User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 619 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 619
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  1. 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.!
  2. Sep 20, 2013
    10
    Despite using a ton of name-brand actors it has almost no hollywoodisms to an uncomfortable degree. It feels so real that it's difficult to watch. One of the tensest things I've ever seen. Beyond being a great thriller, it also engages with larger issues that have been touched on in previous films like Zero Dark Thirty and Munich, namely: even if justified, what damage does vengeance orDespite using a ton of name-brand actors it has almost no hollywoodisms to an uncomfortable degree. It feels so real that it's difficult to watch. One of the tensest things I've ever seen. Beyond being a great thriller, it also engages with larger issues that have been touched on in previous films like Zero Dark Thirty and Munich, namely: even if justified, what damage does vengeance or torture do to us as a society when we carry them out? Expand
  3. Sep 22, 2013
    10
    This movie kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters and acting were amazing. The twist and turns kept you contemplating who was the real culprit for the disappearance of the two girls. Everything was perfect. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal cary the movie. Well Done!!!
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    This movie was amazing, the acting was top notch,the story was really goood with a few twists in it. It has an equal balance of mystery and action to keep youu watching.
  7. Oct 12, 2013
    10
    well let me tell you something, I enjoyed the movie very much, the acting was great, the story was great, the effects was great, I was very pleased from the movie, but lets get to the bad size, well I went to the movie theater to see This is the end, because in my country it release date was only last week, so me and my friends went to the theater and they didn't let us in because we arewell let me tell you something, I enjoyed the movie very much, the acting was great, the story was great, the effects was great, I was very pleased from the movie, but lets get to the bad size, well I went to the movie theater to see This is the end, because in my country it release date was only last week, so me and my friends went to the theater and they didn't let us in because we are 13 years old and this is the end was 16+ in my country, so I had to compromise and I knew that prisoners got a 74/100 and in my country it was only 13+, and you got to agree wit me that prisoners is way more not to my age than this is the end, so we chose prisoners and we thought that it whould be a great drama movie but not that kind of uncomfortable drama movies, and don't get me wrong, even if I am 13 doesn't mean that I didn't saw uncomfortable movies and TV shows, so you know what it was most uncomfortable movie that I ever saw, but even with that I got nothing bad to say about this movie, it was a great movie, but I was a little disappointed because me and my friends went to the movie theater for a movie with comedy, instead of that we went to a dark drama movie. Expand
  8. Sep 22, 2013
    10
    It may be a complete gut punch of a movie at times, but that's the entire appeal of this almost faultlessly acted, shot, directed, written, and executed chiller/thriller.
  9. 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
    '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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  10. Sep 22, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I found Prisoners to be an engrossing and tense movie of the darker nature that breaks boundaries involving what otherwise decent people might do in extremely emotional situations. The performances are good and I recommend the movie however (spoiler alert!!) I thought there were two substantial red herrings which purposely distract you away from the real truth about the perpetrators and their motives which is somewhat incredulous (this is being done to turn people away from God).
    The first involves Alex who because of what he initially does when confronted by police which is unexplained (and why is he driving a RV in the first place)? Then, because of what he says and sings, the viewer is led to suspect him as does the parent who tortures him for the truth that he suspects Alex knows.
    The second character thought to be involved is some type of exceptional copy cat who does all that he can to make himself suspicious and yet is not really involved. There is a lot of confusion about what he knows combined with mazes/maps that actually have no connection to the movie as a whole. I missed the connection between his maze diagram and a medallion worn by one of the perpetrators but the coincidence is strikingly present and yet not connected to the true nature of the actual crime at all.
    So, although I liked the movie, I felt I was purposely distracted and misled in two separate methods that made me suspect the wrong individuals, much as the parent and the detective did, while in the end these two story threads turned out to be unrelated to the actual crime in any way. It's like the movie purposely fooled around with me so that I couldn't make conclusions as I watched it. But, that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the viewing.
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  11. Nov 12, 2013
    10
    Prisoners review

    Dat script, dat acting, dat directing As you saw in my title the script in this movie takes the main spotlight. The twists and turns, the dialogues and the right 'till the end top level suspense. All of those aspects are majorly improved by the amazing man sitting in the directors chair and the talented men acting it out in front of the camera. Especially the one and
    Prisoners review

