Movie Review – Prisoners

The director, Denis Villeneuve, creates a thrilling mysterious movie that captivates the audience through every twist and turn, through every new discovery and failed attempt. He does a great job of transitioning each part of the movie smoothly and keeping viewers on their toes. While this film is engaging, it is too long. The entire film is 153 minutes, so be wary of the late showings, or it will cost some beauty sleep.

Hugh Jackman takes the “Prisoners” audience on an emotional, terrifying, suspenseful two-and-a-half hour journey. Jackman plays the father of one of the daughters who gets abducted on Thanksgiving. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the detective on the case. This was a different role for Gyllenhaal. Instead of the stud he usually plays in chick-flicks, he is a rough-around-the-edges, tattoo-clad detective. Gyllenhaal takes the leads very seriously of the possible abductors, but after results that are less than the best, Jackman decides that it is time to take matters in to his own hands.

Watching Jackman made me cringe, and at some times, tear up. The intense and powerful decisions Jackman made throughout the movie to protect his family and find his daughter begged the question- how far would you go?

Gyllenhaal’s character takes pride in the fact that he has never lost a case, and is not planning on losing one that is this important. It seems at times that Gyllenhaal crosses the line in his role as a detective and gets too emotionally invested in the case, but he wants to do everything he can to find the missing children.

Jackman and Gyllenhaal’s characters mature over the course of the movie, revealing every layer of emotion they have; affection, anger, guilt and grief…just to name a few. Having two strong actors can be a mistake, but in this case it was a harmonious combination. Jackman is the yin to Gyllenhaal’s yang.

Over all, I think that “Prisoners” was a wonderfully thrilling movie. It was engaging and kept the viewers wanting more, but ultimately it was too long. I think this could have been one of my favorite thrillers ever, if it was cut down to 120 minutes instead of 153. No matter how interesting things are, if they run too long, attention can be lost.  If you have the time and the attention span, I would say definitely give “Prisoners” a chance.

My score: 4 out of 5 stars

About Emily Hurst
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