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4.3 out of 5 stars615
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 14 February 2016
This is possibly the most riveting film in this genre that I have seen. It is relentless. Halfway through the film I thought to myself 'this is the closest thing to being on a roller coaster'. You spend the whole film biting your knuckles and hoping that the missing children turn up ok. The acting s superb. You find yourself talking at the TV screen and almost covering your eyes. The drama of it all is compelling.
The film starts with two young girls going missing. At that point the tension is at 9 out of 10, and it creeps up by a tenth throughout the film until it hits 10 towards the end. Of course at points it becomes too contrived and Hollywoodish to be 100% believable but that isn't the point. The point is that this film is an absolutely riveting drama. I was nailed to the seat. This is Jackmans best film and Gyllenhall is very good in it as the one good cop surrounded by useless fat 9 to 5 doughnut eating cops. The supporting actors are ok but Jackman's wife is criminally under used.
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on 7 March 2014
I went to see this film in cinema upon release and after getting it on Blu-ray, I can still say it's one of the best films I've seen for a while, among others. The film sees Detective Loki (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) trying to solve the case of two missing girls. Keller Dover (played by Hugh Jackman) is the father of one of these children, and gets him and others in bad situations while trying to find his daughter also. The acting is great and the overall feel of the film is amazing. Its disturbing scenes and twisted paths leads you on a journey that leaves you adding everything together and speculating who is the real kidnapper.

This is one film I highly recommend to get hold of because it's definitely a must-see, and with strong characters and interesting writing, it's one that'll have you connecting everything up days after watching it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 February 2014
I was not planning to watch "The Prisoners" thinking of it as some sort of action thriller taking place in prison. Boy, was I wrong. This intelligent, thought-provoking and masterfully executed by the well-cast group of actors (including Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman) film is easily the best thriller of 2013 that will blow your socks off. What starts as a seemingly straightforward case of kidnapping quickly spirals into an unsettling moral predicament.

"The Prisoners", a story of a search for two abducted girls, keeps you on the edge of your seat with the nagging sense of dread, several twists, events and developments that you just do not see coming. It has a vast field of clues and red herrings to let you build your own theories. This is definitely a must watch if you enjoy intelligent, clever films with superb acting and effective cinematography and emotional complexity. Be warned: there are plenty of disturbing and distressing scenes throughout the film, including some unspeakable cruelty that I found hard to watch.

But as a thriller, it fully deserves at least 4 stars!
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Contains plot spoilers:

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) hunts deer the first day of hunting season. In Pennsylvania, that is Thanksgiving. His family walks over to the Grovers to celebrate the Holiday. While there, Franklin Grover (Terrence Howard) decides to entertain with his trumpet and the next thing you know their young daughters are missing. The son recalls a van nearby that the girls wanted to play on. The police (Jake Gyllenhaal) quickly get the van and the driver (Paul Dano), but it is clean and the driver "has the mind of a ten year old." To the dismay of Keller, the police let him go with the expected vigilante results by Keller.

As it turns out the tale is slightly more twisted than on the surface.

I will say the acting is good, but we have seen so many films of this genre they clearly ran out of catchy names and simply called this one "Prisoners" allowing the viewer to make everyone a prisoner either physically or of the mind. Yawn. I really liked the "Dirty Harry" version of this genre. Go ahead. Compare the dialog. Make my day. It took both Jackman and Gyllenhaal together to do what Eastwood did better by himself.

I am not saying this is a bad film, by no means. It is certainly worthy of a rental, especially if you like to see parents lament over their missing child. I just can't see shelling out a lot of green for a film that will remembered as a trivia question.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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I believe this to be a film worthy of it's acclaim.
Almost from the outset of the film 'Keller Dover's'(Hugh Jackman) six year old
daughter 'Anna' and her friend 'Joy' go missing.
The police have an early suspect 'Alex Jones' however because lack of evidence,
and despite 'Keller's' plea to hold the suspect, the arresting officer 'Detective Loki'
(Jake Gyllenhaal) will have to release the suspect after 48 hours have past.
The investigation and search becomes intense, however the girls are not found.
'Detective Loki' leaves no stone unturned in an effort to find the young friends.
Hours turn into days, 'Keller' becomes desperate believing he can find the answers
the police have failed to do, he takes matters into his own hands.
'Keller' has involved 'Franklin' 'Joy's' father in pursuit of the truth, the thing being is
the focus of their attention right or wrong.
An intense and gripping drama indeed, there are scenes of torture and violence along
the way.
The film will hold your attention throughout, the plot will almost certainly tie you up in
knots ( so to speak) as the suspense intensifies.
Some great performances on board, especially that of 'Hugh Jackman'
Good picture and Sound Quality.
Extras - Powerful Performances.
- Every moment Matters.
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Two young girls are abducted after a Thanksgiving meal where their two families are celebrating in the home of one of them. The girls have wandered outside to play and go unnoticed for some time while the families enjoy one another's company. Eventually, people begin to notice their absence and then, very quickly, panic sets in and the two fathers (Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard) run off to look for them. In the meantime Jackman's son remembers that, earlier, the girls were fascinated by a motorhome parked a little way down the street when they had gone out prior to dinner. He tells his father and they go to look for the motorhome, which is now gone.

Enter the police, primarily in the form of Jake Gyllenhaal, who quickly locate the motorhome and its sole occupant and bring him into custody. However, when they try to interrogate him they find that he has the mental age of a 10 year old and are forced to release him after a forensic search shows no physical evidence of the missing girls in the vehicle.

