Movie Review: Prisoners

Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Melissa Leo, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard
I think I had seen more trailers for Prisoners than any other movie about to be released in theaters, so I was pretty sure I knew what the movie was about. However, the film will surprise you by the lengths that parents will go to save their children - including torturing a suspected abductor - and the scenarios presented in the movie were interesting to think about.

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) have families that live down the street from each other, and on Thanksgiving, the Dover family goes over to the Birch family house for dinner. The two children of the families, Joy and Anna, ask if they can go back to the Dover house to try and find Anna's whistle, and Keller says yes, as long as they take Anna's older brother with them. The children never do, and go outside on their own; it's later that the tow families realize that they're missing. The brother, Ralph (Dylan Minnette), remembers that there was an old RV parked in front of a house when they were outside before, and it's his opinion that whoever was inside it has abducted the girls. The cop on the case, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), finds the driver of the RV, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but Jones has a very low IQ, and could not have abducted them by himself. When Jones is released from prison, Keller decides to take matters into his own hands, and wring the truth out of Jones himself.

I was worried I was going to be bored during this movie, since it's two and a half hours long, but it went by rather quickly, and there's nothing I can think of that I would have cut. Melissa "The Chameleon" Leo tricked me again - she plays Holly Jones, Alex's aunt, in the film - in that I didn't know it was her, per usual, and the acting overall in this movie was great. Viola Davis was a bit underused as Terrence Howard's wife, but Dano and Jackman are at in top form here, and I wouldn't be surprised if one of them got a nomination for this film.

Yes, see this movie. I will say that if you're a parent, it will be hard to watch, as the situations in the film were not only believable, but scary, but the movie was a great "cat and mouse" film, and reminded me a bit of Zodiac, another movie in which Jake Gyllenhaal starred. There was a twist at the end that I sort-of saw coming, but it's still interesting nonetheless, and the ending of the film was extremely well done.

Prisoners is in theaters today, September 20th, and is rated R with a runtime of 153 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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