Prisoners  is a thriller about Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), whose daughter goes missing on Thanksgiving. Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) finds circumstantial evidence that points to Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but is let go due to his mental state. Nevertheless, Dover believes that Jones has some involvement and decides to take matters into his own hands.
Darkness! Directed by Denis Villeneuve, with a script by Aaron Gruzikowski, Prisoners has a dark and gloomy feel that’s reminiscent of David Fincher or William Friedkin. Roger Deakins’ cinematography creates a tense environment, equally helped by Johann Johannsson’s eerie, atmospheric score.
Oscars all around! With a cast that includes, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Melissa Leo, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, and Maria Bello, there’s not a weak link to be found. Some actors, like Viola Davis, have small roles, but still very crucial to the story. Hugh Jackman does his best work here, surpassing his Oscar-nominated role in Les Miserables (2012). It’s an intense, committed performance. Not once will the audience be reminded of Wolverine.
Symbolism! The themes of vigilante justice, how far is too far, and even religious elements are all at play. None will be spoiled here, as it is best to know as little as possible. This movie is chock-full of surprises, and thankfully, none of them feel contrived or like a cheat.
Dark, disturbing, and dramatic. This is one of the best films of 2013 that deserves your money, time, and attention.