User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 620 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 620
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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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 haveThis 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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  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
    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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  7. 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 camePrisoners 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
  8. 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!!!!!
  9. 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.....
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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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  13. 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.
  14. Nov 9, 2014
    8
    The constantly riveting thriller Prisoners is an unforgettable, complex film that is beautifully shot and emotionally resonant even if it suffers from poor pacing and some unnecessary plot points.
  15. Apr 7, 2015
    9
    Excellent movie. Absolutely entertaining. It's about a couple of girls that are kidnapped, and all the work that their parents and the police does to get them back. The acting is incredible. Gyllenhaal and Jackman are absolutely awesome in the film, as well as the kidnapper team. The story is incredibly original and it has a lot of unexpected twists, and everything about it is justExcellent movie. Absolutely entertaining. It's about a couple of girls that are kidnapped, and all the work that their parents and the police does to get them back. The acting is incredible. Gyllenhaal and Jackman are absolutely awesome in the film, as well as the kidnapper team. The story is incredibly original and it has a lot of unexpected twists, and everything about it is just perfect. It will keep you attached to the screen the whole run time.
    Watch it, just watch it.
    Real score: 9.4
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  16. Jan 22, 2015
    7
    This film was a surprisingly enjoyable ride, it had sleek visuals, engaging characters and a plot that had me hooked until the very end, where it stumbled a bit. Hugh Jackman felt like a strange pick considering how many people would only associate him with the endless **** comic book movies that are still spraying out of Hollywoods anus, extremely average action movies, and that one movieThis film was a surprisingly enjoyable ride, it had sleek visuals, engaging characters and a plot that had me hooked until the very end, where it stumbled a bit. Hugh Jackman felt like a strange pick considering how many people would only associate him with the endless **** comic book movies that are still spraying out of Hollywoods anus, extremely average action movies, and that one movie Australia that literally no-one gives a **** about. Hugh was good though, he played the emotionally tormented dad who would do anything for his daughter, but he takes it to the point where he goes so far that everyone in the audience disconnected from the character completely and he enters the "too **** up to sympathise" zone which is usually reserved for the bad guy so their torturous demise can be justified, but the movie continues like hes a protagonist and everyone just runs with it because **** yeah we want to know who took his daughter.

    Jake Gyllenhaal does a great job of the obsessed gifted detective and his scenes are what make the movie interesting, but he's downplayed somewhat by the amount of screentime he shares and gives up for Jackman who spends it torturing a retard who somehow withstands serious amounts of **** which I felt was unrealistic or at least poorly explained, he says just enough to provoke Jackmans character and acts like he's intentionally enduring the torture for mysterious reasons, which are never really explored. The final scene is somewhat of a tease where a dramatic 3-way of characters with extremely strong motivation could have clashed but instead sort of just wrapped up without too much of a fuss.

    Still a great thriller that might be a bit uncomfortable for your girlfriend, but she'll be squeezing your hand real tight the whole time, absolutely worth a view.
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  17. Mar 18, 2015
    9
    Denis Villeneuve dives head first into the world of mystery, thriller-drama in his 2013 film Prisoners. The story’s controversial subject matter is enough to deter even the most experienced of directors, however, Villeneuve does an outstanding job of reproducing the tension and unnerving suspense that writer Aaron Guzikowski presents in his script. The films stellar casting and outstandingDenis Villeneuve dives head first into the world of mystery, thriller-drama in his 2013 film Prisoners. The story’s controversial subject matter is enough to deter even the most experienced of directors, however, Villeneuve does an outstanding job of reproducing the tension and unnerving suspense that writer Aaron Guzikowski presents in his script. The films stellar casting and outstanding visual style make Prisoners one of the better thriller-dramas of the last five years.
    The story of a desperate father’s challenge of finding his daughters abductor is one to make even the toughest of the tough uneasy. Villeneuve avoids using shock tactics to create the illusion of a nail biting drama. Instead, he changes pace throughout the movie to keep the audience guessing. These sudden changes adds a whole new level of complexity to the characters. Keller Dover, played by Hugh Jackman, is a perfect example of the multi-dimensional characters portrayed by Villeneuve. He is a loving and caring father, but is determined to risk his to save his daughter. This duality shifts the audiences’ paradigm of Jackman’s character. One moment he is the protagonist, the next he’s the antagonist. Those who are accustomed to the grit of Hugh Jackman will find not only remnants of Wolverine, but be delighted to find a more sporadic, melodramatic side to the actor they may not have seen before. Villeneuve contrasts this with the more concrete character of Detective Loki, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Gyllenhaal has proved in the past that he is capable of handling even the most complex of characters. Prisoners is no exception. Every detail of a young, stressed and over-worked detective is captivated by Gyllenhaal, he even got the nervous tick down.
    What makes the story of Prisoners so emotionally draining is its plausibility. There is no point in the script that the audience would say “OK, there is no way this would EVER happen in real life.” The story reaches a part of most viewers’ painful reality, that child abduction is a possibility. Aside from its story, Roger Deakins cinematography exemplifies what a thriller-drama should look like. Dull, cold colors, and close-up shots that put the viewer uncomfortably close to the action.
    Prisoners does what it sets out to do, reach the audience on a psychological level. This film distinguished the fine line between enjoying a film and liking a film. The main difference here being that Prisoners makes you uneasy and tense. I paid for the whole seat but only used the edge of it.
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  18. Mar 19, 2015
    9
    Crime, thriller, drama? Want to be a detective for 2 and a half hours? Watch Prisoners as this is a personal favorite of mine. I watched this three times and I still would recommend it to anyone who is down for a intensely dark yet captivating movie. Let me tell you that this is not a first date, second date, or third date movie. This is for those who have made their bed and alreadyCrime, thriller, drama? Want to be a detective for 2 and a half hours? Watch Prisoners as this is a personal favorite of mine. I watched this three times and I still would recommend it to anyone who is down for a intensely dark yet captivating movie. Let me tell you that this is not a first date, second date, or third date movie. This is for those who have made their bed and already considered how to handle situations like in this movie.

    Music, there wasn't much music but the basic thriller orchestral stuff and any creepy beats that you can find in a serious film. Anyone watch "Training Day" or anyone gone through a period of time of just pure uncertainty? Yeah, this is that film that will leave you speechless. You go through an internal struggle on how you feel about the characters. I always look out for the film to world connection and I believe you will realize what kind of person you are from the characters who in a sense are just like you and me.

    Every time I have watched it with people, the room has been completely silent. YES INVITE THAT ANNOYING FRIEND. It's annoying-friend movie approved but don't invite the person who always looks at their phones. I don't get those people and this movie doesn't deserve that.

    Acting wise, it's a stud cast but Hugh Jackman ain't wolverine in this one. Denis Villeneuve (director), I look forward to writing more reviews about your work. Your ability to write but not sacrifice the quality of screenplay impresses me. I appreciate that.

    Word to describe: footsteps. Everyday life there are many things we do not pay attention to like footsteps. This movie forces the audience to analyze everything.
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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.