‘Prisoners’ Review: ‘Packed With Twists You Don’t See Coming’


prisoners viola davis jake gyllenhaal  Terrence Howard

“Prisoners,”  the child-abduction crime thriller from Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies”), will be released nationwide this weekend.

The film, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Terrence Howard, tells the story of two girls who are kidnapped leaving no trail and no clues where they could be.  When police are unable to solve the mystery of the missing girls, Keller Dover (Jackman) one of the girl’s fathers, takes matters into his own hands.

After Prisoners premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, the film was widely praised by critics and audiences as one of the most memorable thrillers in years. The picture won the runner-up prize at Toronto where it also garnered Oscar buzz for Jackman.

Written by Aaron Guzikowski, Prisoners currently holds an 82 percent aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics giving it a favorable review. Here’s what they had to say about the movie:

Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote: “In addition to the skin-crawling camera moves and the understated dread that bolsters the surface tensions of “Prisoners” there is a fascinating actor’s duel going on.”

Claudia Puig from USA Today  commented on the “complicated moral questions” the film delves into, adding that the same questions are used by the director to develop “an intricate, horrifying mystery with breathtaking skill.”

Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone gave the movie three and a half stars out of four , stating: “Director Denis Villeneuve’s work with the exemplary actors results in a film of startling impact, packed with twists you don’t see coming. You can’t shake it.”

A.O. Scott of the New York Times described the film as “artful” and laden with “naturalistic credibility.”  “It absorbs and controls your attention with such assurance that you hold your breath for fear of distracting the people on screen, exhaling in relief or amazement at each new revelation.”

Chicago Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper described the film as “one of the most intense thrillers in recent years,” with “the best performance of Hugh Jackman’s career.”

Prisoners will is set for a theatrical release Sept. 27. Watch the trailer below.

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