‘Prisoners’ best movie of the year
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 22:10
“Prisoners” poses the question: “What would you do to save a loved one?”
Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is visiting with his neighbors Franklin (Terrance Howard) and Nancy Birch when his daughter and his neighbor’s daughter go missing. His only clue is an RV with a young man, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), in it.
Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes Alex in only to find out that he has the mentality of a 10 year-old. Without evidence on Alex, Loki can no longer hold him as a suspect and he is released.
Enraged by this, Keller, determined to find his daughter, takes matters into his own hands and kidnaps and imprisons Alex.
Meanwhile, it is up to Loki to find the two missing girls, leading to a heart-pounding race to rescue them before time runs out.
“Prisoners” could be the best drama/suspense movie this year. It takes the audience on a dark, gripping journey from beginning to end.
With a runtime of nearly two and a half hours, the film has you on the edge of your seat for every second. One can’t imagine the effects of cutting a single frame from its duration.
“Prisoners” presents a carnival of mysteries to its audience, but viewers who pay close enough attention can decipher its mystery through subtle hints in the film.
I find that the best part of a suspense film is that the ending can be solved, and that it is not completely separate and unsolvable for the audience. “Prisoners” achieves this on every level, causing the audience to look back and say, “I cannot believe I didn’t see that!”
The film is successful apart from merely being an entertaining mystery.
Moreover, it succeeds in forcing viewers to step outside of their comfort zones and enter into a world of self-analysis that could be described as uncomfortable to say the least, and sharply disturbing to say the most.
As the film’s central character deals with the imprisoned Alex, “Prisoners” forces its audience to take a hard look at themselves and question how far they would go to save a loved one. What may start out as justifiable becomes more chilling and questionable as time goes on, and we see the lengths to which Keller is willing to go to find his daughter.
Although I could piece together the end of the film, it did not stop me from being completely immersed in the story. The film can get the audience so involved that it can make scenes difficult to watch.
I cannot express enough how excellent Jackman and Gyllenhaal’s performances are in this.
After seeing “End of Watch” and “Prisoners,” I feel as if Gyllenhaal’s true calling in film is playing a member of law enforcement.
I have always been a fan of Hugh Jackman, but his performance in “Prisoners” tops his past performances as Wolverine and Jean Valjean.
I cannot say much for Terrance Howard because one of the drawbacks to this film is that his screen time is limited, and the film focuses mostly on Gyllenhaal and Jackman’s characters.
“Prisoners” is one of those films that I cannot recommend enough. There has not been a suspense movie this gripping since “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. I am proud to give my first 5 out of 5 stars of the year to “Prisoners.”