IMDb Top 250: #215 Prisoners

Prisoners (2013)

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Aaron Guzikowski
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis

When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.


Crime, mystery, drama, pain and despair. This is what you will find in Prisoners. And everything that comes along with it. A vicious circle, where people are driven insane by their own pain and who revert to making other people to suffer, as their own twisted way to “wage war on God”.

This is the story of two little girls who are kidnapped in front of their house. When the lead detective releases from custody an initial suspect, due to the fact that he has the IQ of a 10 year old, one of the fathers who is blinded by rage and pain decides to take matter into his own hands. Still believing that the initial suspect, Alex,  was involved in the kidnapping, he recruits the other father and they kidnap and torture Alex for information. In the meantime, the lead detective tries in vain to solve the mystery, as with each question answered, the mystery becomes more blurred.

This is not your typical thriller. It is intense, but on an emotional level. The story takes a lot of turns and twists, never guessing what could happen next. Everything that happens is because of someone who cannot deal with the pain. Their pain turns to despair and then to rage. If I suffer, shouldn’t you suffer as well? But the best thing about this whole is the main lead performance. Both Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal have critical performances. Gyllenhaal plays an emotionless hotshot detective, determined to save the girls, sometimes letting the feeling that he is on the edge. The only emotion he actually shows is his frustration at going around in circles when it comes going forward in his investigation. Hugh Jackman is quite the opposite. He is a despaired father, whose pain has driven him over the edge. In his search of finding his lost daughter, he ends up doing the same thing that was done to him: kidnapping an innocent person, believing that an evil will right a wrong.

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