150W: Prisoners

Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…

Prisoners (Dir. Denis Villeneuve/2013)
With high profile, well-received casting that includes Hugh Jackman, Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal and Terence Howard, Prisoners has the ingredients of becoming a favourite during the awards season. Unfortunately, strained pacing and unresolved threads will leave this thriller amongst the many forgotten moody movies that could’ve been something so much stronger. The Devon’s (Bello and Jackman) and The Birches (Howard and Davies) lose their two girls one rainy night – and it is clear that the driver of an RV, Alex Jones (Dano), is the prime suspect. While Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) tries to find the truth, the families take it into their own hands and confront Alex directly. Deep and dark cinematography turn a suburban town into a fearsome environment, whereby the shadows of houses and white-picket fences become a prison unto itself – but Prisoners drags through weak dialogue and dubious morals leaving you unsatisfied. Overall, Prisoners is mediocre at best.
Rating: 3/10


  1. Nice review Simon. Obviously it got a little conventional by the end, but at least it stayed compelling mainly through the performances. Everybody's good, even if their characters aren't as deep as they should be.

  2. Thanks Man! The performances, true, were fine – but the lack of depth really rings so true: creepy guys are criminals; Gyllenhaal as a cop; Hugh jackman is angry father, etc. Nah, not my bag i'm afraid.

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