Prisoners is an intense, suspenseful thriller that was released in 2013. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film stars Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Viola Davis. The movie tells the story of two families, the Dovers and the Birches, whose daughters go missing on Thanksgiving day. The two fathers, Keller Dover (Jackman) and Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard), take matters into their own hands to look for their daughters. They soon become frustrated with the slow pace of the police investigation led by Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal), and begin to take matters into their own hands, putting themselves in danger in the process.
Prisoners opens with a glimpse of the peaceful life of Keller Dover, his wife Grace (Maria Bello), and their children. On Thanksgiving day, they attend a dinner at their neighborsâ house, the Birches. The two familiesâ young daughters, Anna Dover and Joy Birch (Erin Gerasimovich and Kyla Drew Simmons) ask their parentsâ permission to go back to the Dover's house and retrieve something they had left behind. However, they never return.
The film quickly jumps into action as the two families come together to look for their daughters. The police are soon involved, and Detective Loki begins interrogating the only suspect in the case, a man named Alex Jones (Paul Dano) who lives in an RV in the area. However, with no evidence linking Jones to the missing girls, he is soon released, much to the frustration of the two desperate families.
As the investigation continues, Keller becomes more and more frustrated with the policeâs lack of progress. He soon takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping Alex Jones and keeping him captive in an abandoned building, where he subjects him to violent interrogations in a desperate attempt to find out what happened to his daughter. Meanwhile, Detective Loki begins to unravel more details about Alex Jonesâs past and links between him and the girls' disappearance.
One of the most significant themes in Prisoners is the question of justice and the limits of morality. Kellerâs actions are at once understandable and highly unethical as he becomes increasingly violent in his search for his daughter. He is a man of strong faith who is driven by fear and desperation to break his moral code.
Hugh Jackman's performance as Keller Dover is one of the highlights of the film. He manages to convey Dover's desperation and grief while also highlighting the darker side of his character's personality as he becomes increasingly violent in his pursuit of the truth. While Jackman's acting is impressive, Jake Gyllenhaal's performance as Detective Loki is equally remarkable. Loki's character is an enigma, with his tattoos and nervous tics hinting at a troubled past that is never fully revealed. He brings an intensity and depth to the character that solidifies his position as one of Hollywood's most talented actors.
Viola Davis is another standout in the film, her portrayal of Nancy Birch as a mother who is understandably devastated by the abduction of her daughter is both heart-wrenching and raw. Terrence Howard, as Franklin Birch, is equally convincing in his depiction of a father who is pushed to the brink of madness by the situation.
Visually, Prisoners is a stunning film, with Roger Deakinsâ cinematography capturing the bleak and gloomy atmosphere of the film's events. The pacing of the film is deliberately slow, building tension with each scene and drawing the audience into the characters' minds.
In conclusion, Prisoners is a gripping, heavy film that demands the viewer's full attention. The acting is exceptional, with standout performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, and the cinematography is breathtaking. Its themes of morality, faith, and justice provide thought-provoking questions that stay with the audience long after the credits roll.
Prisoners is a 2013 drama. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.1 and a MetaScore of 70.