    Dat script, dat acting, dat directing

    As you saw in my title the script in this movie takes the main spotlight. The twists and turns, the dialogues and the right 'till the end top level suspense. All of those aspects are majorly improved by the amazing man sitting in the directors chair and the talented men acting it out in front of the camera. Especially the one and only Hugh Jackman who steals every single scene he is in. That doesn't by far mean the other actors aren't that good. Gyllenhaal and Terrence Howard both portray two desperate men perfectly.
    Now to the plot which puts you in this awful situation on which two girls get abducted. A detective (Gyllenhaal) is put in charge of the case while the father of one of the girls (Jackman) takes some extreme measures. I won't go further than that to not spoil you of anything awesome (which by the way tends to be the whole movie).
    Directing-wise this movie is just out there in space. By I literally don't remember looking away or blinking. I just sat there at the edge of my seat biting my fingers!
    The composition of the opening shot just gave me the chills. A still shot of some creepy snowy woods with a dear walking by, while Jackman spells out "The holy father" is beautifully unsettling.
    A lot of the shots are still shots. They don't shy away of lingering the shots. Props to that dude named Denis Villeneuve.
    I'll throw it out there that this movie made me cringe. It is disturbing ****
    The last thing I wanna point out is the ending. It has you on your knees by being a very quiet but intense scene full of some sweet sweet shots.
    In the end this movie tackled all of the aspects that make a thriller great and it will definitely get itself some of those Oscar noms!
    10 out of 10 baby!
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  12. Sep 21, 2013
    10
    Wow! Just Wow! "Prisoners" is a dark and grimacing movie. It doesn't really show how Keller (Hugh Jackman) really wants his daughter back so to say, it shows even more grimace and more depth in the horror of what is one to do. Hugh Jackman is the heart of this story. He brings on the true grit of his character which was fantastic. I think he should get another Oscar nod. Plus it has greatWow! Just Wow! "Prisoners" is a dark and grimacing movie. It doesn't really show how Keller (Hugh Jackman) really wants his daughter back so to say, it shows even more grimace and more depth in the horror of what is one to do. Hugh Jackman is the heart of this story. He brings on the true grit of his character which was fantastic. I think he should get another Oscar nod. Plus it has great cinematography and a fantastic script to work off of. Overall, it's truly one of the best movies of the year/If not, the best movie of the year. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel "TheMovieManLife" for all things movies. Expand
  13. 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.
  14. Sep 28, 2013
    10
    IS Prisoners 2 in the making?? I'll definitely hate to watch it, if does coz there are no rooms for a sequel...........................................
  15. 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 theWent 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
  16. 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 thePrisoners 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
  17. Sep 20, 2013
    10
    Prisoners is a deep dark film, with a first rate cinematography, breathtaking performances, riveting editing, incredible dialog, and pretty much one of the best movies of all year. What makes this movie distinctive, is the opening silent sequence, the atmosphere its self, it is chilling and a gripping thriller, it is a tense talk film that kept me at the edge of my seat. It is maybe thePrisoners is a deep dark film, with a first rate cinematography, breathtaking performances, riveting editing, incredible dialog, and pretty much one of the best movies of all year. What makes this movie distinctive, is the opening silent sequence, the atmosphere its self, it is chilling and a gripping thriller, it is a tense talk film that kept me at the edge of my seat. It is maybe the best performance ever coming from Hugh Jackman, he is magnificent in this movie, the villains and the good ones, everyone in this movie has something wrong with them, and this is one of the things that I loved in this film. Prisoners is one of the best movies all year and highly recommended, I loved Prisoners. Expand
  18. Sep 20, 2013
    10
    Prisoners is a riveting, potent abduction thriller with an ominous demeanor and intelligent direction that makes its dark subject matter uneasy, yet enticing to watch. The performances are also gripping and exciting, especially Hugh Jackman who gives a performance for the ages, one of memorable and award winning caliber.
  19. Sep 22, 2013
    10
    Absolutely the best film of the year so far. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Great writing and acting(by jackman, gyllenhaal, and dano especially). The shocking ending left me really thinking about the movie. Highly recommended.
  20. Sep 30, 2013
    10
    Interesting dark story. Great characters. Excellent casting. I came away from the theater wanting to know background stories about each of the main characters. Somehow I had to explain the whole story to another woman who sat near me. She came away not understanding anything that happened and was shocked when I explained it to her. She said it sounded like I saw a different film thanInteresting dark story. Great characters. Excellent casting. I came away from the theater wanting to know background stories about each of the main characters. Somehow I had to explain the whole story to another woman who sat near me. She came away not understanding anything that happened and was shocked when I explained it to her. She said it sounded like I saw a different film than she did. I guess not every movie is for every viewer... Expand
  21. 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.
  22. Oct 7, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I absolutely LOVED this movie! It's full of suspense, and that ending! Wow! 10 of 10 for SURE!! I'd watch this movie again in a HEARTBEAT! Only thing i didn't like about it were the torture scene. Expand
  23. Oct 20, 2013
    10
    I give this film a '10' score, as I was completely captivated from the first frame to the last. However, it is not a film I could recommend easily to others. It is brutal and violent, and certain scenes are very hard to endure. This is how it was meant to play out, though, and all credit is due to its director, Denis Villeneuve, and its cast, headlined by Hugh Jackman and JakeI give this film a '10' score, as I was completely captivated from the first frame to the last. However, it is not a film I could recommend easily to others. It is brutal and violent, and certain scenes are very hard to endure. This is how it was meant to play out, though, and all credit is due to its director, Denis Villeneuve, and its cast, headlined by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhall. But to me, the most shuddering aspect of this story must be credited to the great cinematographer Roger Deakins, whose camera absolutely made prisoners of the audience in depicting the cold, the gloom, the rain & snow, and the hopelessness of the Pennsylvania landscape in winter. (All the more impressive as the movie was actually filmed in Georgia.) Expand
  24. Oct 21, 2013
    10
    This movie had a crazy plot that ended up unwinding crazily like Training Day. The whole experience was pretty much just like a nuts banana. I saw it with my grandma and she actually her pants. Awesome movie.
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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!!!!!
  29. 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.....
  30. 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.
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.