La Intriga", it was just a roller coaster of a dark feeling, performing hypothesis than ever I was right and that I love and for my eyes makes an excellent movie.
    Jackman and Gyllenhaal were fantastic.!
  23. 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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  24. Dec 17, 2013
    10
    Went into this movie expecting something good but nothing mind blowing. What I got was something completely unexpected. Prisoners is a gripping story that has a dark tone to it. Personally I like those movies but what made this movie different is the way they approach 2 characters in particular. Nothing is what you expect it to be and the ending was perfect. Possibly the best movie of the year so far. The only other movies I have given a 10 to this year have been Gravity and Captain Phillips. This deserves more attention and recognition than its getting. Expand
  25. Dec 17, 2013
    3
    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
  26. Dec 16, 2013
    7
    The lengthy run time (2 and a half hours) pushes it but as a whole, Prisoners was a pretty enjoyable film that was rather entertaining to watch. I'd recommend it.
  27. Dec 14, 2013
    10
    Prisoners hold your attention and make you feel anxious all the time and even in the end it makes you still thinking about it, the story is also memorable and very hard to forget, Hugh Jackman comes with a amazing performance, it's one of the better movies of the year.
  28. 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
  29. Dec 12, 2013
    8
    risoners is an unforgettable, complex film that is beautifully shot and emotionally resonant even if it suffers from poor pacing and some unnecessary plot points.
  30. 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.
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.