Prisoners

Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 707 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked onHow far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki arrests its driver, Alex Jones, but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child's life is at stake the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Sep 19, 2013
    100
    Exciting, terrifying, worrisome stuff saturates every second of Prisoners, holding you captive, keeping you guessing until the bitter end.
  2. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Aug 31, 2013
    91
    The picture is often graphic and pulls no punches in its disturbing violence, but its unflinching nature gives it a memorable sear that won't soon be forgotten.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 19, 2013
    88
    Prisoners is infused with a poetic intensity that's rare in American thrillers. The closest cinematic comparisons would be "Zodiac," "In the Bedroom" and "Mystic River."
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Sep 19, 2013
    75
    It's difficult to remember a recent movie that soared so high, before plummeting with a series of bad story choices. But the end result is still a strong piece of cinema, a failure only if you dwell on what might have been.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Sep 19, 2013
    70
    Don’t get me wrong, I like trash just fine, and the twisty-loo, triple-abduction plot of Prisoners certainly kept me watching to the end. (You’ll figure out some of screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski’s plot twists, but not all of them.) It’s the imitation-David Fincher pretentiousness that gets on my nerves.
  6. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Sep 20, 2013
    63
    Aspects of Prisoners are effective, but for the most part it's rather ridiculous (despite the fact that it clearly wants to be taken super-seriously), and there's an overwrought quality to much of the acting.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Sep 19, 2013
    38
    It’s preposterous schlock masquerading as art.

See all 46 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 140
  1. 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 youLiterally 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!!!!! Expand
  2. Sep 20, 2013
    10
    Prisoners is a deep dark film, with a first rate cinematography, breathtaking performances, riveting editing, incredible dialog, and prettyPrisoners 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
  3. Sep 23, 2013
    9
    Unsettling, gloomy, grimy, atmospheric. Terrific thriller. Decent twists and turns, and overall uncomfortable feeling. What i look for in aUnsettling, gloomy, grimy, atmospheric. Terrific thriller. Decent twists and turns, and overall uncomfortable feeling. What i look for in a movie. Unlike everyone else, i like long movies. Escape Expand
  4. Sep 20, 2013
    9
    Hugh Jackman cements his position as one of top A list actors with his riveting performance in “Prisoners”. The opening scene is him teachingHugh Jackman cements his position as one of top A list actors with his riveting performance in “Prisoners”. The opening scene is him teaching his son to shoot a deer and tells him “Be ready”. Keller Dover (Jackman) first appears to be a survivalist with a basement filled with shelves as part of being ready. He seems to a Right wing Conservative who has been a recovering alcoholic for nine and a half years, praying on and off but little by little your first impression changes. He and his wife, Grace, (Maria Bello) with their 6 year old daughter Anna (Erin Gerasimovich) and son Ralph (Dylan Minnette) are having Thanksgiving dinner with Franklin (Terrence Howard) and Nancy (Viola Davis) Birch their 7 year old daughter Joy (Kyla Drew Simmons) and Eliza Birch (Zoe Borde). After dinner their two young daughters go outside only to disappear.

    The first, and obvious, suspect is a mentally impaired man Alex (Paul Dano), who lives with his Aunt Holly Jones (Melissa Leo). The girls are seen playing and starting to climb his RV earlier.He lives, sleeping on a sofa bed, in his aunt’s home, her husband having left 5 years earlier. Loki, (Jake Gyllenhaal) the detective in charge of the case, who has solved every case he has been in charge of, is first seen eating his Thanksgiving dinner alone in a diner and next arresting and questioning Alex. He has to let him go as their is no evidence he is involved.

    Keller believes Alex is guilty and wants to know where he has taken the girls and threatens to torture him until he confesses. He takes Alex off to a house in complete disrepair that he use to own and ties him up in a small room. He brings Franklin in with him who is repulsed by the whole idea but wants his child back. Needless to say both families are affected by the kidnapping and possible death of their children.

    “Prisoners” is rated R for violence and there are a couple of scenes some will hide their eyes from watching it plus the “F” word seems to be a major part of Loki’s speech. There are a couple of unnecessary red herrings that makes the movie run 2 hours and 20 minute, a bit too long, but the director Denis Villeneuve, along with screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski, keeps the tension and suspense going with a somewhat ambiguous ending. Don’t let the violence deter from seeing the “Prisoners”.

    The cast is first rate but it is Hugh Jackman’s picture and he takes it to the depths that very few actors could.
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  5. Sep 25, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The film opens with Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) hunting with his son Ralph (Dylan Minnette). He utters a prayer as the deer wanders into the audience's vision. They say amen and Ralph shoots the deer. They drive home in heavy rain, while Keller gives his son a lecture about being prepared in life. They then return to home and the family goes to their neighbours for Thanksgiving dinner. He we are introduced to the very well written characters such as Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) and his wife Nancy (Viola Davis). Both Keller and Terrence have young daughters around the same age, and they go outside to play. Keller's daughter Anna (Erin Gerasimovich) asks her parents if she can go with Eliza (Zoe Soul), Terrence's daughter, back to her house to find her red whistle. But the family finds later she never asked her brother to come with her. They don't hear from the girls, and panic sets on.
    The girls are declared missing and it is Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is put on the case. He finds a man who was near girls last known location and brings him in. His name is Alex (Paul Dano) but unfortunately isn't able to tell them much else. Without evidence he is released, but Keller is certain Alex took his daughter, and he won't stop until he can find his daughter by any means necessary.
    The movie may be slow for people, but it takes its time to develop strong characters and creates a sense of realism from the performances. Hugh Jackman's character is so well done I was reminded of the desperate man performances of the past like James Stewart in Vertigo (1958) or Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven (1992). It's a very enduring character that I believe will be remembered fondly in the years to come. Another interesting performance is by Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki. He's a Detective who cares about the case but is open to all possibilities as film goes on. Even his image with the slicked back hair and tattoos are rather different from the strong moral sense he exhibits.
    But aside from the performances the cinematography stands out. The director of photography, Roger Deakins, uses slow zooms and out focus backgrounds with great editing to create a unique visual experience. Visually it compares to Deakins' other work like Skyfall (2012) and No Country for Old Men (2007). In the end Prisoners work on multiple levels and is a great film to see in theatres.
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  6. 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
  7. 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 notthis 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 Expand

See all 140 User Reviews

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