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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films of 2013
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...
Published 6 months ago by Charlotte

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3.0 out of 5 stars JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS
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...
Published 8 months ago by The Movie Guy


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gyllenhaal Stuns Jackman, 5 Jun 2014
By 
Mitun (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Prisoners [DVD] (DVD)
'Prisoners' is a mystery thriller that released in 2013 to critical acclaim and box-office success.

The story focuses on the search of two abducted young girls and the hunt for the kidnapper.

The movie is an intense and dark viewing right from the start. As the story progresses, the tension and suspense are heightened proving to be powerful viewing. The character development is excellent, making it hard to figure out the kidnapper.The problem arises in the second half with the plot becoming stagnant with events going round in convoluted circles. Things do get back on track later, but by that point the running time feels too long. So, I was looking forward to the ending that promised to compensate any shortcomings. Although there is an unexpected twist, the finish was just missing the killer punch. An emotionally complex story deserved a much stronger and effective ending.

The performances from the two lead men stand out the most and is the highlight of the movie. Hugh Jackman as the desperate father comes up with an emotionally charged portrayal. One of his career best and most convincing performance. Jake Gyllenhaal is brilliant as the obsessed Cop, acting out a compelling character with finesse. He actually steals the film from Jackman and should've been nominated for an Oscar. Paul Dano as the mentally challenged suspected kidnapper is creepy and effective. The rest of the cast including Maria Bello, Mellisa Leo, Terrence Howard and Viola Davis are wasted with not much screen time.

The direction by Denis Villeneuve when it comes to suspense and the acting is worthy. Where he falters is in the execution of the third uneven act.

'Prisoners' was a promising mystery that is only liberated by the powerhouse cast of Gyllenhaal and Jackman.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How far would you go ?, 10 Nov 2013
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Prisoners [DVD] (DVD)
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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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tortured Souls, 18 Nov 2013
By 
Mr. A. J. Richards "yourbiteall" (Weston Super Mare) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Prisoners [DVD] (DVD)
Prisoners is more than the sum of its parts. Jake Gylenhaal's enigmatic, aloof but not all together dedicated cop staring into the abyss in most of his scenes might come across as insipid and empty but look closer and it is one of the most fascinating performances of the year. There is despair and despondency mixed with frustration and idleness and an almost care freeattitude in his approach and yet all the while his sole directive remains finding the missing girls. Its a balance which is congealed well with Jackmans character, the vengeful god-fearing dad.. the director throws an emotionally charged and morally complex set of issues at our two main stars and it brings the story to some really clever and interesting places.
The director's powerfully imposed mood of dread raises what might otherwise have been just a above par police procedural. It puts it into the same bracket as Zodiac and Gone Baby Gone (2007), pieces unafraid to explore human wretchedness through their bleak intricacies, The cinematography, though stark is utterly enthralling. You can breathe the dank air and sense of dread..it is relentless until it does give way to melodrama towards its climax. It blurs the lines of what is law, or what can transcend the law and it shows the effects of a civilian in a frightening extreme situation with realistic consequences.
But its Jakes disparaging, myriad cop wrangling with how to better himself who reaches a cathartic climax only for the audience to be told that perhaps Jackmans tactics all along were easily forgiven by those who were emotionally attached to the missing girls. Its a very intriguing movie and one that i couldn't stop thinking about long after the credits rolled, even its religious spouting seemed valid for a change, like a relief from all the evilness. It says alot about the difference between empathy and sympathy and makes you understand that not all character traits are ever that straightforward.
It also makes you pray that nothing like these terrible events ever occurs in your own life. 'Here endeth the lesson'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must see thriller. Riveting, 22 Sep 2014
By 
A. D. Hart "The critic" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Prisoners (Blu-ray)
We absolutely loved this film. A rare thriller which keeps you guessing all the way through. Jackman is as superb as ever.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 14 April 2014
By 
This review is from: Prisoners (DVD)
Saw this film just days ago,a perfect thriller keeps you hooked and on the edge of your seat the whole way through, towards the end it's quite easy to work out tho who did it! Well worth watching tho!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Prisoners [DVD] (DVD)
Extremely good movie
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 22 Aug 2014
This review is from: Prisoners (Blu-ray)
A really good film
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 14 Sep 2014
This review is from: Prisoners (Amazon Instant Video)
Brilliant film!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Prisoners [DVD] (DVD)
brilliant film.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thriller Lovers Don't Miss This One, 11 Nov 2013
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Prisoners [DVD] (DVD)
PRISONERS, (2013). This crime drama/thriller, set in contemporary smalltown Pennsylvania, USA, examines the responses of parents of kidnapped children to their desperate situation. As written by Denis Villeneuve and directed by Aaron Guzikowski, this is one star-spangled suspenser.

To summarize the plot, let me quote from Warner Bros. Pictures, the releasing studio, as printed at IMDb:

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 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?

Hugh Jackman, (The Wolverine ), as Keller Dover, turns in a towering performance that carries the picture. Jake Gyllenhaal, (Brokeback Mountain ), as Detective Loki, holds his own and then some, no easy thing. Admired actor Terrence Howard (Crash ) plays Franklin Birch, father of Joy, the other missing girl. Oscar-winning Viola Davis, (The Help ), plays Nancy Birch, mother of Joy; the Pennsylvania-born Maria Bello (A History Of Violence ) plays Grace Dover, mother of Anna. Paul Dano plays Alex Jones, Oscar-winner Melissa Leo, (The Fighter [DVD]), plays Holly Jones, the aunt with whom he lives. Dylan Minnette, who pops up everywhere playing teenage sons, plays Ralph, the Dovers' son. Broadway favorite Len Cariou plays Father Patrick Dunn, an important supporting role.

The film is long, at 153 minutes, and I sometimes thought it could be cut by at least 30-45 minutes, particularly in some distasteful scenes apparently designed to illustrate techniques of `enhanced interrogation.' It also seems some of us are meant to hate Keller Dover from the opening, in which he encourages his son to shoot a deer. It is the first day of the state approved hunting season, Thanksgiving, no less. Dover seems an illustration of the perceived-in-some-quarters gun-toting survivalist politics of the rural, poor mountainous Appalachian spine of the state, sandwiched between the richer and more liberal Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. I hated Dover throughout the picture, only to realize when I thought it over later that he was on to something all along. Which is quite a feat of script-writing. The presence of Melissa Leo in a supporting part is another illustration of the DePue dictum of casting: the presence of an actor more important/expensive than the part seems to require is a tipoff that the part's going to be more important than you think. The squeamish might want to close their eyes sometimes, but thriller lovers will not want to miss this one.
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Prisoners [Blu-ray]
Prisoners [Blu-ray] by Denis Villeneuve (Blu-ray - 2014)
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