This incenses Jackman's character who decides to take matters into his own hands with grim consequences! This film examines the obvious toll on all the members of a family whose child has been abducted and we witness the harrowing aftermath for all concerned as the tragedy unfolds before our eyes. The movie seems more to have echoes of `Dead Zone' rather than `Taken', as it scrutinizes the almost Gothic weirdness of small town America beneath the Norman Rockwell homespun, 'apple pie' type images that we are often fed.

And it's all the more disturbing in the wake of the recent revelations, in Austria, America and elsewhere of kidnappings, imprisonment and even the enslavement of abducted children who seem simply to disappear into thin air and the twisted logic of the individuals who perpetrate this evil, often seeking to mitigate their actions in religious terms!

The whole cast puts in very convincing performances and this, together with an intelligent script, makes for horribly compelling viewing but one you probably won't want to repeat any time soon!
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on 8 June 2015
Surprisingly violent, but watchable. How would you behave if your child was missing and you were convinced someone knew where they were? How far would you go? But, what if no-one else thought you were right and you had already started down a road of no return????
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on 20 February 2016
Prisoners is my favourite movie of 2013. This was my first experience watching a Denis Villeneuve film, and I still can't believe how effective the build-up and tension was, and still is in this film. I could honestly feel my blood pressure rising when I saw this film for the first time. It's so incredibly suspenseful and gripping that I feel like the audience is just put through an emotional gauntlet every single shot. Everything in this film just feels like its shot and edited to perfection, it just has this consistent raise in tension that just never lets up. The film is basically centred around two families, who's children go missing, and pretty much about what extreme lengths you would take to get them back, how far is crossing the line? The film doesn't tell you this, but it instead leaves it to you. I felt deeply conflicted watching some of the things that happen in this film unfold.

Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrance Howard and Viola Davis all are exceptional in this film as the parents of the two missing children and whats so impressive to me about them is how different they all react. Hugh Jackman gives the best performance of his entire career here, and I was legitimately scared of him in this film. The amount of raw emotion he shows is just so poignant to me. Terrence Howard was also outstanding in this film and what stood out so much about him in the film is his conflicted emotions throughout the film as he is clearly unsettled by everything that unfolds in front of him. Viola Davis too is superb in this film and also shows conflicted emotions, but in a different manner. At first she is 100% against everything that happens, but when she thinks about her missing daughter, she soon changes he mind. Maria Bello is so badly effected by her daughters disappearance, she just plunges into dispair and ends up with a painkiller addiction. Then of course Jake Gylenhaal is absolutely outstanding as the police officer, who is trying to solve the case, and the more I see this film, the more I love his performance and the more fascinating he is as a character. Paul Dano plays as the suspected kidnapper who apparently has the IQ of a 10 year old. He is excellent in the film and also very creepy.

So many things are just so effective to me in this film, the cinematography with Roger Deakins is just incredible. It just sets a perfect tone and atmosphere to the film. Right from the start you have this beautiful wide take in a forest where they are hunting a deer and you hear Jackman saying the lords prayer as his son is about to shoot it, its just a beautiful opening shot. When it rains heavily at night, its use reflections is just perfect and generally gives the film an almost hopeless tone. The way it handles violence in this film is so effective too, because it's minimal and restrained yet it's almost like I feel everything that happens. A lot of the worst things that happen in this film actually happen off screen. It is extremely brutal, but never gratuitous.

I almost feel like Denis Villeneuve completely toys with my emotions every time I watch and re-watch this film. I think it's just a masterful film and it's actually pretty underrated. Definitely one of Villeneuve's finest :)
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If your daughter was kidnapped, you think you know who did it but the police won't listen ?

It's a snowy thanksgiving and a misunderstanding over the kids sees the youngest daughters of neighbours the Dovers and Birches left unattended, a terrible error as they soon realize that they are at neither house. The only clue they have is a scruffy RV the older children remember passing on the way down and being a small town the driver is soon arrested after a botched getaway. The driver is a young man of low IQ who is soon released due to lack of evidence and the assumption he wasn't smart enough to commit the crime however a comment he made to Keller Dover (Jackman) convinced the father otherwise. With his family in tatters, Dover is unimpressed by Detective Loki's (Gyllenhaal) efforts and decides to take matters into his own hands . . .

This is often a hard watch but a very compelling one. Jackman and Gyllenhaal are superb in this tense and moving drama that twists and turns and keeps you guessing until the end. The hard drinking carpenter and the dogged cop both want to find the children but have very different methods, one not constrained by the letter of the law and the other a time served cop with the finely honed instincts. They cross paths and cross swords as the story slowly develops but draws you in more and more as both make apparently glacial progress and the town's dark secrets come to light.

Thoroughly recommended, we watched this a week after Captain Phillips and this edged it for us although with Hanks (literally) at the helm of that one it will probably take more plaudits at the Oscars. If so that would be a shame IMO.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 April 2014
The movie has the same slow burn feel of the other Gillenhall cop movie, Zodiac. But with a bit more incidental action and some very conflicting moral dilemmas. It's a solid screenplay with solid performances all round. Paul Dano is excellent as always and his presence is there throughout even though he isn't actually on screen as much as you think he had been by the time you get to the end. It's a bluray which I will definitely watch again.
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